How to Make a Paper Star Lantern ( It looks like metal ! )

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 resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (13)

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.

make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (7)

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

apieceofrainbow33 (10)

And some watercolor paintings too!

Learn watercolor painting easily | A Piece Of Rainbow

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!

make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (8)

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-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (9)
make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (10)

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.

make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (11)

The opening is big enough for LED string lights or tea lights.

Step 5: put lights in your new paper star lantern!

make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (15)b

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.

make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (3)
See how cool the shadows are? =)

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.

Enter your email in form below and the free templates download link will be sent to you!

Unzip with Stuffit Expander. If you have trouble downloading, it might be a browser issue, just ask friends to download and email to you!

make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (4)
make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (1)
make-star-lantern-apieceofrainbowblog (12)

You may also like:

Cherry blossoms in moonlight: how to paint on black paper

Easy and detailed tutorial on how to paint cherry blossoms on black paper, and create a magical night landscape of cherry blossoms in the moon light.

Make magical Dandelion lanterns

Make these stunning Dandelion paper lanterns with up-cycled plastic bottles and paper! Free printable download in this easy and fun paper craft tutorial! | A Piece Of Rainbow

Wish you lots of beautiful days and starry nights! =)


  1. Hello, I’m trying to download the paper night light & It does nothing when I click on the download link. I did download for another project. Can you send me a link> I don’t know what the problem is. Thank you so much!

    • hi tessa! it’s a zip file, so when you click download, it’s either automatically saved to a folder on you computer(check the download folder), or blocked by browser like firefox, which you have to click “allow pop-up” 🙂

    • Hi there!
      I’m also having trouble downloading the template- when I click the link that says “Here are the free designs for you to download!” to open in a new tab, it just takes me to . Maybe the link to the template needs updating?

      Thanks so much for sharing this awesome project!

      • hi! sorry for the confusion! all the free downloads are in our subscribers library, link is in welcome email and weekly newsletter. you can unsubscribe anytime. 🙂

  2. I can’t find the download for the Star. Keep putting me with all the patterns you have and show the star but there is no print out. Can you send me a link?

    • hi Kristie! we checked and a pdf should open up when you click “download” on the library page with all the patterns. do you use firefox browser?

  3. Was curious if you have the faux metal star in an SVG file to download to cut on the cricut. It’s a beautiful project and would love to use my machine to cut it out. Thank you.

    • Hi Carrie! The battery case is quite small. Depending on if you want to hang the lantern or put it on a table, there are many ways to keep it outside near the lantern but out of view. If you want more specific ideas, let us know! 🙂

    • hi Aley! i made this before Cricut came out with all the awesome machines! i do think you can import the pdf into Cricut and adjust it! 🙂

  4. I am unable to copy the pattern to the lighted star pattern. I have tried numerous times. I would love to have this pattern. Please let me know how to get it.

  5. I did not find out how to download paper lanter star pattern. Would you please send me the pattern? I love these stars.

  6. I cannot download the paper star lantern pattern. I would love to create this star. Could you please tell me how to download it. I cannot find the download pattern.

  7. Hi…I subscribed to your newsletter and received your Welcome email. I have tried to access the download for the Paper Star Lantern and even though it says the template download is at the end, there is no link to download the actual Star Lantern…the only link is for the library again, which I had just accessed. Where is the download for the template???

    • hi Peggy! when you click the button to get to the library page, follow instructions at top of page and scroll to find the star lantern a few rows down! 🙂

  8. I need to download the paper star lantern, but how? Can you send a link to my email? Thank you👍Debi

  9. Paper Star Lantern – I have tried to subscribe to your newsletter but I never get an acknowledgement email back.

  10. I have looked for the download on the paper star lantern and I can not find it, can someone help me with that? I have pushed every link for it and the directions do not come up, Please help! 🙂
    Thank you

  11. This seems like a scam of some sort. The download link doesn’t work and we are just directed to share with more people. I would like to make this star for my wedding but I don’t think there’s a real way to get that “free” template.

    • hi mikey, there are hundred of downloads happening here daily. we don’t have scam here. when our subscribers sign up, the link to all our downloads library is emailed to them.

  12. I have signed up for your downloads. I found the paper star lantern. However, I could not find the link to download the pattern. I even changed web browsers tried no luck. I love your creations and I would love to try to make them.

    • hi victoria! the star lantern download is right above the cylinder paper lantern downloads toward the bottom of the page! let us know if you still have trouble finding it! 🙂

      • actually right above the cylinder paper lanterns is the directions for just that, It is not for the star

        • hi karen! did you get to the download library page from our newsletter or welcome email? it is working and the 5-page templates opens when you click download! 🙂

  13. Hi, I’m wondering if this can be converted to a svg file so that I can cut it with my cricut maker? Thank you!

  14. Ahhhh’some articles, projects and crafts, Ananda! <3 Unfortunately, I still have not received my confirmation email…and I've checked my spam folder. I also searched "rainbow", to no avail. I was hoping to make one of these beautiful star lanterns for Christmas, but am unable to get the template download. Blessed day, Ananda! <3

  15. With the sun going down so early this time of year, I really want to get more lanterns. This one is really interesting in the shape and color. The star pattern would be fun to use outdoors on a patio.

  16. I do not see the link to download the pattern and wonder if you might send it again?
    Thank you. I have done the candles and love them and the lantern is absolutely beautiful

  17. I have a cameo and would like to cut on that, however, how would I convert the files to a cutting file for the machine?

  18. Hello, I wanted to make this for my wife, but after signing up I hav not been able to find download anywhere in my email. Also contact form isn’t working either.

  19. would love to make this, thank you for sharing but I am unable to get to the download. Nothing in email, and the link just sits there on a blank page.

    • hi heidi, maybe try email the post to a friend? it is working as i checked it yesterday. i am also creating a subscriber page this month with all the downloads. you will be able to get a password to the page in a few weeks! 🙂

  20. Hi,

    I’ve just discovered your site and love your downloads – but I can’t access them! Every time I click on the link it just reloads the page. It’s happened for two calendars and this lantern, in both Firefox and Chrome.

    Would really love to get them!


  21. Beautiful star! I would love to use this pattern but the link won’t open. Is there another way I can get the pattern?

  22. What a gorgeous project! Unfortunately I am unable to attempt it as the download link doesn’t work on either firefox or chrome. Is there something I need to do beforehand or is the project no longer available?

    • hi chelly, did you click on the link in the email we sent? and could you give more details on what happened? it is being downloaded by others as of today.

  23. This is amazing!!! I LOVE these stars and have always wanted one! And to be able to MAKE one, and affordably! HOORAY! Two questions, though: 1.) How did you score the paper before folding? I know that heavy card stock doesn’t fold “cleanly.” 2.) Glue that works best for the paper? THANK YOU!

  24. i can’t download the template, I’ve asked my friends to help but it doesn’t work. do i have to wait for it to be sent to me email or?

  25. Another quicker tip for the last point closure on the DIY star: glue some magnets (small lightweight ones) to each flap , so that the point can be easily opened and closed when you need to change batteries or l.e.d. bulb, etc.
    Also, those battery operated fairy light strands…I’ve seen those for $2 each on ebay with free shipping. It comes directly from China. I actually just ordered one 🙂

  26. This is so beautiful! You are very talented. I’d love to try it out myself. We are moving into a new house soon and I need some cute and fun decorations. I’ll have to put this one on my list and try it out when we move.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *