Chinese Lanterns

Paper and cloth lanterns are special handicrafts in China.  They are put up in the house or at the front door for decoration during festivals, wedding, and other celebrations.   The lantern's frame is made of bamboo strips or metal wire and the outside is covered with colorful paper or cloth.  While the traditional ones are shaped like giant red balls, there are fancy ones like rabbits, birds, dragons, airplanes, and many other interesting things you can imagine.

Here is how to use a painting software such as Microsoft Windows Paint or Paint Shop Pro 7 (free download at to make a single-layer paper lantern:

cut along the lines up to here


To make a paper lantern:
1. Draw a large rectangle on your monitor screen and fill it with your favorite color;
2. Select an animal picture from your clip arts and put it on the upper-left corner of the rectangle;
3. Use copy and paste to draw more animal pictures along the top and the bottom edge of the rectangle;
4. Draw bands of rainbow color in the middle of the rectangle (Figure A);
5. Print out the picture, then use pencil and ruler to draw straight lines on the paper like figure B.  The lines should be 1/2 inch apart (Figure B);
6. Fold the paper in half and cut along the lines (Figure C);
7. Open the paper; tape or staple the left and right edges together.  Tape a piece of string to the top of the lantern and hang it anywhere you like.  You can also make several lanterns with different designs, then hang them on a long string across the room to make a parade of lanterns.


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