Cupcake Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns are a great way to create high visual impact when decorating for holidays, events and occasions. Try this easy and inexpensive way to change up the look and up the cute factor by simply gluing cupcake liners on the glowing globes (okay, not all of them light up, but I liked the sound of “glowing globes”). Step by step below. As noted in my “Birthday Banner” post (here), I wanted to do some advance preparation in order to be ready for a stress-free party for Ella (see how well that worked out for me in next week’s “Leisure” post), which was the motivation for this project. I added in some Halloween-themed ones as well, to have ready for the evening of trick-or-treating. It’s on a Friday this year, so may as well put in some effort. In years past we’ve been known to put a bowl of candy on the front stoop. Yeah, we’re “that” house.  Not this year!


Materials needed include cupcake liners, glue gun, and paper lanterns. I use a hot glue gun, but hear there is now an option for one that doesn’t use much heat. Perhaps that would work if you wanted to do this project with your kids, although I don’t recommend using a glue stick or Elmer’s glue (been there, done that, doesn’t work).
DSC_0014_edited-1Turn the liners inside out, and place a dollop of glue on the back side (without the print). Wow, that glue gun has seen better days.
DSC_0018_edited-1Place the liners around the lantern until the entire surface is covered. Make sure to reference the Reality Check below for a note about the number of liners you’ll need.


Reality Check. A couple of notes for this project. First, estimate how many liners it’ll take to cover the lantern, then triple it. It’s deceiving how many you’ll need. Trust me, my mom warned me of this very thing when I started, and she said that I wouldn’t have enough liners for the size of lantern I had chosen. I didn’t believe her. She was right. Look again at the first picture in this post. I had to figure out a way to display them for the photos so that you only see one half, since the other portion doesn’t have any cupcake liners! And when the polka dot version is actually an Easter egg pattern, there’s a little issue with running to the store in October to grab more. One small lantern (approx. 8 inches in diameter) takes about 44 cupcake liners. On next week’s post with pictures from Ella’s party, you will see completely different lanterns – the do-over version. Second note – avoid the liners that have foil. Some include this to stiffen the liner and intensify the color, but it also intensifies the heat of the glue. Ouch. Yup, I had an abnormal amount of missteps with this “easy” project.

2 Comments on Cupcake Paper Lanterns

  1. Michele @ Neat Little Nest
    October 12, 2014 at 6:53 am (9 years ago)

    Adorable!! I totally want to make, but it might be too cute for the “super scary” theme Julia wants me to pull off!

    • Kerry
      October 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm (9 years ago)

      In some of the ones I did for Ella’s birthday, I added some stickers to the center of the liner – maybe some scary stickers are out there??


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