Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern

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March 17, 2020

Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - finished lanternTransform a tissue box into a lantern, or hanging light box. My son had a lot of fun painting this lantern as well as decorating it. He did need a little help.


Total Time: 40 minutes


  • tissue box
  • ribbon
  • scissors /eXacto knife
  • stickers
  • pen
  • acrylic paint + paint brush
  • packaging tape
  • tissue paper (assorted colors)
  • flash light
  • hole puncher


  1. Determine what length you want your box border to be. I cut out a strip of paper to trace around all sides of the box. Mine is approximately 3/4" all around.
  2. Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - side of tissue box
    Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - adding a paper border
    Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - lines drawn on the front of the box for the border
    Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - border lines on the side of the box
  3. Cut plastic piece out on top and cut all the squares out.
  4. Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - remove the plastic
    Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - cut out the box inside the lines
  5. Ready to paint box all over with your choice of color. My son selected blue. Allow box to dry.
  6. Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - painting the box
    Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - allow to dry

  7. In the mean time, cut up assorted color tissue paper into squares/rectangles (or your choice of shape).
  8. Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - cut up tissue paper
  9. Using packaging tape, tape two pieces side by side and then tape on the inside so the sticky side is facing out. Repeat on all sides.
  10. Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - stick two pieces of packing tape together, then stick to the inside of the box with the sticky side out
  11. Ready for your child to place tissue paper on the sticky tape. Repeat on all 4 sides.
  12. Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - adding tissue paper to all sides
  13. Using a hole puncher, punch out 4 holes in the top of the box. Cut 2 ribbon strips the same length. Thread 1 ribbon strip through the top holes and thread 2nd ribbon strip through the other holes.
  14. Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - cut 2 lengths of ribbon and thread through the holes

  15. Combine the ribbons and knot at the top.
  16. Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - knot the 4 pieces of ribbon together at the top
  17. The lantern is complete and ready for you to place a battery candle or flashlight inside. It is perfect to play in the dark, tent, or castle. Note: Do not leave your candle or flashlight inside overnight. Remember to turn off candle/flashlight after done playing and always watch if your child is playing with this.
  18. Kids DIY Cardboard Lantern - add a battery operated candle or flashlight at playtime
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