Paper Lanterns

April 2, 2020

Light up your world with a paper lantern of your own making.

Meg Benedetti takes you through the process of making a paper lantern that you can add to your home's decor.

Materials | Supplies

  • Straws, craft sticks, chopsticks, plastic cutlery, dowels, pens
  • Glue stick, sticky tack, blue tape, masking tape, hot glue, gum
  • Translucent material like tissue paper, colored paper, styrofoam packaging (if you can see through it, try it)
  • Battery powered light source 
  • Scissors

Concepts Explored

  • Light and Shadow
  • 3D shapes
  • 2D shapes
  • Translucency 
  • Transparency
  • Opacity

Discovery Starters

If you change the light source, what happens?

Where did your lantern glow the brightest?

What happens if your use a colored light?

Why do some materials let more light through than others?

Explore Further

Find objects that are translucent or opaque, which ones let the most light through?

If you liked this activity, try exploring ice balloons in the dark! 

Additional Resources

Experiments with Light and Mirrors by Robert Gardner

Dazzling Science Projects with Light and Color by Robert Gardner

Amazeum YOU : Ice Balloons

Amazeum YOU: Light and Shadow

Amazeum YOU Activity Guide