3-D Paper Lantern Picture

It’s a bit early yet for Chinese New Year, but that didn’t stop us from creating these fun 3-D paper lantern pictures. They were so easy and so much fun to make! Plus, it uses recyclables. I love projects like these, don’t you?

The highlight of this project…… Clara using glue for the first time! There’s no turning back now!
To make the lanterns, cut down the side and around the bottom of paper separators that come with foil baking cups. The box actually says “Discard paper separators”. Ha!! Discard, my butt. What? You didn’t think I would use these for baking, did you?
Save the bottom of the paper separator for the moon. Cut the long folded strip into shorter strips and use pinking shears on either side.
Invite your child over for some crafting fun!
Draw a line across a sheet of red paper. We didn’t even use a full sheet of paper… talk about frugal.
Glue those beautiful lanterns down so they look like they are hanging on the line.
Add the moon to the night sky.
With a marker, draw handles and tassels for your lanterns.
Extra bonus points for gluing nine lanterns on your line. (The number 9 is particularly lucky in China!)
Who knew baking cup separators could be so much fun??


  1. Dear Valerie,

    Think of the poor cupcakes! They no longer have a home. πŸ™


  2. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Mark — Muhahaha! I have no mercy!

  3. Very cool idea and way to go not wasting the separators. I always wonder why they included them… seems like such a waste. I remember when I was a child, my mother would bake the corn bread muffins and leave in the paper separators. Seemed easier to get the muffins come out.

  4. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog says

    @ Petula — When Mark bakes, he usually just leaves them in there too. I don't know why they say to discard them. I agree, it's such a waste!

  5. Our Little Family says

    Valerie, I have been reading your blog for months and just wanted to let you know how awesome you are (how's that for an intro, right?! Ha!). But really, you totally inspire me and I LOVE to put your ideas into action with my 2.5 year old daugther. I used about four million of your ideas last week in my Tot School link-up and of course, linked back to you. So many commenters wrote that they ALSO love your blog.

    Keep up with all the amazing work/play! πŸ™‚

  6. Amber, That's Me! says

    I love this idea! Thanks for all that you come up with!

  7. I love this project! They make beautiful pictures and so easy even a little one can do it! 5 stars for you!

  8. i'm a chinese and i love it! πŸ™‚

    thanks for the wonderful idea.

  9. I love this. I was going through our books today and pulled out the one we have about Chinese New Year to make sure that I am prepared. We'll have to make this.

  10. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    Heh, I always use the paper ones! I didn't realize you weren't supposed to… :>)

  11. Just Breathe says

    Too cute! Very creative.

  12. What an original idea. I have a bunch of the paper muffin cups that I haven't used since I got a silicone muffin pan. M would have a blast trying this. Thanks.

  13. Raising a Happy Child says

    This is a very cute project. I don't bake much, we really only use those paper cups for crafts, so I guess they can't be qualified as recyclables in our house πŸ™‚

  14. The girl who painted trees says

    Oh, I didn't even read the package. So I didn't know to discard them. I separate them and alternate my muffins, one in foil, one in paper, one in foil, one in paper, etc…so I'm not wasting anything! But I love this project so next time, I'll save a few paper ones:)

  15. Stop by my blog and check out my penguin. I have a sewing project I need help on. Do you know how to make your own snuggie? I have a link on the top of my blog, but the instructions aren't step by step. Can you translate? =) Please!

  16. Deborah (Teach Preschool) says

    You are so creative – I love those lanterns!

  17. β™₯ meninheira says

    que simple y quΓ© precioso queda πŸ™‚

    Un besito Valerie

  18. soooooo cute! and not the same old boring lanterns you always see, either! thanks for the idea!

  19. maryanne @ mama smiles says

    Great Chinese New Year craft!

  20. Nadia@FunWithMama says

    your daughter is adorable… she seems like such a happy child!

    loving your creativity πŸ™‚

  21. Dara Squires says

    Hubbie gave me a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates for my birthday (gold foil wrapped chocolates in mini brown and gold muffin cups). Gave one to my daughter and as she was about to throw the wrapper in the garbage I said "wait we can put it in the craft box."
    "What will we make Mommy," she asked.
    What indeed.
    Now I know. Paper lantern greeting cards coming up!

  22. Thank you for all your wonderful idea's!!

  23. Stephanie Griffith says

    Oh cute! I had kind of forgotten about Chinese New Year. That would be fun to celebrate.

  24. Val in the Rose Garden says

    Oh! I love it! This is a perfect idea for Chinese new year. πŸ™‚

    Love Val

  25. Stacy of KSW says

    Thanks once again for providing my kids with something memorable and meaningful to do tomorrow. This will be fun to make a day out of – I have some fortune cookies and chopsticks left over from Christmas (long story) and an 1 hour long Kai Lan special on the DVR.

    Oh yeah, BTW I wanted to tell you there are these adorable print kittens, puppies and horses for sale at Barnes & Noble. My daughter really wanted the kitten but I knew I could use your post about the yellow kitten and make one twice as nice πŸ™‚


  26. Dara Squires says

    Here's our version, Valerie, done with the wrappers from the chocolates.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. I love this one too! My kids will get a kick out of cutting up the muffin liners.

  28. biancifiore says

    what a funny idea!!!

  29. hello val,
    i've been ur silent follower(reader) for couple of monts. i LOVE all ur ideas, craft thingy etc.
    after bumped to ur blog, i started craft activities with my kids and they love it. since then, i also a recycle collector.haha!
    apparently, i started to keep all boxes, containers, bottles, wrappers etc to use them in art/craft project. thanx to u for sharing brilliant ideas!

  30. val, this is way cool. Of course you would come up with cards like this!