This DIY paper star lantern is inspired by Mexican Tin Star lanterns. Do you ever wish metal working is as easy as folding paper? Today, it is! We will be making a paper star lantern that looks like it’s made out of rusty metal!
Lit with LED fairy lights inside, it is perfect for a covered patio or as table decor! Free paper star template for you to download at the end.
IMPORTANT: only use good quality LED lights near paper. Follow basic safety practices and do not leave lights on unattended.
Materials and tools to make a paper star lantern:
( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
- sturdy 110lb index card stock such as these will work beautifully, not too heavy to cut yet hold its shape nicely.
- micro LED Warm White String Lights are light weight and very bright, perfect for this lantern.
- to cut the designs, use a Silhouette Portrait / Cameo or an X-acto knife, you can also use a star hand punch to cut out the stars!
- clear Bead Cord or fishing line to hang the lanterns
- free templates which you can download at the end
Step 1: print and cut the paper star template
Print one each of page 1, 2, and 3, and nine of page 4. If you want a white paper star lantern, that’s all for the printing. If you want a rusty “metal” paper star, print the rust texture (included in the downloads ) onto the back side of page 4.
Cut along blue lines, and score along orange lines.
This paper star lantern is made with my favorite super versatile 8.5×11 110lb card stock , which I have used to make this birch forest shadow box
Step 2: Make the paper star tips.
Here’s a really helpful trick when gluing the paper star lantern: fold the piece along the score line in the middle, and press down the glue dotted tab. This is much easier than trying to glue while holding its 3D form!
Also glue the triangles cut from page 4 to all the triangle shapes on page 1-3. If you are making a white star, skip this.
Step 3: glue the paper star parts together
Make the polyhedron first, then glue on all but one of the paper star tips. See why in the next step–>
Step 4: leave opening in the paper star lantern to add LED lights.
The reason we leave one of the paper star lantern tips not glued is because we need a “doorway” to take lights in and out. So we only glue one side of the tab, like in photo below.
The opening is big enough for LED string lights or tea lights.
Step 5: put lights in your new paper star lantern!
To close the star, poke 2 small holes and thread a piece of clear fishing line or bead cord through. Tie a knot to close the star.
This paper star lantern can sit on a table, or if you want to hang it, just tie some fishing line through the openings on one of the star tips.
Unzip with Stuffit Expander. If you have trouble downloading, it might be a browser issue, just ask friends to download and email to you!
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Wish you lots of beautiful days and starry nights! =)