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Decorative Paper Lanterns

These decorations really layer on the style. Any pale-colored paper lantern can be covered with tissue circles (buy them precut -- no scissors required) for a charming fluttery finish. 

Photography: Raymond Hom

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2011


The lanterns may look intricate, but it takes only half an hour to make one. They appear festive and ethereal by day and, if you place low-wattage lightbulbs inside, softly radiant by night. The lanterns are monochromatic, but you can play with the design by creating an ombre pattern (gradations of the same color) or stripes. You can even use green disks at the tops of the lanterns so that they resemble berries with leafy stems.

Resources: Tissue-paper circles, 5 inches, in Pastel and Primary, $6 for 480; Wire-frame spherical paper lanterns, from $3.25 each;


  • Tissue-paper disks in assorted colors

  • Double-sided tape

  • 14-, 16-, or 18-inch-diameter paper lanterns


  1. Starting at the bottom of the lantern, use small squares of tape to begin attaching tissue-paper disks around the hole, overlapping them.

  2. Working toward the top, continue sticking and overlapping disks to cover the lantern.

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