Hanging up lanterns is a common decoration you will find during the Chinese New Year. Traditionally, Chinese people hang lanterns and other decorations a few weeks before the first day of the Chinese New Year. The day after New Year ends (15th day) is known as the Lantern Festival. And on this day all of the decorations are taken down because the Chinese New Year is officially finished for the year.

The Chinese believe that a great start and end of Chinese New Year will bless you throughout the entire year. So let’s embrace this wonderful cultural blessing, and learn how to make our own lanterns.

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*This post contains affiliate links.

*If you want to know more about The Lantern Festival, go here to learn more about the interesting Chinese history and customs.

Red Round Chinese New Year Lanterns

If you remember, I shared a blog post about the Mid-Autumn Festival Lanterns already. I tried to make it as simple as I could. It was one of my most popular blog posts. So I guess everyone enjoyed making these beautiful lanterns with their kids and students.

This year, I would love to share a different kind of Chinese Paper Lantern pattern with instructions: round lanterns. The red-rounded Lantern is a symbol of a successful life and a prosperous business. So they are hung during all the important festivals. Today, these rounded red lanterns have become a worldwide symbol of Chinese culture, and you can easily to find them in any Chinatown or Chinese restaurant.

Let’s Make Chinese New Year Lanterns Together!

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CNY Rounded Lanterns

There are a lot of ways to make a simple paper lantern. You can find instructions all over the internet.

However, this type of a rounded lantern is a little harder, so I re-created the patterns to make sure even my 3-year-old could do it, and I’m sure even older kids and adults will enjoy making them too.

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  • For younger children: use the easier pattern and coloring pages, and they will probably need more time (at least 2 classes) to finish the whole lantern.
  • For older children: you can let them pick their own patterns and coloring page. They should be able to do it all by themselves as long as you show them the steps.

Materials that You Need

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  1. Two sheets of A4 or letter construction paper.
  2. Scissors
  3. Glue stickdouble-sided tape, tape or stapler
  4. Colored pencilsmarkerscrayons
  5. Decoration {stickers, stamps, glitter, etc.} (optional)

Instructions for Making the Rounded Chinese New Year Lanterns

1. Print out the lantern pattern (there are three level choices: preschool, kindergarten, and upper level), and an inner page (either colored or black & white).

2. Lantern Pattern: Cut along the outer dotted lines first. Set aside the top strip that has writing on it. Poke a hole at one star and cut along the dotted line to the opposite star, do this for each dotted line.

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3. Turn the paper over and fold the striped bar edges in.

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4. Inner Page: Using scissors, cut out the inner page. If you chose a black and white page, color the page.

5. Cut frills on the bottom stripe located underneath the striped bar.

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6. Put glue or double-sided tape on the top strip (the bar with lines in it). Unfold the lantern pattern and align the striped bars. Align the top and left edges together. Secure into place.

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7. Put glue or double-sided tape on the bottom strip (the bar with lines in it). Align the bottom and left edges of the striped bars together. Secure into place.  (The Lantern Pattern is larger than the inner page. This allows it to protrude outward. Then cut the bottom into frills.

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8. On the right-hand side, there will be a strip of the inner page not covered by the lantern pattern. Place glue on this strip, wrap it around backward and secure.

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9. Use the strip that was set aside to make a handle by attaching the ends to opposite sides of one end of the inner tube. You are ready for Chinese New Year!

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Let See How We Did

The trickiest part of making this round lantern was poking a hole at the star and cutting along the dotted line to the other star. It seemed difficult at first, and my 3 and 5-year-old refused to do this part.

However, I showed my kids how to use a pencil to gently poke a hole and cut the strips. Then I held my 5-year-old’s hands and guided her while she cut her first three strips. After that, she was willing to finish the whole paper on her own.

For my 3-year-old, I did the same thing because she is younger, I decided to hold her paper with her, so she could cut all the strips easily.

In the end, both of them were so proud of themselves because they overcame their fear, and they did a great job cutting all the strips and not breaking the lanterns.

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The rest of the project was quite easy for them. They were overjoyed when I helped them wrap the papers to form the round lanterns and when we hung them up to display. I think this is a great family activity to do with kids because of the easy steps and materials.

Grab Your Freebies Here

There are 4 free versions with an English translation of Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and both Chinese with Pinyin.

There are 2 patterns for the lantern and 2 choices for the inner page, colored or black and white.

The 1st pattern has images of some Chinese Lanterns and a Rooster, and the other one has the Chinese character for blessing:”福”.

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Complete Sets

There is a full set of lanterns that has 3 lantern patterns and 7 extra inner pages (colored, and black and white).

The 7 extra inner page images are Red packets with Chinese New Year candies, Chinese New Year banners with a Chinese family, Lion Dance with two Chinese kids, and four the Chinese characters wishing for a prosperous new year (恭喜發財).

If you hang up all four of the lanterns with Chinese Characters together, it will look like the Chinese New Year Banners too!

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chinese new year rounded lanterns

You Might be Interested

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*Don’t forget to pick the updated year!

Which lanterns patterns do you like the most?

How do you decorate your home for the Chinese New Year?


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