Craft ideas

Make your own lantern – 26 creative and simple handicraft projects for children

Make your own lantern is without a doubt a favorite pastime for every child. Regardless of whether you want to tinker a lantern with your children for Saint Martin, Halloween, Nicholas or simply as a wonderful decoration for the garden and apartment, the small masterpieces can be easily designed with the right handicraft utensils and in a few simple steps.

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Let the following craft ideas inspire you!

Tinker lantern yourself – creative and entertaining handicraft activity

Make your own lantern wire-handle-foil-cat-elephant-scissors-pencil-snail-frog-paper-colored

Most of the time, the children have special wishes and ideas about what their own lantern should look like. After all, the self-made lanterns are always the most beautiful and should be as unique as possible. If you run out of ideas, you can quickly and easily imitate one of the following handicraft projects at home. Your little ones are welcome to help and let off steam creatively.

Make your own Chinese lantern and design cute animal figures

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The St. Martin’s lanterns with animal motifs are undoubtedly a real classic. Colored craft paper and a little imagination can be used to create numerous animal figures that your child will be overjoyed with. The Chinese lantern can easily be transformed into an octopus or a tiger. You will need thick paper, which you will first fold in half. Then cut the rays into the cardboard, leaving a 2 cm edge on the open Seine.

Make your own lantern beam lantern-paper-pattern-paint-flowers-colorful

Glue the edge around a lantern base so that the lantern becomes round and the candle can stand. If you don’t have a lantern base, you can use a cheese box or some other solid material. Reinforce the top of the beam lantern with tape or a strip of cardboard. Poke two opposite holes and pull a craft wire or thread through them. Let your creativity run wild and give your child the desired animal figure a face.

Make your own lantern sponge rubber-yellow-purple-incision-handle-staple-small-clip

If you want to make a decorative lantern that adorns the children’s room, you can also make colorful ray lanterns yourself from moss gumi. For enchanting colored contrasts, you can place a tube inside the lantern. The variant can of course also be copied from cardboard.

Make your own round lantern – owl as a great autumn motif


The owls are a great motif if you want to make a lantern yourself. These pretty owls in the picture above can be made from round paper lanterns or lanterns in no time at all. First make a template for the large eyes, pupils, beak, feather and of course the ears and transfer them to paper and glue them to the monochrome lanterns.


For example, you can use the lanterns to make a panda lantern yourself or create great creatures from the underwater world. Brightly colored jellyfish with big wobbly eyes and tentacles made of crepe paper or ribbons in different sea colors. Secure the tentacles to the inside edge of the opening with the staple gun. You are also welcome to use white lanterns and let the children paint in the facial features.


You and your children can also use lanterns to create many popular animation heroes. The Ninja Turtles, for example, are a great idea that is easy to implement. With masks in the colors of the Ninja Turtles, eyes and mouth, the creative and simple lantern is ready in no time. The well-known Pokémon characters, such as the cute mantirp Pokémon or the Pikachu, are quickly made entirely or costly in terms of material and time.

Create 3D animal figures from paper

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Another great inspiration for handicrafts are various 3D paper animals. The following animal lanterns are suitable for do-it-yourself for slightly older children. Since the following craft projects are easier to do with templates, the children will need your help. You have to print out the prepared stencils for the animal’s body twice and the base of the lantern made of photo cardboard in the desired color once.


You have to print out the prepared stencils for the animal’s body twice and the base of the lantern made of photo cardboard in the desired color once. So that the light can be clearly seen, you will also need transparent paper for every animal figure.

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You are welcome to slightly crumple the paper for the lantern window and then smooth it out again so that the window looks realistic. As soon as you have cut all the pieces to size you have to glue them together and paint a face if necessary. Finally, you need to attach a wire so that the lantern stick can be attached.


For the lantern lighting you can either use a candle or a lantern stick with a small electric tealight or light bulb. With the self-made paper lanterns it can happen that the candles often go out, which is why the LED tea lights are to be preferred in this case.


Making your own lantern is child’s play if you look at this great craft idea. Tiny mice eating cheese is a funny and original idea for making lanterns yourself. You have to cut the cheese holes in a long piece of yellow photo cardboard and tape the whole cardboard strip behind with yellow transparent paper. Fold a triangle and glue the overlapping ends. Attach the tiny, colorful mice.

