Cut & Punched Lantern

Cut & Punched Lantern

The Sunday Paper #86 +25 Days of Paper 2015, Day 20


This is a super simple project, and vellum paper is perfect for it because it comes in bright colors, holds its shape nicely and is translucent. This project first appeared in my book Paper Illuminated. Find the red or orange piece of vellum in your paper pack (it is 3-1/2″ x 8″ for those of you using your own papers).

what you need

For this project you will need:

  • Red or orange strip of vellum paper
  • Ruler, craft knife, and cutting mat (optional if you want to cut straight slits)
  • Scissors (plain or deckled edged)
  • Bone folder (optional, I didn’t use one)
  • Double-sided tape or glue stick (vellum doesn’t do so well when it gets wet)
  • Decorative punch (optional)
  • Battery-operated tea light or glass candle holder with tea light

first fold

Step 1: Fold in Half: Fold the sheet of vellum in half lengthwise.

2 folds

Step 2: Fold again: Fold the two edges up at about 1/2″ as shown.

cut slits

Step 3: Cut Slits: If you look very carefully, you’ll see the slits I’ve cut to the right of the scissors. Cut slits through the fold, approximately 1/2″ apart. Be sure to stop cutting at the crease in the paper. Note that the lantern will fold best if you cut all the way to that crease.


Step 4: Punch: If you want, make decorative punches through the folded slits.


Step 5: Apply Tape: Apply a strip of double-sided tape to one of the short edges and attach the taped edge to the other short edge to complete this miniature lantern.


I happen to have this 2-1/4″ tall rounded votive holder, which the lantern fits around snugly. I’m guessing you won’t have this, but you might have a cylindrical or other shaped votive holder, or feel free to use a battery-operated tea light or votive.

I’d love to see what you create! Share your ideas in the comments box below and show us what you made in the 25 Days of Paper FB group.


Elod Beregszaszi contributed a project for my book Playing With Pop-Ups. He and I share a love for origamic architecture (cutting, scoring and folding paper without removing anything). He’s designed a cool lighting structure and is currently running a kickstarter campaign to fund the launch.

Do you know about Lovepop cards? They recently received a Shark Tank deal, and their mission is to encourage everyone to connect with those in their lives more often, and to do it in unexpected ways.


This is a two-fer: someone posted a link to this thoughtful article – The Gift of Apprenticeship – by Alix Christie, which reminded me of her book Gutenberg’s Apprentice, another excellent read! An aside: I spent a year in Mainz, where Gutenberg invented movable type and had the opportunity to live in one of the oldest houses in the center of the city Am Kirschgarten. It was charming!




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About the 25 Days of Paper 2015: It’s a great time to celebrate paper, and I’m delighted to share my ideas for using this amazing material with you. Throughout December, I’ll be posting a paper tutorial on even days, and every odd day will bring news about paper artists, stores, distributors and more! Receive updates via e-mail by adding your address in the upper right hand corner of this page. Enjoy the season, and feel free to leave a comment below and check out what people are making in the 25 Days of Paper FB Group!

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