November 27, 2006
Indian Party Lanterns

Lantern Decoration in Goa

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that launches a two-month festive season, had just ended when we arrived so everywhere we turned, we saw decorations. One of my favorites were these large lanterns with streamers. I decided to make my own on a smaller scale for holiday parties. Because they are so simple and fun to make, I want to share the pattern with you.

Indian Party Lantern pattern (248K PDF)

You will need:
Paper, construction paper, card stock, thin Styrofoam (reuse those meat trays!), or stiff plastic
Tape (colored or clear)
Scissors or craft knife
optional: ribbons for streamers; cord for hanging

The pattern is designed to make a softball sized lantern from a sheet of A4 paper, so if you can print onto your paper of choice that’s easiest. Otherwise trace the pattern onto your lantern material.

Cut out the shapes. If you wish, you can cut a decorative shape from the center of the square pieces and back it with colored plastic as in the lantern pictured above.

Arranging the pieces on the table before taping makes it faster to assemble

Arrange the shapes by matching the letters on each side. C matches to C, e to e, 6 to 6, etc. This forms a surprisingly un-lanternlike shape. Do not panic; it will all come together.

Tape the pieces together one at a time. Do not overlap - keep the pieces barely touching (if your material is thick, add a gap to allow the seam to fold later). Do your best to center the tape over the seam.

After taping the pieces together flat, crease the seams. This makes sharp edges when the lantern is finished.

Now match and tape the remaining letters and short edges of the rectangles to form the three dimensional shape of the lantern.

If desired, finish with streamers and sew a cord across the top for hanging.

To make a different size lantern, cut 4 squares, 8 equilateral triangles, & 8 rectangles. The sides of the squares, triangles and long edge of the rectangles will all be the same length.

Completed lanterns: as a luminaria. and shading a bulb in my studio

Posted by kuri at November 27, 2006 09:27 AM


Beautiful! We’ll be making some of these!

Posted by: Jenn on November 28, 2006 09:00 AM


Posted by: T on November 28, 2006 02:33 PM

Is that a swastika on the lantern? YIKES

Posted by: Robin on January 16, 2007 06:13 AM

The swastika has been used for thousands of years as a decorative and religious symbol in Indian culture (and other cultures, too). The Nazi party took it as their symbol and made it taboo in the West but it’s a beautiful, ancient form. Learn more about it here:

Posted by: Kristen on January 16, 2007 08:53 AM
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