Tinker monster lantern yourself

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Another popular motif for a paper lantern are the monster lanterns. Monsters don’t necessarily look scary. This smiling monster is ready without much effort and the children are welcome to decorate it.

Create minions from different materials

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If your children love the Minions, this pretty Minion figure is a creative inspiration for the upcoming lantern parade. The blue dungarees and the big glasses shouldn’t be missing, of course, so that the small, yellow creature looks just like in the film.

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You can make the minions out of empty plastic bottles like in this picture. Cut the dungarees out of cardboard and make the glasses out of half a toilet paper roll. To create arms and legs, fold long strips of cardboard into an accordion.

Make your own lantern from a balloon


You can also make a happy Minion out of a balloon and paper mache. Paper mache is a great activity, even for toddlers, and is a lot of fun for them, as the little hands get really dirty. Place the inflated balloon with the thin end in a bowl and coat it thoroughly with wallpaper paste.

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Then dip blue and yellow newspaper or transparent paper in the paste and stick it on the balloon. Let the homemade lantern dry for a few days. Paint or glue on the face, attach arms and legs, carefully pop and remove the balloon and your individual, pretty Minion lantern is ready.

Make your own square lantern


You can also make your own lantern from a lantern blank from the craft supplies. If things happen quickly, this variant can be copied quickly. Cut the transparent paper, paint and glue the window.

Make a great lantern from paper plates


You can also make a pretty lantern yourself from paper plates. As you can see in the picture above, the paper plates are simply glued together and decorated as desired. The base of the plate is cut out to open the lantern.

Make your own lantern out of plastic


An original idea for lanterns to make yourself is this creative model that the little boy is holding in the picture above. The lower part of an empty, cut off, plastic water bottle is covered with plastic spoons that are colored in different colors. A great and inexpensive idea for making a lantern yourself.


You can make your own lantern not only for the autumn lantern parade. The lanterns are a great accessory for camping, for a night walk or for long summer evenings outdoors. A plastic container with a lid was used as the material for this model.

Make your own elephant lantern

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These cute elephant figures can be designed from an empty plastic bottle with a handle, with which the children will attract everyone’s attention during the lantern parade. They are also suitable for a nice garden decoration. Cut out half of the bottle and let your children decorate the animal figure using the napkin technique. The electric tea light is attached to the lid.


The empty plastic bottles are versatile and serve as the perfect lantern body. For the colorful lanterns in the picture above, the lower part of the bottle is covered in rows with colored paper.


Have the children make small pieces of paper out of napkins and use them to decorate the bottle. If the pieces of paper are glued so that they overlap, beautiful color patterns are created. A piece of pipe cleaner decorated with different pearls serves as a handle and makes the colorful, homemade lantern even prettier.


Are you looking for an idea for a lantern for slightly older children that you want to actively participate in the design, this beautiful lantern with colorful roses might be a suitable model. You can make the flowers either from paper or from scraps of fabric, which you then glue together and shape. This pretty one-off piece can also be used as a chandelier, which creates a happy, spring-like atmosphere in the room.

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This simple variant of the lanterns is suitable for the very little ones or when things have to go fast. Let your children paint and decorate the paper to their heart’s content. Autumn leaves made of transparent paper, small hearts or cute spiders with cobwebs are pretty decorations for the paper lantern. Glue the bottom and paper together on the side. Attach the lantern wire and the little lantern is ready.

Homemade lanterns made from sandwich bags


A great craft idea for homemade paper lanterns are these great lanterns with different motifs, which you can easily imitate with your children from sandwich bags. Cut out the desired motifs from paper bags, decorate them as desired and the little lanterns are ready.

Make your own Halloween lantern out of mason jar


Lanterns are also a popular accessory for Halloween. The colored lanterns with spider and cobweb motifs are made from empty mason jars and painted in the desired color.


You are welcome to use tea lights as a light source for the glass lanterns, as they are better protected from the wind than in a paper lantern. Small children can also take part in this simple handicraft project and design the lanterns out of mason jars.