A Paper Lantern DIY

There’s nothing like a good crafting session to raise the spirits. It’s fun to create one-of-a-kind home decor items, and this paper lantern DIY will help you do just that. Whatever crazy colour you’ve painted your living room/nursery/front porch, it doesn’t matter – you can make a fantastic paper lantern with adorable bunting to match it perfectly!

The first thing you’ll need for this paper lantern DIY is, not surprisingly, a paper lantern! :) These plain paper lanterns are very common – you can find them on Amazon*, in all different sizes and even colours.

IKEA bunting lantern hack - a tutorial by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts

My plan was to decorate the paper lantern with some wee-little bunting. I had a very clear picture of the end product in my mind and started out full of exuberance one night.

I needed binding to attach my little flags to – so long 2 inch strips of fabric were ironed into binding. (For those unfamiliar with making binding, iron the material in half long ways, open up and fold each edge into the centre and iron again, then fold the whole thing back in half on itself. Keeps all the messy cut edges folded inside.)

If you’re not interested in making your own binding, you can buy it pre-made in 3 yd lengths. It comes in lots of colours – there’s a selection here*, including one in gold lamé*, which is very fancy.

IKEA bunting lantern hack - a tutorial by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts

 Then to make all those little flags. I layered 4 or 5 strips (1.5″ wide) on top of each other and see-sawed my little ruler along it to cut triangles. See my new little ruler*? Cute huh?

IKEA bunting lantern hack - a tutorial by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts

 This was a great stash-buster BTW.

IKEA bunting lantern hack - a tutorial by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts

Anyhoo, after cutting what seemed like a million little flags, I started to wonder why I’d thought up this hare-brained decorating scheme. But it was all worth it when cute little lines of bunting popped out the back of the sewing machine.

IKEA bunting lantern hack - a tutorial by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts

I gave it a quick pressing with my iron and it came up beautifully.

IKEA bunting lantern hack - a tutorial by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts

 Then came the best part. The hot glue gun. This was a recent purchase, not yet used. Where have you been all my life, little glue gun*? This is the best invention ever! I know, I don’t get out much.

paper lantern DIY - a tutorial by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts

After all that cutting, ironing and sewing, this was a breeze. I just glued the bunting down following the lantern’s framework. All done.

Then I released my bunting lantern into the wilderness. Here it is in it’s new home:

Paper lantern DIY - a tutorial by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts

Another project ticked off my list.

If you enjoyed this paper lantern DIY, good news, I have another paper lantern decorating tutorial over here.

Happy DIYing my friends!

A paper lantern DIY - tutorial by Bonjour Quilts to create a beautiful decoration for the nursery, weddings, etc

*affiliate links

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60 thoughts on “A Paper Lantern DIY”

  1. Thank you for sharing! I bought 3 lanterns to experiment on for my upcoming baby’s nursery. I dont have a sewing machine and wouldnt know how to work one anyway.. you think i can just use ribbons and colorful paper instead of bunting?? love your blog!

    Mama at 40 in the Philippines

    • Absolutely – anything that you can glue down is fair game for decorating these lanterns. You could cut colourful paper triangles and stick them to the underside of the ribbon to create bunting and then glue the bunting to the lantern just as I did. Good luck!

  2. This is such a fab idea, love it! I have one of these lanterns still in the packaging somewhere, off to find it and use up some scraps! Thanks for sharing such a fab idea!

  3. I LOVE this idea,I’m a huge banner fan :),I make then in all different shapes and sizes and sell the in my store, but I have never thought of this idea. Thanks for sharing ,I’ii use it for up coming summer celebrations.

  4. Hi Tonpia,

    The bunting was as long as it took to wrap around the lantern! (sorry, I didn’t measure it). The little flags are roughly 2.5 inches apart, centre to centre. Hope that helps.

  5. Hi. I just found your blog and am enjoying poking through it. I adore this project and am sort of sewing impaired so I have some basic questions: how long was your bunting strand and how much space did you leave between the flags?


  6. I just finished my lantern yesterday. I actually had all the materials, including the lanterns, in my stash. It looks lovely in my one year olds room. Thanks for this great idea.

  7. That is absolutely adorable. I can’t get over it. I think I just fell in LOVE! I think I need to go out and make myself one of these. Thanks for sharing. Love love love it!

  8. Hi Miki, the painting is a big ole canvas I painted almost five years ago. I actually painted a pair of them because I couldn’t find anything that went with my lounge room in Australia; turns out they matched that lantern quite well. They’ve since moved to the staircase since taking this photo.

    Thanks for dropping by and thanks for telling me about the Dollar Store Crafts site, I had no idea!

  9. Just saw your project on Dollar Store Crafts and quickly came over to check it out! So great! I have a dozen of these lamps at home – just waiting for the perfect project and now I found it. I do have a question for you though – can you tell me about that amazing painting in the background? :) Thanks!

  10. I just flew over from wherever I first saw this adorable idea, then I spent some (excessive) time pouring through your previous entries. You are so creative and your blog is such fun! Can’t wait to visit again!

  11. Just come from Selina’s too. What a clever lady you are to make such a pretty lantern. I absolutely love it. I also love your stained glass quilt you are making. I am intrigued as to how you make it. It’s very tricky looking. Maybe I will google it later on. Can’t wait to see it finished.

  12. Kirsty, that is just gorgeous! I’m not really a huge bunting fan, haven’t understood the little bunting craze that’s been going on, until just now. I’m now sold!


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