Papier Mâché Mini-Lanterns

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Papier mâché hearts can be turned into lanterns.
Total Time 1 to 2 hours

Here's a clever way to let the light shine! I came across these hollow papier mâché hearts (you can find them with an online search) and thought they would work great as small lanterns. Pick up a pack of battery-operated tea lights at the dollar store, print out some pictures of your little ones and get ready to have a craftathon! These hearts are wonderful to give to grandmas, aunts, and friends too!

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What you'll need

  • Hollow papier mâché ornaments, 5.5"
  • Craft knife
  • Picture, printed on copy paper
  • Glue stick
  • Craft paint, brushes
  • Glue, glitter, embellishments
  • Battery-operated tea lights
Helpful Tip:

To buy online, do a search on "Paper Mache Heart Ornament - 5.5 inches" and you'll find several retailers who carry them.


You can do the same type of project with the bottom part of a heart box, simply glue the image over the open portion of the box. If you don't have photos to use, you can cut designs from gift tissue and use that instead.

How to make it

  1. Draw a circle on the surface.

    Draw a circle on the surface of the ornament, this is where you will cut with the craft knife. 

  2. Choose a photo.

    Choose a photo, then draw or cut a circle shape a little bit larger than the one you drew on the ornament.

  3. Cut the circle, and a circle flap on the back.

    Use the craft knife to cut the circle from the ornament. On the back of the ornament, cut another circle, but leave a bit of it connected to make a flap, or a little door. Be careful when using the craft knife!

  4. Paint the heart, inside and out.

    Paint the inside and the outside of all the ornaments. Let dry so the paint won't get on your beautiful picture!

  5. Add the glue and the picture.

    Add the glue stick to the rim of the ornament. If you use copy paper, I found it is easier to place outside the cut. If you are using gift tissue paper, you can affix it from the inside with minimal wrinkles.

  6. Add embellishments to your ornaments!

    Now that your pictures are glued and dried, it's time to add the decorations! Add painted accents, coat with glue and glitter, add trim, whatever you want. This would be a great time to have the kids help you!

  7. Insert the light.

    Insert the battery-operated tea light in the back of the ornament. Close the little flap. Do not use a real candle, ONLY use a battery-operated light. 

  8. Finished!

    And here you go! You can hang them outside for family gatherings or around your other pictures. 

  9. Hang them in sets for display.

    Don't they look so magical and glowy? 

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