How To Make A Lantern - With Felt!

See how to make a lantern using this easy tutorial. You won't believe how easy these diy lanterns are to sew - even if you've never sewn before!
How to make a lantern
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    Now, back to my today's project: Today I'm sharing a little project for using up felt scraps that will make some pretty decorative diy lanterns for hanging up around the home - also perfect as diy birthday party decor! And you don't need a sewing machine at all, a needle and thread will do just fine.

    These fiy lanterns can be made by kids, and this tutorial is made for kids to learn sewing.
    How to make a lantern

    How To Make A Lantern

    Lanterns are one of the few things I thought of this year when planning our kids' parties. They both have birthdays in the summer, making it an ideal occasion to add color and easy party decor to our backyard. What I was looking for was something to have in addition to balloons (we'll never get rid of balloons!) that we could use year after year, and something that can be pulled from the storage box and have an instant diy party decor. (Admitting that paper lanterns don't survive that long in our home...)

    Also, these felt decorations are brilliant kid-made home decor they can keep in their rooms long after their birthday party is over.

    First, for those of you who like video tutorials, I've made a quick slideshow, just to make it easier for you. Check it out:


    What I love about them, apart from the colors?
    1) easy to make - kid friendly!
    2) any size, any occasion
    3) no need for a sewing machine
    4) reusable year after year
    5) so cute!

    So if you have a grandchild or know a kid who'd like to sew, give it a try! Sew these simple lanterns together and have tons of fun :)
    How to make a lantern


    You'll need:
    diy lanterns

    Felt required:
    • 5" x 1/2" strip of felt - for the handle
    • 6" x 4" (1 piece) - for the lantern body
    • 6" x 1/2" (2 pieces) in contrasting colors, as embelishment

    • matching thread, 
    • sewing needle or sewing machine
    • embroidery floss
    • scissors
    • measuring tape
    • option: pompom trim (6 inch per lantern)

      Diy Lantern - Tutorial

      This is how to make your felt lanterns. I added images to every step, so if your kids want to follow the instructions here, they do not necessarily need to read them.

      diy felt lanterns
      1) Fold the main piece in half lengthwise.

      how to make a lantern
      2) Cut on the folded side. Make sure not to cut all the way through.

      How to make a lantern
      3) Place the two 6" stripes on the top and bottom of the piece. Feel free to add a pompom trim, or tassels if you like. My daughter is all about little fluffy pompoms, so we added them to each of the lanterns.

      easy diy party decor
      4) Stitch the stripes in place. They will make your lanterns more stable in the wind. And add additional colors (which always translates to 'prettier' in my sewing world!)

      diy lanterns
      Make sure the stitches catch any middle layers (such as these pompoms). you might want to use wonder tape to temporarily stick the stripes to prevent sliding, or use wonder clips (I did).

      This is the part that is the most adjustable: the stitching should be tailored to the age and skills of the child you are sewing with. No need to limit yourself or the kid, use any embroidery stitch you might like. Here I am showing a few different embroidery stitches (simple!) to give you a few ideas for your own diy lanterns:

      how to sew basic stitches
      Back stitch

      How to make a lantern
      Chain stitch

      diy lantern
      Running stitch

      diy lantern
      5) After the two stripes are done, now's the time to either fingerpress the fold lengthwise, or use iron with a cloth and a low heat to set the crease on the lantern.

      diy lantern
      6) Fold the sheet into a cylinder and make a few stitches to join the two ends. We only stitched at the bottom and at the top of the lantern, it's enough.

      diy lantern
      7) Attach the handle.

      How to make a lantern
      8) Hang and enjoy!

      You can take a string and hang them up in a kid's room. A wonderful decoration! These diy lanterns will look really cute when you hang them in the backyard for a birthday party.

      How to make a lantern

      The sewing skills required are the very basic ones. An excellent project to start with kids who have not sewn yet, and you can use it to introduce the basic embroidery stitches.

      Feel free to embellish the lantern with more stitching. Or sew on additional scrap pieces of felt, or even these felt flowers if you like:

      diy home decor                  diy flower decoration
                 ROLLED Felt Flowers Tutorial                              FOLDED Felt Flowers Tutorial

      Save for later:

      How to make a lantern How to make a lantern

      And, if you want more diy party decoration tutorials and inspiration, here are 30 more ideas for DIY party garlands. If you lack the time to DIY just everything, these (ready-made) cute party decorations might save the day.


      Want More Tutorials and Crafty Stuff?

      Get email updates and never miss out on new patterns, printables and tutorials. If you sign up at THIS link, you'll also get the Fabric Hanging Basket Template for FREE, right now. A cute and easy-sew!

      free pattern for a fabric hanging basket

      Or ...go straight to one of my currently most popular PDF patterns - the ZIP Pocket Coin purse:

      sewing pattern for coin purse with zipper
      Get Pattern HERE.


      1. I like this project very much and the adaptability to many occasions through the change of color scheme. Thank you for sharing your creativity!

        1. Laura,

          agree! I can't wait to make a few for Christmas :)

      2. Oh my gosh, Damjana, I LOVE these! They are so pretty and festive, and so simple to make! And might I add... stringing them up with pom pom trim?! Gaahhhh!! I'm dying over here with coolness overload!! :) Lisa

      3. This is so cute. Can't imagine you made this with felt. Thanks for taking time posting this DIY project.

      4. Damjana, these would be perfect for Christmas, and a great project to do with, or by kids. Pinning this so I remember at Christmas.