These are so much fun for spring (which begins on Sunday)! Hang them in a sunny room or outdoors. It’s a special treat for kids to make something large and 3-dimensional that their parents will leave on display.


Colored tissue paper
Mod Podge (from any craft store – love this stuff) or white glue
Foam brush (or large regular brush)
Plain paper lanterns (at least 6-in diam.) from a party store or website like PaperLanternStore
Inspiration images or ideas from your imagination


Children of any age can make these with a little grown-up help. Children 8 and older can make them on their own.


20-30 minutes

Project Steps:

Tear or cut the colored tissue paper and collage onto the paper lanterns using Mod Podge or slightly watered-down white glue. Create images or abstract patterns. Our lantern-makers tried a few different compositions: a bubbly underwater scene, an abstract collage with a gnome, and a flamboyant peacock inspired by a zoology illustration.

If you are using illuminated lanterns, add cut paper silhouettes to the interior for a dancing shadow show.

Hang and enjoy!

Have on hand for next Friday’s project:

A pair of scissors, 2 Priority Mail Tyvek envelopes (easy to pick up in the supplies area of any post office) and colored duct tape, which are all easy to find at any hardware store.

Curious Jane, founded by contributor Samantha Razook Murphy, offers project-based after-school programs and summer camps, revolving around creativity in the arts and sciences.


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Comments (3)


  1. Posted by: bkmom

    how do you keep coming up with these ingenious ideas?! can’t wait to try this with my daughters. perfect spring pick-me-up for their rooms!!!!!

  2. Thanks so much for the feedback! Love to hear your thoughts. I ordered our lanterns from They come in every size and color – the simplest ones are often best.

  3. Posted by: Naomi

    Hello. What did you use to draw the peacock on, or is it a copy of a print?? I am trying to figure out how to make theme lanterns look like dice!! Love your site.

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