Light Bright

By Kathy Fry

Now that the Christmas lights are down, winter can be cold and dark. This lantern craft is a fun way to bring light to the season. Let your creativity shine, and then come march at the Portland Winter Light Festival’s lantern parade on February 4 — it’s a glowing procession of color, music and fun!



  • One piece of 24-inch by 36-inch translucent vellum, clear, colored or printed with designs
  • Double-stick tape
  • Scissors
  • String or yarn
  • Hole punch
  • Small LED lights
  • Wooden dowel, optional

* Find vellum at art and craft stores. LED lights can be found at the Dollar Store.


1. Cut the vellum in half to make two 18-inch by 24-inch pieces.

2. Along the long side of one sheet of the vellum, fold over 1 inch and tape down with double-stick tape. Repeat on the other long side. Set this aside.


3. Take the second piece of vellum, fold it in half, and make cuts along the fold. Do not cut all the way to the edge of the paper. Leave about 1 inch of space. But do be creative and experiment. Make lots of little cuts, or a few big ones. Try using different shaped hole punches to make patterns.

4. Tape the top long edge of the first piece of vellum to the top long edge of the second piece of vellum. Then tape the bottom edges together. To create a twisted lantern, offset the two pieces of paper when you tape them together.

5. With the cut paper facing out, tape the two ends together into a round lantern. This may take two sets of hands — one to roll the paper and another to tape it together.

6. Punch two holes on either side of the top edge.

7. Use string to hang LED lights in the center of the lantern.

8. Use string to make a handle. You can also use the string to attach the lantern to a wooden dowel for a longer handle.

Post pictures! #PDXLanternParade #PDXLanternParadeDIY #PDXParent

Kathy Fry is a Portland-area mother of two, principal at Mayer/Reed design studio and co-organizer of the Portland Winter Light Festival (PWLF) Lantern Parade. The Light Festival is a free community event on February 1 to 4. The outdoor celebration illuminates Portland’s waterfront through light-based art installations, engaging performance, and fun activities for all ages. Bring your lantern and join the art lantern parade on Saturday, February 4. More information at:

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