Straw Printing and Paper Lanterns

We love to learn about other countries and cultures.Since Chinese New Year always falls at the beginning of the year, I thought it would be the perfect time to learn a bit about China.

Our first craft was making paper lanterns. To make this project a little more special, I combined two different techniques: straw printing and making paper lanterns.

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Supplies Needed:


I stumbled across the idea of straw painting awhile ago and I thought it would be the perfect way to decorate our lanterns.
I cut a couple of straws in half, then cut strips at one of the ends (like the picture above). You’ll need to squish the cut end up a bit before giving it to the kids. This will make it easier for them to print with the straws.
Printing is easy, just dip the cut ends of the straw in paint and splat them on your paper.
We printed all over our paper. Then we had to let it dry before we could make the paper lanterns. I love how it looks a bit like fireworks!


To make the lanterns, you’ll want to fold the paper in half lengthwise. Make sure the painted side is facing out.


Draw lines about an inch apart all the way down the paper.
You’ll start cutting on the folded side, then stop about an inch away from the outer edge. Do not cut all the way through!


After the lines are cut, unfold the paper. Roll the paper into a circle from short end to short end.
Staple at the top and bottom where both sides meet. Use a strip of construction paper for the handle. Just staple each end to the side of the lantern.
We originally used string for our handle, but found that the string kept slipping our of the staple. The construction paper handle works much better.


We now have beautiful paper lanterns ready for Chinese New Year! And apparently I also have a budding photographer/blogger on my hands!

More fun activities about China:
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Terri is a writer and mom of two elementary-aged girls. She has a passion for learning and is always looking for ways to make learning fun. You can find her at Better Than Homework where she shares fun learning activities or Creative Family Fun where she shares art, craft, and family fun ideas.

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