Celebrate Lunar New Year with your own DIY Lantern Craft

Enjoy this free craft!

By Jenny Sites February 8, 2024

Lunar New Year, also know as Chinese New Year, the oldest festival in China, is a holiday full of happiness and hope for good fortune. 2024 is The Year of The Dragon and February 10th, 2024 marks the beginning of this year's Lunar New Year.

One of the most common items that we relate to the Lunar New Year is a lantern. The lantern is used on the fifteenth day of the Lunar New Year to honor deceased ancestors and is a symbol of reconciliation at the beginning of a new year.

DIY Lunar New Year paper lantern!

You will need:

  • A piece of red construction paper 
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • A pipe cleaner or ribbon


1) Turn your paper so that a long side is towards you.

2) Fold the paper from the bottom so that you create a fold about one-half or one-third of the way up the paper. (we picked 1/3 for this demo)

3) Using your scissors, cut slits across the folded area. (We made 9 cuts) Be careful to not cut through to the edge of the paper.

4) Unfold the paper so that it is flat.

5) Fold the two short sides of the paper together. 

6) Glue or tape the two short sides where they meet.

7) Make your pipe cleaner into a u-shape and insert it into the top of the lantern.  You can use ribbon as a handle if you prefer.

8) Tape the pipe cleaner or ribbon to the insides of the lantern.

Add-On: You can add decorative ribbon around the top and bottom of your lantern to make it more fancy, then add a battery-powered candle inside your lantern to make it look like it's glowing!

Fun Fact: The Legend of Nian tells about a horrible monster that terrorized people during the Chinese New Year. Because it is said that Nian is afraid of firecrackers, bright lights, and the color red, these all play a big part in the celebrations.  

Draw your own picture of what you think Nian looks like, and then have fun scaring him away with your DIY Red Lantern!

Resources: Story of NianChinese New Year;