Japanese Lanterns - White Chinese Lanterns
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How to Make Japanese Paper Lanterns

Japanese paper lanterns, also known as “chochin,” are beautiful and iconic symbols of Japanese culture. They add a touch of elegance to any space and can be used for various occasions such as festivals, weddings, or home decorations. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making your very own Japanese paper lanterns.

Materials Needed

Before we begin, gather the following materials:

1. Japanese washi paper or any lightweight paper

2. Bamboo sticks or dowels

3. Scissors

4. Glue or double-sided tape

5. String or fishing line

6. Decorative materials (optional)

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Paper

Start by measuring and cutting the paper to the desired size. The standard size for a Japanese paper lantern is around 12 inches in height and 6 inches in diameter, but you can adjust the measurements according to your preference. Carefully cut the paper into a rectangle shape.

Step 2: Fold the Paper

Fold the paper in half lengthwise, creating a crease in the center. Unfold the paper and then fold it in half widthwise, creating another crease. This will divide the paper into four equal sections.

Step 3: Cut the Paper

Using the scissors, make vertical cuts along the folded edge of the paper, starting from the bottom and stopping about an inch before reaching the top. The number of cuts will depend on the size of the lantern and the desired spacing between the strips.

Step 4: Attach the Paper to the Frame

Open up the paper and connect the two short ends to form a cylinder shape. Use glue or double-sided tape to secure the edges together. Next, attach the paper cylinder to the bamboo sticks or dowels by applying glue or tape to the top and bottom edges of the paper. Make sure the sticks are evenly spaced and centered within the cylinder.

Step 5: Create the Handle

To create the handle, cut a strip of paper and attach it to the top of the lantern. This will allow you to hang the lantern or carry it around. Make sure the handle is securely attached by reinforcing it with glue or tape.

Step 6: Decorate (Optional)

If desired, you can decorate your Japanese paper lantern by adding embellishments such as ribbons, tassels, or painted designs. Be creative and personalize your lantern to suit your taste and the occasion.

Step 7: Hang and Enjoy

Once the lantern is complete and any decorations are added, it’s time to hang and enjoy your handmade creation. You can hang the lantern indoors by attaching a string or fishing line to the handle, or you can place it on a table as a centerpiece.


Making Japanese paper lanterns is a fun and rewarding craft that allows you to delve into the beauty of Japanese culture. With just a few materials and simple steps, you can create your own stunning lanterns to brighten up any space or event. So gather your supplies, follow the instructions, and let your creativity shine through as you bring the charm of Japan into your own home.