Make it Over

DIY Festive Fan Lanterns

You know the Lunar New Year is round the corner when a sea of red greets you at almost every corner you turn. As preparations for the festivities get into full swing, from shopping malls to neighbourhood shops and street bazaars, you cannot escape its vibrant hue splashed everywhere!

Red symbolises vitality, prosperity, and of course, good luck – the main reason why ang pows are ‘ang’ (red in Hokkien). Among the many auspicious festive items, lanterns are a mainstay. They symbolise hope and joy, very apt for celebrating the dawn of a new year.

For this coming Lunar New Year, why not try your hand at making your own lanterns? My family has a collection of red packets accumulated over the years. It is such a waste to just keep them in the drawers, so we turned them into beautiful lucky lanterns.

img49Add a twist to your traditional festive decorations with these DIY fan lanterns

There is a wide variety of lanterns you can create. The fan lantern is a simple one that you can easily craft:


Materials needed:

– 8 red packets
– Stapler/ double-sided tape
– Red string
– Lunar New Year decorative trinkets (optional)

Step 1

Gather the 8 red packets and start folding each of them like this (fold inwards along the dotted line):



Step 2

Staple them together to form the shape of your fan lantern!

img53Staple the bottom part of one red packet to the bottom part of another

Do the same and staple the top ends together as well. It helps to place a strip of double-sided tape between each red packet to secure them better.

Once done, this is what you will get:

img54Front and back views

Step 3

Take a long strand of red string and divide it into half. Weave the open ends between the top of the 4th and 5th red packets and through the bottom part of the fan. Once the string comes out from the bottom, you need to staple the ends together to keep the string in place.


Step 4 (Optional)

Attach some trinkets to the bottom of the lantern to give it an added festive look!

img56Fans also symbolise reunion – perfect for the festive occasion!

You can experiment with red packets of a different design, or even pink packets, to create a whole new set of lanterns to decorate your home this Lunar New Year.


img58One of my grandma’s complex creations

So why not arrange a ‘reunion DIY session’ before your reunion dinner and gather the entire family for some fun to decorate your home? 🙂

If you have tried or created different DIY lanterns using red packets, share with us on our Facebook page, or let us know at! Here’s wishing all our readers, a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!

By HS Wong
January 26, 2016

You may also be interested in:

Dash of Red on Eight

All Things Colourful, Festive, and New


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