How to Make a Paper Luminary Lantern – Free Silhouette, Cricut, Hand Cut Files

Paper Lanterns

How to Make a Paper Luminary Lantern – Free Silhouette, Cricut, Hand Cut Files

Author: Amanda Ilkov | Published: March 19, 2021 | Updated: March 31, 2021

Want to learn how to make a Paper Luminary Lantern? This project is for you!

These pretty lanterns feature an elegant punched paper design, based on my Free Paper Punch Borders graphics series.

The finished lanterns are really versatile. They look fantastic on a mantle at Christmas time, but they look just as elegant on a patio table in the summer!

    What Are Paper Luminary Lanterns?


    What Are Paper Luminary Lanterns?


    The History of Paper Luminary Lanterns


    A Few Examples of Paper Luminary Lanterns

    These are so much fun to make and experiment with. Because they're fairly quick and inexpensive to make, you can really get creative. Christmas luminaries are a given, but how about spider Halloween? Easter?

    Luminary lanterns come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Round, square, big, small.

    Have a look at some of the beautiful paper luminary lanterns below to get the ideas flowing!


    Farolitos at Jemez Historic Site
    Photo Credit: Larry Lamsa
    Farolitos at Jemez Historic Site

    Farolitos at Jemez Historic Site in New Mexico

    Luminaries (aka Farolitos) play an important roll in illuminating religious gatherings in Hispanic culture, including in the American southwest. [1] Wiki Page

    3D Hearts Luminaries

    These cute DIY Paper Heart Luminaries are from Jennifer Maker. I love the colorful lining!

    See Jennifer's Site
    3D Heart Lanterns
    Photo Credit: JenniferMaker.com
    3D Heart Lanterns
    Winter Woodland Paper Lanterns
    Photo Credit: Lia Griffith
    Winter Woodland Paper Lanterns

    Winter Woodland Paper Lanterns

    Lia Griffith has a lovely tutorial on how to make her beautiful woodland lanterns.

    The SVG files are available for free on her blog.

    See the Original

    Easy Paper Cup Luminaries

    Little Bins For Little Hands shows us how to make super simple luminaries from paper cups. This is an excellent option for making luminaries with young kids.

    Read the Original
    Paper Cup Luminaries
    Paper Cup Luminaries
    Paper Bag Luminary
    Photo Credit: Paper Lantern Store
    Paper Bag Luminary with Moons & Stars

    Moons & Stars Paper Bag Luminaries

    These celestial themed lanterns are made using paper bags, punched with moons and stars. Perfect for lighting up summer weddings!

    See the Lanterns

    Supplies You'll Need


    Lantern Files Preview
    Photo Credit: Amanda Ilkov
    Lantern Files Preview

    Paper Lantern Cut Files (Free Download Here)

    Projects Home Decorating Paper Cutting How to Make a Paper Luminary Lantern – Free Silhouette, Cricut, Hand Cut Files Author: Amanda Ilkov | Published: March 19, 2021 | Updated: March 31, 2021 Jump Directly to Project Photo Credit: Amanda IlkovPaper Lanterns Make a set of pretty, punched paper luminary lanterns with these free paper lantern [ More ... ] Read More

    Card Stock
    Photo Credit: Andrej Lišakov
    Card Stock

    Card Stock (or Heavy Paper)

    I used 110 lb cover stock for this project, but you can use virtually any type of card stock or heavy paper. Just be sure to choose something you can cut, either by machine or by hand.

    Read More
    White Glue
    Photo Credit: Scott Sanker
    White Glue

    Clear Glue

    Any glue that is strong enough to hold paper, and dries clear will work!

    Read More
    Clover Wonder Clips
    Photo Credit: Deserres
    Clover Wonder Clips

    Craft Clips

    Craft clips are helpful to hold the lantern paper together while the glue is drying. You can also use wooden clothes pegs, paper clips or any similar light weight clip. Do test the clips first on a scrap of the paper you're using - some clips leave marks!

    Read More

    If You'll Be Adding a Translucent Liner You'll Also Need

    You can use a translucent paper to line the lantern. This is completely optional, but adds a nice frosty look to the finished lantern.


    Colored Vellum Paper
    Photo Credit: LCI Paper
    Colored Vellum Paper

    Translucent Paper to Line Lantern

    You can use plain parchment paper from the kitchen like I did, or use one of the many colored translucent papers out there!

    Read More
    Marking Pen
    Photo Credit: Markus Spiske
    Marking Pen

    Marking Pen or Pencil

    This is used to mark the translucent lining paper. If you're not using a liner, there's no need for the a pen or pencil!

    Read More
    Fiskars Surecut Trimmer
    Photo Credit: Fiskars
    Fiskars Surecut Trimmer

    Paper Trimmer or Scissors

    Used to trim the translucent liner to size. A paper trimmer makes it easy to get perfect edges, but you can just use scissors if you don't have a trimmer!

