Paper Lantern String Lights

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Light up a room with this simple but classy paper decoration perfect for weddings, parties, and home decor. Make lantern garlands for weddings according to the color theme, garlands for rooms in your house to complement furniture and wall colors, and be sure to have fun with paper patterns for special occasions. For example, find holly or snow-patterned scrapbook paper to make lanterns for the holidays and red, white, and blue lanterns for the Fourth of July.
Looking for lanterns that can weather the elements outdoors? Try crafting these customizable tin can lanterns.
8-inch (20-cm) origami or scrapbook paper
paper squares
craft glue
craft knife
paper punches in fun shapes
string of LED lights

Step 1

Cut two strips 1½ inches (4 cm) wide by 8 inches (20 cm) long from a piece of origami paper.

Step 2

With a tape measure or ruler, mark the halfway point of each strip—in both width and length—with a pencil on the side of paper without the pattern.

Step 3

With the pattern side down, form an X with the strips, making sure your marks from the previous step overlap. Glue the strips together where they intersect. The square in the middle of the X will be the bottom of the box.

Step 4

Fold the arms of the X to make a box, unfolding and creasing carefully.

Step 5

On a protected surface, use a craft knife to cut a small X in the bottom square.

Step 6

Use paper punches to punch out fun designs in each arm of the X. Be careful not to punch holes on the creases.

Step 7

Assemble the box by folding two side strips up on the creases to form a top square. Glue these pieces together. Then fold up the next two sides to join the top square. Glue them all together. Let dry.

Step 8

Repeat above steps to make enough boxes to cover each light on the string.

Step 9

Before hanging, gently push an LED light through the X in the bottom of each box.

Step 10

This tutorial is excerpted with permission from "Paper Artist: Creations Kids Can Fold, Tear, Wear, or Share" by Kara L. Laughlin and published by Craft It Yourself.

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