Original Star Lantern Tutorial

Many others have tried to copy our tutorial but our's is the original. It took us years to discover how to make these beautiful lanterns. And here they are just for you in simple and easy to understand Moonbeam and Applesauce tutorial style!

  • Watercolor paints in colors of your choice
  • Paintbrush
  • Watercolor paper- we used 90lbs, size 9 1/2" X 12 1/2"
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Vegetable oil
  • Paper towel
  • Plate


Start by tracing a circle onto water color paper. We used a plate. 

Using watercolor paint, paint inside the dry paper circle any color of your choosing. We divided our circle into seven equal "pie slices" using rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and purple.  Let dry. Ours took about 10 minutes. 

Paint a thick layer of vegetable oil onto your circle. You want the paper to soak this up so that it becomes transparent. Allow to set for 5 minutes. I wiped the excess off with a paper towel.

Cut out circle. 

Fold the circle in half until you have 8 equal sections.

Using a straight edge, draw a straight line from the one end of section to the other. This will create an octagon. 

Trim off the marked edges.

Fold the octagon in half, rotate and repeat until all eight sections are folded in half, you now should have 16 sections. 

OK, now this is important. You want mitered corners as precise as possible. But there is an easy way to do this. The two bottom arrows show the crease you will use as your guide. Fold the top edge down to this crease marked in the above picture. 

Open and turn 1/4 so that your square is now a diamond.

then fold again just as above until you have made a second square. Don't forget precision and to use the crease as a guide.

Once you have folded the edges to make a square, flip your square over like this.

And fold back the corners. There is already a crease where the triangles should be folded back.

Flip over again keeping the triangle corners turned down. 

Now you are going to pinch the two outer edges together like so.

Squeeze them together so that they look like this.

This is how the reverse side should look with the seams pointing up. This makes the difference between sharp corners to your lanterns or wonky ones. Once you pinch your sides together on the flip side make sure your section which will look like a kite is poking up with the center raised like this. In this picture you are seeing the side of the kite.

On the top is a crease that forms a triangle. You are going to want to bend it down, but as you do the middle seam will collapse in and lock your top triangle down. Note that the two outer seams remain up. 

you should now have two corners to your star like this. 

Keep repeating the above steps until all corners of your star are formed. It will start to look like an accordion.

your lantern should now look like this once all your triangles are turned down.

press the bottom gently down on a flat surface and using your hands, mold the creases on the inside flat until the lantern looks like this. 

or this from the side. 


Popular Posts