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Hot Air Balloon Lantern

by | DIY, Paper

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When I was pregnant, I spent quite a lot of time roaming through the internets looking for nursery inspirations, not knowing there was a thing called Pinterest to suck you in like nobody’s business.  I wanted J’s nursery to be gender neutral but still colorful and fun, and I wanted to use what I had around the house to decorate it.  Sound familiar?

Well, the boy’s been enjoying his nursery for a while now, and I haven’t really updated it since I put it together. The cards I got at my baby shower are still tacked to the fabric covered corkboard I hung up….as well as the cards he got for his 1st birthday.  At this rate, his graduation cards may be going up on that corkboard!  So, I made a tiny and simple addition to his room this week – a paper basket 🙂


Hot Air Balloon Lantern | One Dog Woof | #paperlantern



There are maybe 10 paper lanterns hung up on the ceiling, in all different colors.  That was my concession to a mobile (actually, there’s a paper crane mobile too), and I liked how it added lots of visual interest to the room.  Hanging a little brown basket off of one of them all of a sudden changes a paper lantern from a ball to a hot air balloon!


Hot Air Balloon Lantern | One Dog Woof | #paperlantern


This project was FREE.  The basket is an origami open cube that I made out of a paper bag.  I couldn’t find cotton string in my house, so I used a bit of baker’s twine I bought for no other reason than it seemed to be the popular thing to do.  I figured it might come in handy some time, and it did!  I punched holes in the corner of the basket and strung the twine through, knotting them with an adjustable knot.  The other end is taped inside the paper lantern.  Why an adjustable knot?  Because I couldn’t figure out how else to make sure the basket was hung straight.


Hot Air Balloon Lantern | One Dog Woof | #paperlantern


Here are quick instructions for folding an origami open cube.  Basically, it’s the same procedure as folding an origami box, except instead of folding the corners into the center, and then folding into the center again, creating fourths, you fold the structure into THIRDS, giving more height to the sides.


1. Have a square piece of paper handy.

2. Fold edge to edge both ways, and fold corner to corner both ways.  This gives you the center, as well as necessary crease lines.

3. Fold all 4 corners into the center – more crease lines.

4. Unfold 2 opposite corners.

5. Fold into THIRDS – use a ruler to measure out a third.  The middle third is the bottom of the box.  The other 2 are to become the sides 1 and 2.

6. I have no idea how to explain this next folding step, so you’ll just have to look at the picture.  Use the creases you’ve made to help you (mountain?) fold the sides in, almost like you’re wrapping a present.  Do that on both sides.

7. You should now have a flap that will very obviously want to be folded over and into the box, creating a 3rd side.

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 to create the 4th side of the box.


Fold an origami box out of a paper bag


And since the basket looked a bit empty, I threw in one of J’s bath toys, a friendly shark.  That’s not strange, is it?  Having a pet shark in a hot air balloon?  He can squirt water too 🙂


Hot Air Balloon Lantern | One Dog Woof | #paperlantern


Enjoy the ride!


  1. Sherry

    How neat is this! I’m a new follower and would love if you could follow me back. Tx for sharing your project.

  2. Recipes We Love

    Cute! Found you on gingersnap crafts party!


  3. Katie

    These are so darling! Love the idea!

  4. Debbiedoo's

    What a cute idea! FYI, when I clicked your link from the newbie party I had to click another option from blogger to be redirected. Not sure what link you put in for the party but next time you may want to be sure it is to YOUR direct blog:)

  5. Lorie

    Love, love LOVE these!!! I will be featuring them on my site tomorrow!

  6. JohnQ123

    I enjoyed reading these interesting craft ideas about hot air balloon lantern. I love to read blogs related to hot air ballooning. Thanks and Cheers for this blog. 🙂
    Hot Air Balloon Rides

  7. JohnQ123

    I enjoyed reading these interesting craft ideas about hot air balloon lantern. I love to read blogs related to hot air ballooning. Thanks and Cheers for this blog. 🙂
    Hot Air Balloon Rides

  8. Rachael

    Hi. Just a quick note to let you know that I truly appreciated this post. I have been looking for this kind of information. Keep up the good work!

    Eco Bags

  9. Lindsey Wilkes

    such a cute idea! my son’s first birthday theme is hot air balloons so I am using this idea to decorate the trees at the park. The boxes took a little patience. Mine kept turning into rectangles— but, persistence paid off! I finally have 1 box done! Thanks for the great idea!


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