DIY Lanterns {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decoration}

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It’s the middle of summer.  The kids still have 7 weeks before school starts back up.  My usual go-to activities such as sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and even the water table have lost their luster.  You know what that means?  We are STARVED for kids’ craft ideas and activities.  Thankfully we found oodles of kids’ craft supplies to invigorate our tired little art cart at our local Jo-Ann Fabrics so we’re rolling out more projects than ever.  However, you know me– I’m not a huge fan of clutter, so I like our crafts to do double duty.  These DIY foam lanterns did the trick; they were the perfect kids’ craft to decorate my daughter’s recent Rapunzel party and she had a blast making them!

Festive Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea and Party Decor} #summerofjoann

Maybe too much of a blast, they’re hanging all around the house.  😉

Many thanks to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for sending along a gift card to purchase the supplies for this fun Foamies Lantern project.


  • large rectangular Foamies foam sheets (2 per project)
  • metal brads
  • scissors
  • ruler, pencil
  • clothespins (optional)

Step #1:  Cut an inch off the length (the long side) of the INNER color (I used yellow).  Save the extra piece, that will be your handle.

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Step #2:  Roll the inner piece into a cylinder, and overlap the edge.  Secure with clothespins (if you don’t have clothespins, you can go ahead and secure with three brads down the side but don’t spread the prongs just yet.)

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Step #3:  Fold the outer color–I used purple– in half length wise (the long way).  I clipped it closed with clothespins to help keep it folded.  Leaving a 1″ margin at the top, cut slits every inch across the folded side.  REMEMBER TO STOP BEFORE YOU REACH THE EDGE, DON’T CUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH!  {that’s my most stern teacher’s voice}{which never was very stern}.  If you are doing this with a young child, you can use a ruler and pencil to measure and mark the lines, and then they can cut.

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Step #4:  Wrap the outer foam piece around the inner foam piece (the cylinder).  Secure along the top with brads spaced every few inches.

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Step #5:  Balloon out the outer piece, match the bottom edges of the two pieces, and secure around the bottom with brads.  Then, attach the two pieces down the side with three brads.

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Step #6:  Use your scrap piece of inner foamie to make a handle.  Secure to the inside with brads.

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

Now hang it up, and enjoy it all summer long!  Preferably with some yellow streamers to look like Rapunzel hair wrapped all around your house (as seen in the above pic).

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea & Party Decor} #summerofJoann

So pretty.  Pretty easy.  And it’ll keep the kids busy instead of ransacking my house for the pure enjoyment of seeing that vein pop out on my forehead!

Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea} #summerofJoann

{7 weeks ’til school starts. I’ve got this.}

Go ahead and pin it, you’ll thank yourself the next time you hear the dreaded words: “I’m BORED!”

Festive Foam Lantern {Kids Craft Idea and Party Decor} #summerofjoann

For more summer kids craft ideas, check out the Cape Discovery catalog.  And because I love you, here’s a link to JoAnn’s Preferred Customer program so you can receive a 20% off coupon when you sign up.  Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the catalog version and mine; it’s always fun to put your own spin on things:

DIY Lanterns {kids craft idea} #SummerofJoAnn

What other kids craft supplies and activities keep your kids busy?  Any favorite crafting products for kids to recommend?

Disclosure: I received a gift card from Jo-Ann to cover supplies for the DIY Lantern Kids’ Craft activity.  All opinions are my own.

Meet Carrie Higgins

Dreamer, thinker, + lemon squeezer; you'll usually find me clutching a mug of coffee, glue gun, fandeck of paint colors, and a child at any given time. This mom of two (and wife to one) loves to share freshly squeezed ideas for home and family. Join the adventure as we learn most lemons can indeed become lemonade-- with generous amounts of sweetness, perspective, and love.

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  1. What a great idea for a summertime birthday party!

  2. I am not exaggerating when I say that is one of the prettiest crafts I’ve ever seen! Awesome.

  3. So cute! We need to do these – what a great idea and I love your easy to follow step by step instructions. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. I love the color combination on the one you made!

  5. Wow, these look great. What a good idea to use Foam sheets. I could see a whole banner of these at an outdoor summer party :)

  6. Those are so sweet! We have lots of August birthdays (4!) and an anniversary – this would be a fun decor for all of them!

  7. Crystal says:

    Great project for kids!! I forgot how fun the laterns were to make! Love it!!

  8. These are super cute lanterns!!!


  1. […] added our kid-crafted foam lanterns to the mix as well (find the kids craft lantern tutorial […]

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