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Japanese Lanterns, a Simple Paper Craft, from Family Christmas OnlineTM

This page contains several files you can use make home-made, color-coordinated ornaments that resemble Japanese Lanterns. Chances are you remember how these work from grade school. Still this page is useful if you:

  • Wish to have color-coordinated ornaments,
  • Wish to have several people working on ornaments at the same time, as in a classroom tree project, or
  • Wish to show folks who've never done this before how it works.

About Color-Coordinated Projects - The patterns on this page reflect the color combinations used in our Craft Wrapping Paper page, so it would be easy to finish an entire small tree in interesting, color-coordinated homemade ornaments. You could also print the "back side" of the pattern with a matching or contrasting pattern, so your finished product looks finished inside and out. On the other hand, if you have another color you'd like to use, simply print the "blank" pattern over the page of your choice.

Note about Printing - to print these patterns, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your system - they're pdf files. That way we can keep them very small; each file is only about 18K. If they were jpg files they would be about five times larger. Doubleclicking on any of the patterns below will give you a page-sized version that should print nicely on most color printers. Don't select the "shrink to fit" option, though.

Note about Margins - Most printers will leave a bit of white space on one one or more edges, so don't feel bad if yours does, too. That's one reason not to select the "print to fit" setting on your printer. I left enough margin that most printers won't cut off the stars anyway.

Note about Ink Usage - Depending on the kind of printer you have, a full-colored, saturated sheet will cost you between five and twenty-five cents to print. If you are "just" experimenting (or printing a bunch for a class project, consider using one of the patterns with a white background, which will cost you less to print. When you've decided exactly what you want to do, then go for the deep colors. Also, if you have light brown paper, using any of the "white background" papers should give you a primitive "hand-printed" look.

About Permissions - These are for your personal use. You can also print multiple copies for a children's or seniors project, say at home, school, Sunday school, or the Senior Citizens center. You may also link to any page on our site (as long as it isn't "framed" with your page. ) On the other hand, you may not sell these sheets or publish these patterns in any form, on paper, or on the web. Please contact me if you have any questions about permissions or usage.

Japanese Lattern Patterns

Click on the pattern you like to get a fullsized version you can use to make small Japanese lanterns (six per sheet). If you wish to use another colored sheet such as the Red on Green Star Paper from our Wrapping Paper page, you can always feed the colored sheet through your printer again and print the "blank" Japanese lantern pattern over it.

Click for a full-sized pdf version. Click for a full-sized pdf version. Click for a full-sized pdf version. Click for a full-sized pdf version.
Click for a full-sized pdf version. Click for a full-sized pdf version. Click for a full-sized pdf version. Click for a full-sized pdf version.

Once you've printed the pattern of your choice:

  1. Cut the lantern patterns apart - they come six to a page.
  2. Fold each lantern along the long line that goes up the middle.
  3. Carefully cut along each short line, beginning at the folded edge. Be careful not to cut all the way to the other side of the paper, or you'll cut your craft in two.
  4. Unfold the paper about half-way.
  5. Fasten the ends of the paper together so that the part you cut juts out on all sides.
  6. Glue the ends together, and slip a paper clip over each "junction" until the glue dries.
  7. You may hang your lantern by putting two holes in the top across from each other, and running a ribbon or string through the holes.

Of course, once you've made one of these, it's pretty easy to do without a pattern. But we hope this gave you or your class a good start.

We Need Your Feedback

If you have used this craft in the classroom or a senior organization, or anything like that, we'd love to have a digital photo or three of our work being put to good purpose. Also, the more positive feedback we get for these pages, the more time we can spend adding new patterns and colors next year. In addition, if you need a specific craft page or color combination, please contact us - we may have it in the works already and be able to move it up in the queue.

Click to see collectible table top Christmas trees.We hope to have a few more simple paper craft patterns soon. So keep checking back. And contact us with any questions or suggestions you have in the meantime. Especially contact us if you have any craft ideas you'd like to share with our readers.

Paul and Shelia Race


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