Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to make an origami paper lantern

Tutorial after the jump.

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This pattern is applicable for a whole vellum cartolina paper with the size 28.5" x 21.75". You may apply this to a short bond size paper since it is a scaled down size of the cartolina. There are many patterns on the web but I modified this version to easily measure and fold that will fit the cartolina.

First, fold the paper in half. You may measure it first or fold it by meeting both ends then carefully scouring to fold. From the first fold, fold it again to meet the ends in the middle. You should now have 3 folds or 4 panels. While they are all folded, fold it again but this time divide them into 3 panels to make each side 6 parts. So you will have 12 parts in the entire sheet.

You should now have 12 equal parts throughout. It's important to make the folded side consistent, fold them in one side only. You can reverse the fold if they are not on all the other side together. This will make gathering all the folds easier later.

Measure and divide the paper into 4 parts horizontally as shown in the photo above. Mark them with points or a light line across the folds. From this line, follow the diamond pattern in the photo by scouring first with a pointed tool and a ruler.

After scouring, fold them diagonally at a time to avoid misalignment. Flatten it lightly using a straightedge. By the way, fold them altogether on the reverse side of the 12 parts fold.

Carefully gather all the folds together like in the photo. It should easily gather up. After creating your masterpiece, make two more pieces and glue or tape them together. You may also add more pieces if you like. It is easier to make one piece first then join several pieces together than gluing a long piece of paper, it'll be harder to fold them after.

You may also vary the number of folds and the size of the diamond. The key is, the shape has to be a long narrow diamond so that you can fold, otherwise, the folds won't gather at all (I tried several shapes).

To gather the folds in place, punch small holes on every other panel and insert string. Secure the string by tying it together.

This is how the lantern should look like. You may hang this paper lantern as is along with several pieces, or place a lighting system inside. Just make sure to spray some fire retardant before hanging.

If you have questions or need help in clarifying some steps, I'll gladly answer your questions.


Majito said...

Hi I love the lantern.
Could you please send me another measurements to do it smaller?

Sergio said...

Hello, thank you!
If you need to work on a smaller paper, just follow the folding steps and pattern then apply it to your paper of whatever size. Make sure the paper is a rectangle. Folding should be easy: fold it in half lengthwise (if you want to be accurate then measure the paper and divide into 2 to get the middle), fold again each part into 6 to have 12 parts. For the rest, follow the folding steps above.
Hope that helps, good luck!

Anonymous said...

so beatifullllllllll

thanks for sharing...

greetings from méxico


Sergio said...

Thank you and you're welcome!

mundart said...


Unknown said...

Oh, how cool. Thanks for sharing how to do a paper lantern!

Sergio said...

You're welcome, Melissa!

Nina said...

SO nice!
I want to try this this weekend!
Thanks for sharing!

Sergio said...

thanks, nina! Enjoy your lantern!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I´m just wondering how you put the ends of the lamp together. It would be great if you could explain that. :) Thanks in advance!! All the best, Franzi

Sergio said...

Hi, Franzi! Did you mean, joining two papers to make it long? or two lanterns joined from top and bottom?

Either way, to join two papers-take a narrow strip of paper and glue to the middle of adjoining papers on the reverse side. This joining strip makes the papers flat and seam unnoticeable.

To join two lanterns with one on top and bottom, you can join them with strings. :-)

Good luck!

Kaylovesvintage said...

looks amazing, hope my husband will make it

Ta.Ta. Unconventional Design For Kids said...

I should try!

Anna said...

Hi Sergio,
The lamp is really nice. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!

I was wondering if the skills I learned with the lamp you made will be also usefull to get the way to do a chestnut lampshade similar to http://www.etsy.com/listing/76690652/chestnut-paper-origami-lampshade-autumn

I've been trying to do it in the past and I didn't manage! Do you have any experience on that?


Sergio said...

Hi, Anna!

Yes, I think with a few more folds on top it will probably look like those lovely lamps. Not sure but I'm still figuring it out too how they did that :-) Maybe you can experiment a bit more then share with us! hahaha.


Anonymous said...

This is beautiful, Sergio, and so unbelievably simple! As a fairly new Interior Designer, I find that DIY items as beautiful as this are wonderful alternatives to expensive accessories. Will definitely try this and come up with other styles if I can. You're an inspiration. Thank you so much! :)

Anonymous said...

This lamp is realy, realy beautiful. What kind of paper did you use? I tried it, but I think the paper I chose wasn´t the right one. I couldn´t finish it...but I would like to try it again :). Thanks and greetings from Hamburg, Germany!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

You idea aboutpaper lanterns is awesome !! you are really a Genius.

Sergio said...

Thank you and you're welcome guys! Hope you enjoy making yours :)

Anon Aug18, you can try any sturdy paper close but not to a board. Some also use a very thin pvc/mylar sheet, I think. Try on a small piece so you can get the effect you want!

Thanks so much, Martin! I appreciate it.

Unknown said...

This is so inspiring!

I'm wondering what your final proportions were? I'm debating doing it larger... :)

Anonymous said...

Lindísima tu lámpara. Con estas líneas me comprometo a realizarla en papel vegetal. Si queda linda, te envío una foto. Gracias por compartir!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, love the lantern, but I'm stuck. I don't know/ understand how you fold, especially to get the twelve... I'm so lost when it comes to the folding even it comes to the diamonds part. Can you explain it more in depth, like do you fold it hotdog style or hamburger style?
Please help.

Anonymous said...

I love this, thank you so much for sharing it with everyone. Mine has worked perfectly, although the joining of the two modules was very tricky, I ended up using a large mixing bowl to hold it in shape while I stuck the pieces together. I busted my first by trying to use thread to gather the ends, even though I used 210gsm card, it just ripped out. For the second attempt I just stuck the little triangles together with tape and that worked fine as it is hidden on the inside so I looks fine. I also cut a circle of plastic and threaded that onto the lights cord, so that the shade is supported from the inside. It looks so beautiful.

Unknown said...

Sergio thank you very much, your instructions are very clear and finally I have found my screen origami, had dealt with similar page and did not result me. I followed your instructions but with other measures and I came out perfect. thank you very much again. Andrea, Viña del Mar, Chile

Unknown said...

Great!! I was looking for origami lantern design for DIY, and finally got this. It's so beautiful and the instruction is clear enough to follow. I have to try this righ now! Thank you!!♡