How to Doodle Tissue Paper Lanterns
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How to Doodle Tissue Paper Lanterns

Tissue Paper Lanterns with Doodles

I came across some super cool DIY tissue paper lanterns on Alisa Burke’s site last Friday and I haven’t been able to stop making them since. I was so excited that I shared the project on Facebook immediately, the kids and I made a round of lanterns that day, which I shared on Instagram, and then I’ve been making them myself and with friends since.

We have a lot of tissue paper lanterns in our house now. It’s awesome.

Tissue Paper Lanterns with Candles Lit INside

Especially at night, when they are all lit.

DIY Tissue Paper Lanterns with Kids

So, the first round we did, the kids and I drew and doodled on white tissue paper with Sharpie markers and with my beloved Pilot rolling ball pens. And then we wrapped the tissue paper art around our drinking glasses and used a piece of tape to secure it.

Candlelight through homemade tissue paper lanterns

These were our drinking glasses after all and I wasn’t sure I wanted to give them up altogether.

Materials for Making Tissue Paper Lanterns

But we were almost out of drinking glasses and I wanted to do more and try different shapes, so went to the thrift store and picked up a box full of glass jars, votive holders, and glasses to use for this project.

Zentangle and a Sugar Skull for a Tissue Paper Lantern

I spent an evening listening to music and doing some zentangle and doodling a sugar skull.

Mod Podge Tissue Paper to Glass Lantern

This one I Mod Podged to a hurricane lantern I picked up at Michael’s when I was buying the white tissue paper and votive candles.

Doodling and Zentangle for Tissue Paper Lanterns

The next evening I had friends over to make more.

DIY Tissue Paper Lanterns we Made at Mama's Craft Night

And don’t think I’m finished! Because I’m not.

I want to make some as gifts. And I want to make some Halloween ones with the kids—maybe ghosts and spiders and haunted houses.

Ready to make some yourself? Here are the basic instructions…

How to Doodle Tissue Paper Lanterns

How to Doodle Tissue Paper Lanterns

Warning. This project is addictive. And you’re gonna want to make more than you think.

This post contains affiliate links.



1. Cut a piece of tissue paper to fit around your glass jar.

Drawing on the tissue paper for lanterns

2. Draw and doodle on your tissue paper with permanent markers. You can go black and white or color. They both look awesome on these lanterns.

Tip :: Protect your work surface with a tray, placemat, or piece of paper. The marker will bleed through the tissue paper.

DIY Tissue Paper Lanterns - Adding Mod Podge

3. Brush a layer of Mod Podge on the outside of your glass jar then carefully wrap the tissue paper around the jar. Add another layer of Mod Podge over top if desired. I did in some cases, didn’t in others.

Note :: If your jar is curved at all, you will have to pleat or overlap areas of your tissue paper as you Mod Podge it on to make it fit the shape. 

Tissue paper lanterns with drawings and doodles

4. Let dry.

Candle light through handmade tissue paper lanterns

5. Add a tea light or votive candle, light, and enjoy your beautiful new tissue paper lantern!

By the way, if you haven’t clicked through to see Alisa Burke’s tissue paper lanterns yet, you should. They are beautiful and inspiring.

More DIY Candle Lantern Ideas

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Pin It for Later ::

Tissue Paper Lanterns with Doodles
Tissue Paper Lanterns with Doodles


  • Reply
    Crystal ~Fine Art Mom
    September 9, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Wow – these are gorgeous – especially your sugar skull. I love how easy it would be to create them seasonally or for special personalized gifts. So fun!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      September 9, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Thanks, Crystal!! So glad you like them! And I agree — these would be so easily adapted to any season or gift recipient.

    • Reply
      Jennifer Henderson
      November 28, 2018 at 8:58 pm

      How do i get it smooth and not cringed.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Beautiful! One question–did you have problems with tissue paper tearing? I’m picturing the sharpies going right through, but the papers colored in completely in the background look like they held up amazingly!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      September 9, 2015 at 11:17 am

      We didn’t have any problem with that, Aileen. I think the tissue tore maybe once in all the lanterns we made. You just need to be a bit on the careful side but it’s not a big deal.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Beautiful lanterns – looking forward to having a go.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      September 10, 2015 at 1:38 am

      Thanks, Anna! I hope you enjoy making yours!

  • Reply
    September 9, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    These are fantastic! They have inspired me to do a project using Chagall’s art as an inspiration piece.

  • Reply
    Kate Brenner
    September 10, 2015 at 11:14 am

    These are gorgeous, I want to make them right away with my kids (and probably also without them). The tissue paper I have it kind of shiny on one side, I’m guessing that’s the side I should draw on?

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      September 10, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      I think that would be fine, Kate, although it probably wouldn’t matter too much which side you draw on. Enjoy the project!

  • Reply
    Jeanette Nyberg
    September 12, 2015 at 10:49 am

    You’ve gone tissue paper votive crazy!! I LOVE these, and I think it’s so cool to find something that strikes a creative nerve this strongly.

  • Reply
    October 3, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I love these! My son and I made some today and the only problem I’m having is getting the tissue paper on the surface of the glass smoothly. (Our votives & glasses aren’t curved or tappered) Yours look so lovely; any tips on the best way to adhere the tissue paper on the mod podged surface? Thanks!

  • Reply
    January 5, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    i love this ,it looks great fun and a pretty cheap thing i can do with my daughter and she loves any kind of craft ,shall be trying this out in the next few days

  • Reply
    November 3, 2017 at 9:04 am

    For the first picture with the line of people holding hands, is it white tissue paper colored in with black or black tissue with white drawings?

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      November 4, 2017 at 8:24 am

      Hi Situ. It’s all white tissue paper with black drawings.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Henderson
    November 28, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    How do i get it smooth and not cringed?

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      November 29, 2018 at 9:55 am

      We just smooth it out the best we can. If you really want it to be really smooth, you can work with a jar or vase that has completely vertical sides.

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