How to Make a Paper Luminary Lantern – Free Silhouette, Cricut, Hand Cut FilesAuthor: 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?
Project Table of Contents
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Make a Paper Luminary Lantern Project
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!
Supplies You'll Need
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Varieties of Paper Luminary Lanterns
Reference Source Citations
The following links are to provide reference information for the sources cited in the post content above.
1. LuminariaCited: 03/27/2021
San Fransisco, California, United States