Make These Cute Lanterns With Your Kids For Mid-Autumn Festival

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diy lanterns for kids mid autumn festival colourful reindeer rabbit peppa pig owl
(Credit: hunyde.sg, remarkable.sg, Rosiky Official Mall, junlua.sg)

How did you celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival as a kid? For us, parading our fanciful DIY lanterns around the neighbourhood was the most exciting part of the Mid-Autumn festival (aside from the delicious mooncakes, of course)! Why not bring back the good ol’ days and get your kids off the computer this Mid-Autumn festival by teaching them how to make their own lanterns? Our list of DIY lanterns for kids come with easy-to-follow steps and are guaranteed to make your little one walk around the ‘hood with pride! 

1. Paper plate Jade Rabbit lanterns

 

Many iconic characters related to the Mid-Autumn festival originated from interesting folklore including the famous  Jade Rabbit. Take the chance this Mid-Autumn Festival 2020 to share the story about the selfless sacrifice of the Jade Rabbit with your little ones. Then, guide  them on how to make their own DIY Jade Rabbit Mid-Autumn festival lanterns through this simple crafts project! 

You will need:

  • 6 paper plates
  • 4 paper lace doilies
  • White construction paper
  • Black construction paper
  • Pink construction paper
  • 2 pieces of 40cm string
  • Wooden stick
  • Scotch tape
  • Blu tack
  • Glue
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Electric tealight

How to make this DIY lantern for kids:

  1. Using children’s scissors (available on songgm.sg), cut out the centre portion of the paper plate and discard it. You should be left with a hollow circle formed by the edges of the paper plate. Repeat this on five other paper plates. 

Pro Tip: If your kids find it hard to cut a neat circle in the middle of the paper plate, you can gently fold the plate into half. Get your little ones to follow the rims of the paper plate and cut a semi-circle while keeping the paper plate folded. Unfold the paper plate to reveal a perfectly rounded circle! 

  1. Glue paper doilies (available on Livecity Home&Living) onto four of the paper plate frames, covering each circle opening. Allow the glue to dry. These four plates will form the walls of your lantern.
  2. Assemble the four paper plates by stapling them together on their sides. You should get a boxy lantern structure.
  3. The remaining paper plate frame will form the roof of your lantern. Start by folding it into half from right to left. Then, fold it into half again from top to bottom. Unfold the paper plate frame and you’ll be able to see four crease lines on the rims. Make a small opening using the craft knife (help your kids with this step) on each of the crease lines. These are the openings for the lantern strings later.
  4. Staple the roof of the lantern onto the four walls created in step 3
  5. To form the base of the lantern, staple an uncut paper plate onto the bottom of the four walls
  6. Now, on to the fun part of this DIY lantern project! Get your kids to create their own Jade Rabbit faces by cutting out its eyes, nose and mouth on the coloured construction papers. You can even get your kids these pattern scissors (available on lemonbluee.sg) or pattern paper punchers (available on Fashion Jewellery) for them to create interesting shapes!
  7. Glue on the cutouts to create your own rabbit face! You can even cut some rabbit ears and whiskers for your kids to add to their lantern design!
  8. To make the lantern’s handle, simply pull the ends of each string into the four openings created on the roof of the lantern. Make sure the two strings intersect each other in the middle. Then, tie a knot on each end of the strings to secure them in place.
  9. Loop the strings around a wooden lantern stick (available on Segamatcheng SG) and secure with tape
  10. Use the Bostik blu tack (available on World of Stationery & Gifts) to secure an electric tealight (available on Myhome) onto the inner side of the base plate. Turn it on and your kids are ready to take their DIY Mid-Autumn festival lanterns on a stroll! 

2. Simple foolscap paper Chinese lantern

If there’s one thing young kids have in abundance, it’s foolscap paper! This simple DIY craft is a great way to turn used foolscap paper into beautiful art pieces! Your little ones will be stoked to share this simple art and craft with their friends in school. 

You will need:

  • 1 A4 foolscap paper
  • 1 A4 cardstock
  • 14cm String
  • Watercolour paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Coloured markers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher
  • (Optional) Tassel

How to make this DIY lantern for kids:

  1. Get your kids to paint the entire foolscap paper with their favourite shades from the Deli premium watercolour (available on Deli Official Store). If you’re using used foolscap paper, paint on the side that’s unused or paint on white paint first before decorating it.
  2. Once the paint has dried, the little ones can go all out with their doodles using these cute Pinkfong wonderstar colouring markers (available on Querios Singapore)!
  3. Create pleat folds of 1.6cm wide along the length of the foolscap paper
  4. Without unfolding the paper, create more pleat folds down the folded paper strip
  5. Unfold the entire piece of paper to reveal your beautiful pleated lantern design!
  6. Glue the widths of the paper together with the Fullmark glue stick (available on Fullmark Official Store). Your paper should look like a cylinder now.
  7. Using the same pleat fold technique, gently fold the paper along the horizontal pleated lines until you get a folded paper ring. Set aside.
  8. Using a scissors, guide your kids to  cut out two circles with a 7cm diameter from the cardstock. You can also use a circle scrapbooking cutter (available on followsunflower.sg) to ensure the circles are perfectly round.
  9. Cut out a circle of 4cm diameter in the middle of one of the circle cardstock you’ve created in step 8. This will form the roof of the lantern.
  10. Glue on the roof of your lantern to the top end of your folded paper ring. Secure the other piece of circle you cut out in step 8 to the bottom end of your folded paper ring with glue. This will form the base of the lantern.
  11. With a single hole puncher, punch two holes opposite each other on the roof of your lantern. Loop a string of about 14cm into the holes and secure them in place by tying a knot on each end.
  12. (Optional) To make your lantern more unique, pierce a small hole into the middle of your lantern’s base cardstock with a pen. String the Chinese knot tassel (available on adowu.sg) through the hole and tie a knot at the end to create your own DIY lantern tassel. You can even stick on some electric tealights to make your lantern illuminate under the moonlight!

3. Cereal box DIY lantern

Cereals and oatmeals are a great source of whole grains and fibres for your growing kids! This yummy and nutrient-rich breakfast choice will help kickstart your child’s day. Instead of throwing empty cereal boxes away, we suggest using them to make DIY lanterns with your little ones this Mid-Autumn festival! It’s a great way to inculcate the habit of recycling in your kids too. 

You will need: 

  • 1 cereal box
  • Coloured papers
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Coloured markers
  • Hole puncher
  • 3 pieces of 15cm wire
  • Fairylights
  • Wooden stick
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Penknife
  • Pencil

How to make this DIY lantern for kids:

  1. Empty a large cereal box. Using a pencil and ruler, draw a rectangle with a length of 20cm and a width of 10cm on the two wider faces of the box. Repeat this on the two narrower faces of the box but reduce the rectangle width to 5cm. You can adjust the dimensions according to your cereal box size. Just take note to leave at least 3cm to 5cm space between the rectangles and the edges of the box.
  2. Help your kid cut out the four rectangles drawn in step 1 using a penknife. Your cereal box should now have four windows.
  3. Cut off the flaps from the top of the box
  4. Measure the entire length and width of each side of the box. Cut four pieces of colour paper according to the measurements.
  5. Give your child the four pieces of coloured paper and get your little artist to draw on four separate illustrations using Sharpie fine point permanent markers (available on Sharpie Official Store). Is your child running out of inspiration on what to draw? Why not encourage him or her to draw a picture of your family? Afterall, the Mid-Autumn festival is a time for family reunions!
  6. Attach the drawings onto each side of the box using double-sided tape, ensuring that the paper can cover the entire window on the box
  7. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole on the two narrow sides of the box nearer to the top edge
  8. String a piece of wire into each of the holes. Twist the two ends of each wire together and create a loop. Using a third piece of wire, bend it into half and twist the two ends together. String the third wire through the two wire loops on the box and twist to secure everything in place.
  9. Place a battery-operated fairy light (available on Feimefeiyou) into the lantern and stick it into place along the walls of the lantern with scotch tape
  10. To complete the lantern, tape a wooden stick to the wire handle and turn on the fairy lights! Now all that’s left is to bring your children down to the park to show off their beautiful creation!

4. Glowing plastic cup DIY lantern

Are you and your kid bubble tea fanatics? Treat yourselves to a cup of your favourite bubble tea but don’t throw the plastic cup away! With a quick wash, it can be turned into a glowing plastic cup DIY lantern for your kids this Mid-Autumn festival! 

You will need: 

  • Tracing paper
  • Plain paper
  • Waxed cotton cords
  • Plastic cup and lid
  • Permanent coloured markers
  • Coloured brush pens
  • Electric tealight
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

How to make this DIY lantern for kids:

  1. Measure the circumference at the top of your plastic cup. Then, measure the circumference at the base of your cup. Lastly, measure the height of your cup. On a plain paper, draw and cut out a strip of paper according to the three measurements. It should roll up to form a cone shape which fits perfectly into the cup.
  2. Then, draw some horizontal lines across the paper you’ve cut out in step 1. The lines should be about 5cm apart from each other. This forms a paper guide for step 3.
  3. Lay a piece of tracing paper over the paper guide and cut it into the same shape. Trace the lines seen on the paper guide onto the tracing paper. Hand this tracing paper to your kids and they can start to fill in each row with a pattern that they like using coloured brush pens (available on eastweststore)!
  4. Let your kids choose their three of their favourite waxed cotton cord (available on Beadthoven_3_sg) colours. Cut the cords to about 20cm long and tie a knot on one end. Then, braid them together and tie a knot on the other end.
  5. Once the children are done decorating the tracing paper, roll it up into a cone and place it neatly into the plastic up. Pat the paper down so it’s completely touching the plastic cup.
  6. Turn on the electric tealight and drop it into the plastic cup. You can choose to secure it in place with tape.
  7. Fold your braided cord into half and slot it through the middle of the cup lid from inside out. The knots on the cord should prevent the cord from sliding all the way out.
  8. Press the lid shut on the cup and voila, your unique glowing plastic cup DIY lantern is done! You can either let your kids hold onto the cup via the braided cord or tape a wooden stick to the cord. We’re sure these pretty Mid-Autumn festival lanterns will be one of the best highlights of this year’s celebrations!

5. Paper plate ball lantern

Don’t have much time left to learn how to make an elaborated DIY lantern with your kids? Fret not, we’ve got the perfect last-minute DIY lantern for your little ones — the paper plate ball lantern! You can find most of the materials at home so you can kickstart this DIY project with your kids in a jiffy. You’ll be done in less than half an hour and in time for the moon viewing party!

You will need: 

  • Scissors
  • 5 Paper plates
  • Kitchen roll cardboard tube
  • Spray paints
  • Poster colours
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wooden cloth peg (should be at least 4cm long)
  • Wooden stick

How to make this DIY lantern for kids:

  1. Start by folding a paper plate into half. Cut the paper plate into two along the crease line you’ve just created.
  2. From the tip of the kitchen roll cardboard tube, position the paper plate piece you’ve cut in step one on its side such that it’s almost 90 degree from the cardboard tube. Mark the point where the paper plate ends on the cardboard tube. Trim the cardboard tube up to the point to shorten it.
  3. Let your kids help out in this craft by getting them to paint the trimmed cardboard tube with Sakura poster colours (available on Sagacity Art & Crafts Pte Ltd). Let the paint dry. Alternatively, guide them to  wrap the tube in wrapping paper or coloured paper if you’re in a hurry to complete this DIY project.
  4. Once the cardboard tube is decorated, it’s time to whip out the hot glue gun! Do not let your kids do this step by themselves. Using the INGCO corded high temperature hot glue gun (available on INGCO Official Store), help your kids glue along the straight edge of the paper plate which you’ve created in step one. Make sure to be quick so the glue doesn’t dry up.
  5. While the glue is still sticky, connect the paper plate to the cardboard tube at an almost 90 degree angle. Make sure the paper plate is facing up towards you. Hold it in place for a while until the paper plate is secured.
  6. Repeat step four to five with the other half of the paper plate on the opposite side of the cardboard tube. This time, make sure the paper plate is facing down.
  7. Cut more paper plates into half and repeat step four to five, ensuring that all the paper plates are facing the same direction as the first two paper plates attached. Stop when you’ve attached about nine to 10 paper plates onto the cardboard tube.
  8. Then, take the lantern outside the house and lay it on top of some newspaper. Let your kids get creative when spray painting the lantern! We suggest using the Snowkids super washable neon spray paint (available on MMzip.kr) so your kids can easily wash their hands after they are done. Alternatively, use Plaid folkart glow in the dark phosphorescent acrylic paint (available on huanyo) to create an illuminating lantern for Mid-Autumn festival!
  9. Press down on a wooden cloth peg to keep it open, twirl a small section of a 35cm raffia string into the mouth of the cloth peg
  10. Drop the string and cloth peg through the cardboard tube and out from the other end. Position the cloth peg horizontally such that it’s no longer able to pass through the cardboard tube.
  11. To create the lantern handle, tie the loose ends of the string together and tape on a wooden stick. Even though there’s no candle or electric tealight used in this DIY lantern for kids, we assure you it’ll be one of the most creative lanterns of the night! 

Get ready for the moon viewing party this Mid-Autumn festival 2020

Now that you’ve learnt how to make lanterns with your kids, parade your fancy crafts while tucking into some yummy mooncakes! Treat the family to some of the best durian snowskin mooncakes in Singapore or traditional mooncakes which are sure to delight all ages! You can also check out some of these best mooncake box designs that’ll make great gifts for friends or colleagues. Meanwhile, parents looking for more craft ideas to keep their little monsters busy can try these cool science experiments for kids at home! 

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