Paper Lantern Garland

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If you want to brighten up a window or mantle, without resorting to the harsh light given off by strings of electric lights, try adorning those strings with some hand-folded shade for a garland with a gentle glow. You don’t have to be an origami artist to be able to pull off these simple paper boxes, and the result is an understated, yet elegant way to add some warmth to your holiday decor.

  • Square sheets of paper (8″ x 8″ is a good size to start with)
  • A string of small-bulb holiday lights

Start with a square sheet of paper.



Step 1: Fold the paper diagonally from corner to corner.



Step 2: Fold the paper diagonally again, between the opposite corners.



Step 3: Fold the paper in half, so that your fold intersects the ‘X’ made by your first two folds.



Step 4: Fold paper in half again, so that your paper looks like this…



Step 5: Fold sides inward so that the diagonally folds form a triangle…



Your paper should now look like this.



Step 6: Fold the bottom right corner of the triangle so that it meets the top point; repeat with remaining three corners (each side).



You should be left with a diamond, like this.



Step 7: Fold the outer corner of the diamond inward, so that the point meets the crease along the centre of the diamond.



Repeat on the remaining three outer corners (both sides), until your paper looks like this:



Step 8: Fold the bottom flap upwards, and form a crease.



Step 9: Fold the tip upwards until the edge meets the crease you just formed.



Step 10: Tuck the point into the fold; repeat on the remaining three sides.



You should be left with a paper that looks like this.



Step 11: Find the hole at the top of the paper, and blow into it to inflate your square lantern. Repeat with as many sheets as necessary for your garland.


The beauty of these garlands lie in their simplicity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t liven things up a little bit. Try using festive patterned paper for a fun variation that’s sure to be eye-catching.

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