Free Printable Chinese Lantern Template

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Looking to add a festive touch to your Lunar New Year celebrations? Our Printable Chinese Lantern Template is just what you need!

This easy-to-use template lets you create beautiful paper lanterns, perfect for adding a splash of color and culture to any space.

Whether you’re decorating for a party, teaching about cultural activities in school, or just looking for a fun activity, these lanterns are a great way to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

Don’t have time for this printable now? Tap the share icon in the bottom right of the screen, then tap the heart icon ♥ to save it for later!

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Red Paper Lanterns hanging on red string

Printable Chinese Lantern Template

Creating your own Chinese paper lanterns is not just a fun activity; it’s an opportunity to explore Asian culture, specifically the rich traditions of the Chinese New Year.

This project is perfect for enhancing fine motor skills in young kids as they practice cutting along vertical lines and assembling the lanterns. It’s also a great project for elementary school classes, tying into lessons on social studies, visual arts, or Asian studies.

We remember making this style of paper lantern using construction paper in school. 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 Dragon.

Where Do I Download the Free Printables?

  • You will find the download links at the bottom of this page, surrounded by a purple box.
  • Tap the purple download buttons to save the file(s) to your device.
  • Printables are available in two sizes – A4 and US Letter (8.5″ x 11″).
  • Download the size suitable for your printer.

10 February 2024 is the start of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon!

Your Chinese zodiac is Dragon if you were born in one of these years: 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 200, 2012, and 2024.

We have been sharing Chinese New Year Printables since the Year of the Monkey in 2016, and these printables are updated annually to reflect that year’s zodiac animal.

It also happens that the Year of the Dragon was one of the first big things we celebrated on The Purple Pumpkin Blog back in 2012 with a Chinese Banquet!

If you are planning your own dinner party, be sure to take a look at these 50+ Delicious Recipes for Chinese New Year.

Different Types of Printable Templates

We always love to give you options on The Purple Pumpkin Blog, so as well as two sizes for the Chinese lanterns, there are also four different designs to choose from!

There is this year’s zodiac animal (dragon) with a single image on the lantern, as well as smaller gold dragons covering the page, a plain red background, and the Chinese character for good luck—Fu (福).

Pick your favorite or mix them up. You could even use Chinese zodiac animals from years past.

Free Printable Chinese Paper Lanterns

Creative Uses for Your Lanterns

Our free paper lantern template is designed to be user-friendly and suitable for crafters of all ages. After downloading the PDF file, you’ll find it easy to follow the thin black lines to cut and assemble the lanterns.

  • Lunar New Year Celebration: Hang these DIY paper lanterns around your home or classroom to bring in the festive spirit of the Lunar New Year.
  • Cultural Learning Tool: Use them in social studies or Asian studies classes as a practical, hands-on activity to learn about traditional Chinese customs.
  • Party Decor: Perfect for decorating parties or as a fun activity at the end of Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival.
  • Art Projects: A great project for visual arts classes, encouraging creativity and cultural appreciation. 
  • Light Them Up: Whilst our paper lanterns aren’t designed to hold a light, you can place them over an LED candle or battery-operated tealight to create a pretty centerpiece for a dinner party with Chinese food.

Chinese Paper Lantern Craft

To make the Chinese New Year lantern craft, all you need is the free printable (it’s under the tutorial card), scissors, and glue. All the parts needed are included on the printable sheet.

Free Printable Chinese Paper Lanterns

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 paper lantern craft for the Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year. Make these paper lanterns to decorate for the celebrations!


  • White Paper
  • Free Printable Paper Lantern Template (link in blog post below)
  • 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. Free Printable Chinese Paper Lanterns

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Download Paper Lanterns

Grab the free printable Chinese New Year lantern template in the purple box below to make the Chinese lantern craft using the instructions in the tutorial card above.

Download The Free Printable Template Here:

Visit The Purple Pumpkin Printables Shop for more awesome printables and products! (Opens in new tab.)

Crafting your own mini lanterns with our printable Chinese lantern template is not only a fun way to celebrate the Lunar New Year but also a creative learning activity.

Whether you’re looking for a simple activity to do at home, an educational project for school, or a cute decoration for a party, these lanterns are a great project that everyone will enjoy. Happy crafting and Happy Lunar New Year!

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

The free printables are in PDF format and can be opened with the free-to-use Adobe Acrobat Reader (or other PDF Readers). If the download is a Zip File, it can be downloaded with WinZip, WinRar, or other software typically bundled on computers. 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 our full Terms and Conditions. You are welcome to print these free printables at an online print shop or print shop in-store if you don’t have access to a printer; however, some print shops may not print licensed characters. Colors 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, and on your blog/website with a link to this blog post. Please DO NOT share the PDF on social media or your blog/website. If you use any of our printables, it would be awesome to know about it! Post a picture on the social media platform you hang out on, and follow us on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest. Use the hashtag #TPPBprintables so we can find you!

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