The perfect paper lantern craft to celebrate Chinese New Year with kids

Toast the start of the Chinese New Year and the year of the monkey with these beautiful and colorful paper lanterns. Your little monkeys can practice their scissor skills while also learning about the traditions of other cultures.

It’s easy to create your very own Chinese Lantern Festival at home or take the family and their lanterns to Chinatown for a very special memory any day this month.


  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Pencil
  • String (optional)


1. You need two sheets of construction paper in different colors. Take the color that you want to be the interior of the lantern and cut two 1-inch strips down the long side of the sheet. Set aside.

2. Next take the other sheet of colored paper, which will be the exterior of the lantern. Fold the paper in half to form a long and skinny rectangle.

3. Draw guide marks about every half inch along the folded seam-side of the paper. Leave an inch at the edge. Cut along the lines, making sure to not cut to the edge.

4. Open the cut sheet and connect together with the cuts going vertically. Staple at the top and bottom to connect.

5. Roll up the first sheet of paper (short side) and insert into the inside of the lantern. Staple it into place. Use the extra two strips of paper to decorate around the top and bottom.

6. If you want to hang the lanterns, attach string to the top and hang the lanterns from the ceiling. Or they can be used as colorful centerpieces.

Check out our Chicago Parent paper lanterns on Instagram!

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