Paper Lanterns – Summer Activity for Kids

Paper Lanters

I seriously love getting to spend all summer with my kids (ages 4 & 7) but one of the biggest stresses is coming up with cheap, easy, and fun activities that will keep them busy and stimulate those little minds! I don’t know about you, but it seems all my kids want to do is watch TV (namely, Harry Potter movies), but I am determined to keep them active this summer! I came up with this cute Paper Lantern craft idea after seeing several similar paper lanterns online. It turned out to be a fun and beautiful activity!

While browsing Pinterest, I came across these beautiful 4th of July Paper Lanterns by I decided to adapt and put my own frugal spin on this craft by involving my children and using materials I already had on-hand here at home. My goal was to keep the kids entertained, help my little Tink girl (age 4) with scissor cutting practice, and create a nice patio decoration/backdrop for my newly DIY Painted Patio Seat Cusions (you’ve gotta check this out if you haven’t seen it yet!).

Here’s  what we did:
Paper Lanterns Tutorial

1. I gathered a myriad of scrapbook paper, including a set of mixed “boy” paper for my 7 year old, and a set of mixed “girl” paper for my 4 year old. All these bright colors coordinate well with my patio set.

2. I found a nice square book and traced 2 squares onto each piece of scrapbook paper. This left a wide unused band of paper at the bottom (which we did end up using for trim…keep reading:-)

3. After the kids cut out each square piece, we folded the square in half length-wise and I drew lines (in pencil) for them to cut. We cut about 3/4 of the way to the top of the paper. It’s important to cut on the folded end.

Paper Lanterns Tutorial 2

4. While they were busy cutting out their squares and the lines, I cut long strips of scrapbook paper from those unused long bands of paper they had left over. We used these as our lantern trim.

5. After the kids finished cutting their lines, I stapled a strip of trim to the top and bottom of each lantern

6. Then I rolled the lanterns together at top/bottom and stapled them. They turned out so cute!! The kids were in awe.

Finished Paper LanternsI simply stapled extra pieces of scrap paper to the tops of each lantern and stringed them using balloon ribbon. Don’t these beauties look fantastic on my patio wall?! They really compliment my new-to-me teal patio set. Did I mention I painted my patio seat cushions and they look awesome?!

This activity took us 1.5 hours to finish and the kids remained interested the whole time. This was an awesome summer craft activity and it cost us absolutely nothing! :-) If you try this, get creative and use construction paper, scrapbook paper, ribbons, and even stickers that you already have. Mix up your colors an textures to create a unique look. If it’s not something you want to hang in your living room, let the kids decorate their rooms with them. They will simply love this:-)

Happy frugal crafting!

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    • Mrs. Saver says

      Thanks Crystal! I remember paper dolls as well–your comment reminds me that I need to introduce them to my little girl soon.

  1. says

    OMG… how precious are these!!?? What a super sweet idea! My 3 year old LOVES stickers, so I also love your idea of using stickers to decorate them! :)

    • Mrs. Saver says

      Thanks, Jessica! I’m so glad you stopped by and I hope you guys enjoy making these as much as we did! I’m kind of excited to make more of these for party decorations…now I just need a party to decorate for!

    • Mrs. Saver says

      Thank you so much, Sonda! The kids seriously loved this and I loved that it kept us occupied for a large chunk of the day!! Thanks for visiting:-)


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