Asian Paper Lanterns
For big festivals like the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (usually August or September) and the Lunar New Year (January or February), kids in some Asian countries have a procession of paper lanterns. Bring a small part of the festivities home with these simple paper lanterns. These lanterns are also perfect as tabletop decorations or to hang from the ceiling. Don't forget to save the chopsticks from your next order of takeout!
How we did it:
- construction paper
- hole punch
- chopstick (1)
My kids chose red for the outside of the lantern and orange and yellow for the inside. Red is the color of good luck and fortune in Chinese, Vietnamese, and many other Asian cultures.
Fold the outside piece in half, short end to short end. Using a ruler, we drew lines from the folded edge to about 1 inch from the opposite edge of the folded paper. The closer the lines are, the fuller your lantern will be, but it will be harder for your child to cut them. Unfold and decorate the opposite side (optional).
Cut along the lines; make sure not to cut all the way to the edge. Also, make sure the lines start on the folded side, not the open edge. (We made that mistake on our first attempt!)
Open up the cut paper, and lay perpendicular on top a second piece of paper. Line up the edges and tape the two pieces together. We needed three hands to do this job: I held down the papers and my daughter taped the two sheets together. You can also staple the papers together.
Trim off the excess yellow (inside) paper. Don't worry about being exact because it will be hidden when you're done.
Roll up the two papers to form a tube and tape (or staple) both ends. The strips should pop out. My daughter fluffed her strips a little bit to make her lantern look fuller.
Using a hole punch or scissors, punch 2 holes on the one end of the tube. Tie string or ribbon through the holes. Hang the lantern from a chopstick or any stick so your child can have her own procession! Tip: Sit the lanterns on a table and place a flashlight or battery operated candle to light it up!