How To Make Paper Lanterns – Chinese New Year of the Rat

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Today I’m sharing free printable Chinese paper lanterns which are updated Chinese New Year printables for the Year of the Rat. Print, assemble and hang at home to celebrate!

Chinese New Year 2020 is the Year of the Rat and falls on January 25th. I have shared lots of Chinese New Year printables over the years, and I like to update them so that they reflect the correct Chinese Zodiac signs.

How to make Chinese New Year Paper Lanterns (with free printable)

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Chinese Paper Lanterns

The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first. – Chinese Zodiac

Your Chinese Zodiac is Rat if you are born in one of these years: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.

We love to celebrate Chinese New Year in our household, I remember as a child going to Chinatown in London with my family and seeing the Lion Dance which always had me in complete awe, and we’d always enjoy some Chinese food too.

My dad was really into Kung Fu in his younger days, so maybe that’s where it all stemmed from! You can read more about Chinese New Year on my blog here.

All of my printables this year will feature the Rat that I designed. Now he’s been added to previous years’ Pig, Dog, Rooster, and Monkey –  it’ll only be 7 years till the set is complete!

Back to the second of the updated Chinese New Year free printables for 2020 – paper lanterns – which I remember making as a schoolgirl!

They’re easy and fun to make, and if you make lots of them, they look great hung up on some string spanning across the room – a perfect decoration to celebrate the Year of the Rat.

As with [most of] my printables, they are available in two paper sizes – A4 and US Letter (8.5″ x 11″)

Download your chosen printable from the list further down the page (they’re surrounded by a purple box)

Read this next: 50+ Delicious Recipes for Chinese New Year

I will be updating all of my free printables for the Chinese New Year. Make sure you are a member of The Pumpkin Patch so that you don’t miss out!

The Purple Pumpkin BlogLet’s stay in touch! Join The Pumpkin Patch and get notified when I share more free printables!


How To Make Paper Lanterns

There are two size templates – large and small – downloads further down the page surrounded by a purple box.

The large template fills a whole page, and small has two templates per page. I think it looks nice to have a variety of different sizes and styles as you can see in the photo in the how-to card below.

Chinese New Year Paper Lanterns Free Printables

Chinese New Year Paper Lanterns

Yield: As Many As You Need!
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner

A fun and simple craft for Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year. Make these paper lanterns to decorate for the celebrations!


  • White Paper
  • Free Printable Template (link in blog post)
  • Red String/Yarn


  • Scissors
  • Roller Glue or
  • Double-Sided Tape


  1. Print [as many as you need] paper lanterns template onto good quality (120gsm/30lbs) thick paper or thin card and cut out.
  2. First cut the lantern handle from the printable, then the leftover red strip.
  3. Fold the paper in half, and using the guidelines, cut along them, to the gold band.
  4. Unfold, and turn over to the blank side. Apply roller glue or double-sided tape to the bottom ends.
  5. Fold around and stick into place. Gently push down to fan out the lantern.
  6. Apply tape or glue to each end of the handle and stick in place.
  7. Thread the handles of the lanterns onto a length of red string or yarn and hang across the ceiling.
  8. Chinese New Year Paper Lanterns Free Printables

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My How to Make Chinese Paper Lanterns video is also on my YouTube channel (save to your Playlists for future reference and don’t forget to subscribe while you are there!).

Download Chinese Paper Lanterns Templates

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Get More: Free Chinese New Year Printables

Free Printable Chinese New Year Paper Lanterns - Download and print this paper lantern template and make them and hang to decorate for Chinese New Year. A video tutorial included too! #PaperLanterns #ChinesePaperLanterns #FreePrintables #ThePurplePumpkinBlog #ChineseNewYear #LunarNewYear #ChineseNewYearCrafts #Crafts #LunarNewYearCrafts #ChineseNewYearPrintables #LunarNewYearPrintables

The free printable(s) is (are) a PDF and can be opened with Adobe Reader which is free to use. Printables designed and created by The Purple Pumpkin Blog and its Designers are for PERSONAL USE ONLY and NOT FOR RESALE under any circumstances. Please read full Terms and Conditions. You are welcome to print these free printables at a print shop if you don’t have a printer at home, however, some print shops may not print licensed characters. Colours may vary slightly on printing due to different screen and printer settings. You may share this free printable blog post on social media, including Pinterest; as well as share it on your blog/website with a link back to this blog post. Please DO NOT share the PDF on social media or on your blog/website. If you use any of my printables it would be awesome to know about it! Post a picture on the social media platform that you hang out on, and follow me: FacebookTwitterInstagram or Pinterest! Use the hashtag #TPPBprintables so I can find you! I hope you enjoy these free printables!

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