Make Lantern – DIY Tutorial

When crowds of children with bright lanterns and wide eyes cheerfully sing towards you, you can be sure: It’s St. Martin again!

On November 11, people parade through the streets and enjoy colorful lights under the starry sky. With their lanterns, they illuminate dark streets, with their songs they light up the whole night. For children, the Saint Martin’s parade is especially exciting! It takes a bit of courage to parade through the streets in the dark with torches and your own little light. But when it starts, the little ones are usually quickly excited. If the procession culminates with a hot cup of children’s punch or petting a horse, the evening can’t get any better!

St. Martin, St. Martin! Who Are We Celebrating Anyway?

Martin was a Roman soldier. He lived in the 4th century AD. The soldier rode his troop past a freezing and starving beggar on a cold winter night. None of his fellow soldiers cared about the poor man’s suffering. Then he felt so sorry for him that Martin took his sword, cut his coat, and gave one half to the beggar.

That night, the beggar appeared to Martin again. But this time in a dream. In the dream, the beggar revealed himself to be Jesus Christ. Thereupon Martin was baptized and taught Christianity. He first became a priest, founded 2 monasteries, and lived modestly and simply.

Sometime later, the city of Tours offered him to become bishop there. For the humble Martin, this was out of the question, as he did not consider himself worthy enough and had too much respect for the office. He hid in a goose coop. But the chattering birds betrayed the devout Christian and so he has ordained a bishop anyway.

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Martin Bishop of Tours is then said to have performed many miracles over 30 years. He did not die until he was 81 years old. After his death, he was raised to the honor of the altars and canonized. He is the first saint who did not die as a martyr but was convinced by his exemplary deeds alone.

Today, St. Martin stands not only for goodness and gratitude, but also for justice and worldliness. Thus, on November 11 (the day of his burial), he is remembered and his story is told with songs. You can find more about the customs of Saint Martin here!

Make A Lantern

If the lanterns are not made in the kindergarten or the siblings would like to have a lantern too, the crafting skills of the parents are needed! Even for less creative moms and dads, it’s easy to make beautiful lights. First, ask your child what pattern they would like and decide on a theme.

If you decide on an animal, lanterns that are round and spherical with the help of balloons are particularly suitable. The most classic lanterns are the cylindrical models. Lanterns can be illuminated with the help of tea lights or small bulbs. For this purpose, there are special lantern sticks with integrated light and switch to turn on and off.

If you don’t want to simply buy a ready-made lantern, but are not optimally trained in handicrafts, you can fall back on prefabricated handicraft sets. These are usually available in many different designs and are easy to assemble. Here, for example, there are dinosaur or cute owl shapes.

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Craft Instructions Lantern

Of course, the materials depend on your design. Basically, however, you only need:

  • Cardboard.
  • Tissue paper.
  • Scissors, ruler, pencil.
  • Glue
  • Wire.
  • Wooden stick.

>TIP: For the insides, people also like to use dried leaves instead of the tissue paper! This provides an extra autumnal look.

1.The Classics

The cylindrical lanterns are probably considered a classic, are easy to craft and convince with individual design. Children can start by drawing patterns on cardboard. You can also print out templates beforehand, which are transferred to the cardboard. Here, for example, is the typical Martinsgans illustrated. Simply cut out the inside of the pattern.

In the next step you glue one side of the cardboard with translucent tissue paper. This is available in a wide variety of patterns and colors. Especially suitable here are bright and warm tones, which are illuminated by the light of the candle and amplified.

Now roll the cardboard and glue the sides together. Place the lantern on another piece of cardboard and draw a round circle with about 2 – 3 cm distance around the lantern. Cut out the circle and fold the edge. Now glue the inside of the edge and glue it to the bottom of the lantern to make a base. You can do the same for the lid. Just don’t forget to leave a hole for adjusting the candle or light.

To be able to carry the lantern on a stick, you need wire. This is either attached to the top edge directly on the lantern or if you have made a lid on it. Just poke the wire through the cardboard and bend it so that it can’t slip back.

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TIP: If you want to light the lantern with a tea light, glue the aluminum bottom part of the tea light to the bottom of the lantern. This way the light cannot slip and is fixed. The tea light itself can still be changed.

2.The Round Version

Practical little helper: Compass.

The round version of the classic lantern is also easy to make. First, cut out a round circle. To make the lantern more stable later, you can cut a straight side at the bottom edge of the circle. This way, the lantern can later stand on the ground without any problems and without rolling.

Take your cutout as a template and cut out a second circle. Measure about 10 cm from the outer edge to the inside and cut out the inner part. Glue from the inside the colored tissue paper on the cut-out round.

Now you need a long cardboard part that will be the bottom of the lantern and the connecting piece of the round side parts. This should be about 15cm wide. Also, remember the 2cm strips of tape on each side. Simply fold these over, apply glue and attach to the round side pieces.

Now just mount the wire at the top of the side parts and connect it to the stick. And you’re ready to go!

3.The Quick

Lantern from a milk carton

Even easier are the lanterns made from tetra packs. A simple milk carton is perfect for a small lantern. Simply cut off the top part of the carton to make straight edges. Now you can paint the edges of the carton with paint. Cut out a rectangular area from the sides so that only the edges form the new framework. Now glue tissue paper on the inside.

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From cardboard or colored paper you can now cut out shapes and patterns (here: moon and stars). These are now simply attached to the tissue paper and the edge of the cardboard. Remember to fix the aluminum cover of the tea light on the bottom.

4.The Animal

Especially for animal motifs, this type of lanterns lends itself! Because the body will be round and can later be expanded with a wide variety of parts.


For the spherical base you need a balloon, paste, and tissue paper. Blow up the balloon to the desired size. Coat the balloon with paste, leaving a little space at the top so that you can easily reach in with your hand later.

Lay small pieces of tissue paper little by little and keep brushing the areas with paste. Once the balloon is covered with several layers, let your work of art dry. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. When the paste-paper mixture is dry, prick the balloon so that it pops. Remove its remains.

Again, simply attach the wire to the top of the body and connect it to the pole. Now you can decorate the body wonderfully. Whether in pink with a pig’s snout, curly tails, and four little legs, with a horn, eyes, and colorful tailor with eyes and a funny clown nose – there are no limits to your imagination and you can adapt the lantern to the preferences of your little one.

Cow lantern

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