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Touch of Oriental Inspiration: 15 DIY Paper Lanterns that Delight!

When you think of paper lanterns, does your mind automatically go to the simple but occasionally bland paper bag kind that some people use to light their walkways in the summer, or perhaps to the more complicated kind that float in the festival of lights in Japan? Well, one of those is very easy and one of those doesn’t necessarily make the best homemade craft on a casual afternoon, but that doesn’t have to mean that making stunning paper lanterns is out of the question!

Check out these 15 awesome DIY paper lantern ideas that are fun, fabulous, and make perfect homemade decor.

1. Scaled paper lantern


This super fun and extra bright paper lantern might not actually be themed after and type of animal or creature that actually has scales, but the way these little paper circles are layered all across the surface of a paper lantern from your local dollar, decor, or crafting store mimics the way the scales of a fish or reptile do. Find out how to create the effect in detail using tissue paper on Serendipity Creative.

2. Glitter paper lantern

VIEW IN GALLERYIn our house, the crafting policy has always been that the more glitter there is involved in a project, the better! Imagine how excited we were, then, when we stumbled across this stunning glitter paper lantern design from Two Delighted! The way the light glows through and bounces off of the minute glitter pieces is certainly worth the sparkly mess that will undoubtedly result from you making it.

3. Flower and pom pom lantern


Do you love the idea of building on top of a plain store bought paper lantern but you’d prefer not to use glitter and the scaled look isn’t really the one for you? Then try on of these adorable, delicate ideas from Craftynest instead! Use silk flowers glued all across the surface of the lantern for an eye catching look or a simple length of pom pom trim wound all the way around the lantern from top to bottom for a subtler look. Try it in the minimalist white design you see here or do it in bright colours!

4. Newspaper tube lantern


Have structured and geometric decor pieces with a lot of shape always been your ideal aesthetic? Then this rolled tube lantern idea is the one for you! Whether you built it right onto a paper lantern like the ideas above or build it independently and slide the whole thing over a standing lamp, the way the light shines between the tubes, as you’ll see on Marietta, is certainly worth the time it takes to make.

5. Frilly coffee filter lantern


Is your favourite kind of DIY project the type where you get to use unconventional materials to create something new, exciting, and surprisingly aesthetically pleasing? Then we have a feeling we’ve found the paper lantern for you! Ezy Shine guides you through the process of creating a gorgeously ruffled hanging pendant that adds some whimsy to the room. We love that the fibers of the filters are light enough, even in all those layers, to let lots of light shine through.

6. Fish scale pendant lantern


Were you intrigued by the first scale design that we included on our list but you actually liked the “scale” effect so much that you want it to look like real scales? Then you simply must check out this fish scale design from Design Sponge! They’ve hand painted their “scale” pieces to look like the scales of a deep sea fish, but you could do yours green like a reptile or a dragon too.

7. Chinese New Year lanterns


When we said “paper lanterns”, did your mind automatically go to the floating lanterns in the light festival like we talked about at the very beginning of our post? Well, even if yours won’t float, nothing says you can’t create paper lanterns that celebrate a different kind of light festival, but with a similar message and aesthetic. Try making Chinese New Year style paper lanterns instead! Craft Craft teaches you how to use strips of coloured paper to make lanterns that hang or taper in different places for all kinds of fun shapes. Make a range of them and see how fun they look hanging up!

8. Embellished paper lantern


Perhaps when you pictured your paper lantern, the image in your head was more delicate and unique than some of the bright, fun things you’ve seen on our list so far? Then check out the way Glue Arts created layered paper flowers from old book, magazine, and newspaper pages! Making your flowers from paper keeps the lantern’s aesthetic consistent, while the words begin to look like prettily patterned detail.

9. Wax paper capiz shell chandelier


Do you love the idea of making yourself a seaside inspired hanging light but the fish scale design isn’t quite as casual and whimsical as you had in mind for such a statement piece? Then perhaps this capiz shell chandelier from Design Sponge is more your style! Their tutorial walks you through the entire process of making the “shells” from wax paper and hanging them in a delicate way from start to finish.

10. Paper cup LED lamp


Perhaps instead of creating a predictable paper lamp made from cut pieces of paper or a pre-made paper lamp as a base, you’d rather create a unique statement piece that just happens to be made of paper because you like the dark glow the light has when it shines through? Then you sound like just the kind of eclectic person who would love making a paper cup tower LED for their home! See how it’s done in detail on Aditi Odyssey.

11. Cut paper pendant lights


Do you have a taste for bright colours, unconventional shapes, and modern geometric aesthetics? Do you also have either a laser cutter for vinyl and paper or a very steady hand when it comes to drawing straight lines and using an exacto knife? Then you have everything you need to make these awesome modern and super fun pendant lamp shades from Makezine!

12. Scrap paper lamp


Do you like the idea of a rounded hanging paper lantern but you’d rather have a more interesting visual texture than just the round spherical shape the store bought lanterns come in by default? Then try embellishing yours with even more paper to give it a little something extra! Painted by Prestige suggests cutting tapered strips of paper, colouring them how you please, and gluing them in layers so they hang long and look ruffled, almost like an exotic flower.

13. Thumb tack pattern lamps


Perhaps your taste in decor is a little more artistic and you love creating beautifully simple designs by hand? Then check out this thumbtack paper lantern method that resembles pointillism in drawing! We love the way Lines Across created these stunning flower patterns in a simple sheet of coloured card stock, wrapping it around their light source so that the delicate holes glow and create a pretty shape.

14. Bunting wrapped paper lantern


Maybe you’re perusing this list hoping to find a simple paper lantern design that would look perfect in a baby’s nursery, or even just at a baby shower for some simple but affordable DIY event lighting? Then take a look at the way Project Nursery wound pretty pastel and patterned miniature event bunting around a pre-made paper lamp! No matter what colours you choose, this design will look fun and festive even before you’ve turned the lamp on.

15. Jellyfish lamp


Are you still fixated on the seaside and sea creatures idea but you’re looking for something more novelty and unconventional in its design than the fish scales and the capiz shells? Then try creating your very own beautiful jelly fish paper lantern! Cut a pre-made spherical lantern in half and check out how I Need a Craft Room used different types of ribbons to embellish theirs and make it look like an amazing jellyfish floating in the sea.