We had lots of fun making these at the 2016 Nashville Mini Maker Faire (in less than ideal conditions, to say the least). We’ll post a full tutorial soon; in the meantime, here’s a link to the template we used. We got our copper tape from SparkFun; you can get LEDs from them as well.
If you’ve ever made a Chinese lantern before, it probably looked a lot like this one. This version is super simple to make. It doesn’t require any measuring, just folding. Plus, it has a nifty carrying handle.
1. Start by folding a piece of construction paper in half lengthwise (“hot dog style”).
2. Fold the top edge down about half way to the fold, then unfold it.
3. Turn the paper over and repeat step 2.
4. Now fold the paper in half the other way (“hamburger style”).
5. Fold in half again …
6. And one more time.
7. Undo your last 3 “hamburger” folds. Then cut along the fold lines. Stop at the top fold line, about an inch from the edge.
8. Unfold your paper all the way, and then roll it up so that the ends (the shorter ones) overlap. Staple at the top and bottom.
9. Roll up a sheet of copy paper and place it inside the lantern. It should expand a bit, and then you can staple it to the construction paper.
To make the carrying handle, cut off the end of a flexible straw just above the bendy part. Slide the straw over a chopstick.
Punch two holes near the top and slide the chopstick through them. Your lantern is complete!