DIY Paper Pyramid Lanterns

I have such a heavy heart today, friends, because we lost one of the good ones in this world. My dear friend, Steve, who happens to be one of the funniest, wisest, and most generous people I know lost his long battle with cancer.

I wasn’t planning to post anything today, but the glow of these paper lanterns made me think about Steve’s shining light, and I thought I’d dedicate this post to him and his incredible wife, Jen.

Grab a few battery-operated tea lights, a favorite paper (in this case security envelopes!), scissors, and tape, and you're ready to make these simple DIY lanterns to illuminate a dark winter night.

These were inspired by the Paper Lanterns from Willowday, and if you change up the paper patterns (or maybe make your own), these could become party decorations, Halloween luminaries, or bedroom night lights.

If you you happen to make these lanterns (and why wouldn’t you — they’re rad!), I like to think that the glow might remind you that we’re each filled with enough light to brighten a friend’s darkest hour. Go on — spread some joy today. Life is truly short and we each have the capacity to touch the lives of others.

So let’s get started. Here’s what you’ll need…

How to Make Paper Lanterns

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Hole Puncher
  • Clear Tape
  • Ruler
  • Battery-operated votive candle
Because I drew my triangle free-hand, and you shouldn’t have to go through all that trial and error, here’s an equilateral triangle for your printing delight:
equilateral triangle
If you know me, you know that I like to get my kids involved in hands-on learning, and this is a good way to teach children how to carefully outline shapes, which in turn teaches patience and accuracy.

make a paper lantern

Step 1: Draw an equilateral triangle (or scale and print it) and cut it out.

Make paper lantern

Step 2: Trace it onto a sheet of paper FOUR times.

We drew ours onto a security envelope because we like to upcycle around here. And I’m super crazy about the patterns on these.

how to make paper lanterns

Step 3: Cut the whole shape out.

Step 4: Tape it together and punch holes into the sides if you’d like.

Step 5: Add a battery-powered tea light (not a real candle, please, safety first) and decorate like mad.

how to make paper lanterns

I love you, Steve and Jen. You’ll always be in my thoughts.

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  1. The pyramids are beautiful, and I feel touched that the loss of a friend led you to share yet one more creative thing with this world. I’m sorry for your loss, and grateful for the shining people in our lives. Thanks for the reminder to notice their light.

    • Thanks for the lovely note Alissa. It means a lot. love, rachelle

  2. So sorry for your loss, but what a tribute to your dear friend. Thank you for sharing this. I have pinned it and hope to include it in our Halloween party decor. 🙂

    • That’s so kind of you. I really appreciate it.

  3. Rachelle – so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute. Pinned it and know others will enjoy this post for many reasons.

    • Many thanks, Susan. ~rachelle

  4. Sorry for your loss Rachelle, the lanterns are beautiful. Who knew such beauty lay in an envelope!

    • Thank you Heather. Your sweet words are so nice to read. xo, rachelle

    • Thank you for taking time to leave me a note Mama Cass 🙂 xo

  5. really sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing the idea! (my niece really loved it, except i didn’t know how to draw equilateral triangles free hand ;))

    • Thank you, Hafsa. And I’m so happy to hear that you and your niece enjoyed this. Drawing equilateral triangles by hand is a totally thankless job, which makes the template especially useful. Cheers, Rachelle

  6. Hi , great job !!! Easy n nice ….

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