How To Make Paper Lantern
These are instructions on how to make the paper lanterns that you see as my centerpiece. The finished product will stand 8.5" and each side is 3.5" wide.
1. Get a 26"x20" cardstock paper that you can find at craft stores near the painting section. They have a variety of colors. Usually cost $1.65 each. I always had some craft store coupon so it was like $0.85 each for me. I bought a few at a time as I get these coupons because of limit.
2. Cut the large cardstock into 8.5"x14.5". The large cardstock can yield 3 of these 8.5"x14.5". So 1 large cardstock can make 3 lanterns. Use the 26" side to measure out three 8.5" and use the 20" side to measure out the 14.5".
3. For each of the 8.5"x14.5" sheets, follow the template below. The template is not to scale but is to show you where to cut and fold. I used an exacto knife, ruler, and a cutting board to acurately cut lantern. I used a letter opener and ruler to help score the fold. Make sure the letter opener is not too sharp, otherwise you'll end up cutting the paper instead of scoring. There are actual scoring tools but why spend extra money when a letter opener will do?
4. For the white panels on the lantern, I printed the text on regular sized paper (67lb paper thickness) and then cut it into 3"x7". I had to play around with the printer to get it printed on the furthest left of the paper so that I can save paper and print 2 on 1 sheet but I have to print separately each time. I used Microsoft Word and created a page sized to 3"x7" so the text will be centered nicely. I inserted a double happiness and love symbol picture as well. Each printer is different but mine was able to indicate to print from the top left. That way, I have an edge to start measuring and cutting paper to 3"x7". Some printers might just print from the middle which will make it more difficult to measure. Get a paper cutter to do this. Those craft store coupons come in handy again.
5. After you have the lantern cutout and the text paper, adhere them together with double sided tape. This is the easiest and least messy way to attach.
6. Now assemble the lantern together by folding up the sides. Tuck and tape in the last 1/2".
Once you get everything in line, it's just like an assembly line....repetitive actions. I created the lantern part first. I waited till the last minute to do the text part because I didn't have the final guest list until the week of my wedding. However, I designed the text and made sure I had the printing correct ahead of time. All I needed to do was type in the names, print, and cut. If you get 2-3 people working on this, it will be fast.
I would suggest making one in its entirety and see if that is something you think you would want to do for another X number of times. I liked designing the lantern but it did get tedious mass producing them. Making the wedding programs was even more tedious!
Paper Lantern In Progress
How To Make Paper Lantern