More Paper Lanterns: The Square
or Box-Shaped Lantern

Let's make some square or box-shaped paper lanterns which can be placed on a table-top with a tea light or hung for decoration. All we need is some paper, and if you are hanging them, some string or curling ribbon and a lot of folding, creasing and scoring!

Square or box shaped paper lanterns

There are only a few steps to these beautiful square paper lanterns with 3D rhomboid facets. What's important for this project is the kind of paper to use depending on whether you will be using them only as decoration or with a light.

To use just as decoration whether table top or hanging, regular lightweight construction paper will do, and if using a light, either a tea light or string lights, then the translucent paper works best to let the light shine through.

Degree of difficulty: MEDIUM, there is a lot of folding and creasing on this one, appropriate for older children with some supervision.

Make A Square or Box-Shaped Paper Lantern

Materials needed:

  • One sheet red paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Scoring tool and board if available
  • If hanging: curling ribbon, paper raffia, string, yarn, or similar
  • Gold paper for trimming
Materials for Making square paper Lantern

Step 1:

  • Fold about 1/2 inch from one end of the red paper, the short end. This will make the overlapping lid on the side of the box.
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 1

Step 2:

  • Fold the paper in half and then in quarters to form all four sides of the box
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 2

Step 3:

  • We start the scoring and creasing part now, using the scoring tool if you have one or the edge of the scissors, score along the length of the paper in the middle
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 3

Step 4:

  • Score twice more along the length of the paper
  • And three more creases perpendicular to the existing ones
  • You will end up with 16 rectangles and the side lid
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 4

Step 5:

  • More scoring that will shape the 3D rhomboid facets
  • Trace diagonal lines on the eight middle rectangles
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 5

Step 6:

  • To form the bottom of the table-top lantern, or top of the hanging lantern, make cuts between the bottom row of squares
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 6

Step 7:

  • Cut out the lid stub
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 7

Step 8:

  • Fold the top band in half
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 8

Step 9:

  • Apply glue to the side lid
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 9

Step 10:

  • Fold the four sides of the square to form the box
  • Glue in place
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 10

Step 11:

  • Apply glue to the flaps
  • Fasten together to form the bottom of the lantern
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 11

Step 12:

  • The box is ready, but we still need to shape the 3D facets
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 12

Step 13:

  • To shape the 3D rhomboid facets, very carefully push in the middle of the rhomboids along the creases, starting on one corner and working your way around.
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 13

Ready! Place your square lantern on the table, add a battery-operated tea light inside and enjoy!

Square or box shaped paper lanterns

For the hanging box-shaped lantern, we add a couple of extra steps to add the string, and some trimming at the bottom. You follow all the steps above up to Step 10.

Before glueing the bottom, which in this case becomes the top of the lantern, we need to thread some string, we used gold curling ribbon.

Step 14:

  • Using a hole puncher or other sharp object, make a small orifice on the four overlapping flaps
  • Thread the string or ribbon through and make a big knot at the end to hold it in place
  • If using a light, this is when you will string your light through instead of the ribbon
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 14

Step 15:

  • Glue the flaps at the top
  • Push through the creases to form the 3D rhomboid facets as in Step 13 above.
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 15

Step 16:

  • We will make a little gold fringe to hang from the bottom of the lantern, you can use anything you wish for trimming
  • Cut a stripe of gold paper, same length to go around the four sides of the box
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 16

Step 17:

  • Glue the edge of the gold paper to the bottom of the lantern
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 17

Step 18:

  • Cut the gold paper in thin little stripes to form the fringe
Making Square or Box Shaped Paper Lanterns Step 18


Your box-shaped hanging lantern is ready! Hang it and enjoy!

Square or box shaped paper lanterns

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