    Read More

    If You Are Machine Cutting You Will Need (Option 1)

    If you have a cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo or a Cricut Explore, using it will make this project quick and precise!


    Electronic Cutting Machines
    Photo Credit: Michael Hession
    Electronic Cutting Machines

    Cutting Machine

    You can use any electronic cutting machine, such as the Silhouette Cameo or the Cricut Explore. As long as it can cut heavy paper it'll work!

    Read More
    Cricut Mats
    Photo Credit: Cricut Blog
    Cricut Mats

    Cutting Machine Mat

    Because the patten is fairly detailed, you'll need to use a mat to cut the lantern files.

    Read More

    If You Are Hand Cutting You Will Need (Option 2)

    If you don't have access to a cutting machine, don't worry! You can hand cut this project using the hand cutting templates included in the free lantern files.


    Precision Craft Knife
    Photo Credit:
    Precision Craft Knife

    Sharp Precision Craft Knife

    A sharp, precision craft knife will help you cut intricate lines easily.

    Read More
    Cutting Mat
    Photo Credit: Sewingland.org
    Cutting Mat

    Cutting Mat (or Cutting Board)

    Whatever type of blade you are cutting with, a self healing cutting mat will protect your workspace from cuts and scratches. It will also help your blade stay sharp!

    Read More

    Step By Step Project Instructions


    Cut The Lantern Shape

    There are two ways to cut the lantern.

    Option 1 is by machine. If you're lucky enough to have one, you can use a Silhouette Cameo or Curio, Cricut Explore or Maker, or any other die cutting machine. I used a Silhouette Cameo to cut mine.

    Option 2 is by hand. If you're more of a traditionalist, you can cut these lanterns by hand. They're fairly detailed, but with enough patience and a steady hand, it can definitely be done!


    Option 1: Cutting the Lantern by Machine

    Open the machine cutting software and set up the cut file. These lanterns are meant to be cut at 10 (25 cm) inches wide.

    Place paper or cardstock onto the cutting mat.

    Load the mat into the machine.

    Send the cut file to the machine to start cutting.


    Option 2: Cutting the Lantern by Hand

    Print the PNG cutting template from the downloaded files. The hand cutting files are named starting with "HandCutLantern". Be sure to print the file at full size (10 inches or 25 cm wide). You may need to reduce your margin sizes for the whole image to fit on a regular letter sized sheet of paper or cardstock.

    Place printed cardstock on a cutting mat or cutting board.

    Use your craft knife to carefully cut each shape and remove it from the printed lantern template.


    Cut the Translucent Liner (Optional)

    If you would like to use a translucent liner, now's the time to cut it! The translucent liner is totally optional.

    You can use any type of translucent paper you like, just as long as light shows through it. I used plain old kitchen parchment paper for mine. A colored translucent paper would be lovely though!

    Lay the translucent paper over the cut lantern shape. Use a pen or pencil to mark the edges of the lantern on the translucent paper. On the left side of the shape, mark the translucent paper after the first scallop, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in from the edge of the lantern shape.

    Be careful to align the top of the translucent paper just under the scalloped edge at the top of the lantern shape. You don't want it to poke out the top of your finished lantern, but you also don't want to leave a gap at the top of the liner.

    Trim the translucent paper liner along the marked lines. You can use a paper trimmer if you have one, or carefully cut with scissors.


    Roll and Glue the Lantern Into a Cylinder

    Carefully apply clear glue to the first scallop on the left side of the lantern shape. Be sure to spread a thin layer of glue right to the edge.

    Roll the lantern shape into a cylinder, overlapping the first scallop (where you just applied glue). Be sure to align all of the detailed cuts, so you don't see the overlapping scallop.

    Clamp the lantern along the edge using craft clips, paper clips or clothes pins.

    Let the glue dry, then remove the clips.

     


    Add the Translucent Liner (Optional)

    Roll the translucent paper liner into a cylinder, and place it inside the lantern. Make sure the seam in the rolled paper is to the back, lined up with the seam in the paper lantern shape.

    Very carefully apply a thin layer of glue to the top scallops and bottom edge of the lantern. Now align the translucent paper liner and hold it in place with craft clips, paper clips or clothespins and let the glue dry.


    Varieties of Paper Luminary Lanterns


  • Add Bottom Tabs

    If you want to use you're using these lanterns outdoors, you may want to add a bottom to your lanterns. This is easy to do by cutting and gluing some tabs at the bottom of the lantern. That way, you can use pebbles, a rock, or sand to add weight to the lantern and keep it in place.

[show_tips] [show_warnings]

Reference Source Citations

The following links are to provide reference information for the sources cited in the post content above.


    1. Luminaria

    Cited: 03/27/2021

    Wikipedia
    San Fransisco, California, United States

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *