DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns

DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns

We made it to Friday – Yay! And why not celebrate with some relaxing bookish DIY? This DIY Friday here at A Little Blue Book is all about bookish Chinese lanterns. Chinese people are currently celebrating their Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year), and the Lantern Festival (where you’ll see beautiful lanterns everywhere in China) is happening next weekend. This is, therefore, an ideal time to experience a bit of Chinese culture, and these Chinese paper lanterns with a bookish twist is a great way to do it!

DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 2

What you need:

  • Book pages
  • Glue stick/tape/stapler
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Pair of scissors
  • Battery-operated tea light candles
  • Coffee/tea (optional but highly recommended)

Once again, I’ve tried to keep the materials to a minimum because there’s nothing more annoying than to read through a DIY list and realise that you really need to have a small craft shop to make anything.

DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 1

How to do it:

These Chinese paper lanterns are super easy to make – you can even get your kids/ younger siblings/friends with absolutely no DIY skills involved in the process. They really are a no-brainer to make. Just follow the few simple steps below, and you will have some beautiful, hyggelige book lanterns in no time!

Step 1:
DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 3Right, the first thing you need to do is make all the edges nice and straight. I carefully tore the pages from the book I used instead of cutting them off – This gave me a bit more of the page to work with. I then just cut off a small part of the rough edge so that it matched the opposite side of the page.

Step 2:

DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 4  DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 5

Next, you fold the page in half. Then using the pencil and ruler, you trace lines down the folded page with about a 1cm gap between them. As you can see from the picture above, I started my lines at the end of the sentences on the page – this will give your paper lanterns a nice white border when you fold them.

Step 3:

DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 6  DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 7

Then you cut through the lines using the scissors. If there is any trace of the pencil lines when you’ve cut them, use an eraser to remove it.

Step 4:

DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 8

Now you open the folded paper and fold it again lengthwise as shown in the picture above. Secure the sides with glue, or staple the top and bottom together.

Step 5:

DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 10

That’s it! You’ve created your bookish paper lantern! All you need to do is add the battery-operated tealight candles (I don’t recommend using ordinary tea lights as they might burn the paper and start a massive fire – which we don’t want!) and you’ve now got a cosy reading light.

Extra stuff:

Curvier Lantern
If you want to make your lantern a bit curvier, just press the folded part on the bars tighter together.

You can also use a strip of paper to make a pretty and simple handle. Just cut out a small strip and glue/staple/tape it to the top of your lantern. I haven’t done that because I quite liked my lanterns without one, but give it a go if you want to create a lantern with a more traditional look.

Mini lantern
DIY Friday – Bookish Chinese Lanterns 9
If you want to make the mini lantern, just find a page in the book which has a break between paragraphs – like the picture above. Then just follow the same steps as the normal lantern.


If you decide to give these bookish paper lanterns a go, I would love to see your finished result! Please share your lantern(s) with me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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