How to Make Rice Paper Lanterns Chandelier – Tutorial for making frugal lighting accent for your home

Rice paper lamps are one of the most beautiful and affordable lighting accents one can have to bring in light-air simplicity in your homes. They are beautiful to look at, low in maintenance  and most frugal lighting options available for budget home decoration.

This hot season calls for soft lights and cool ambient lighting that goes easy on the eye. Rice Paper and Bamboo lanterns are the best bet for bringing in this touch of zen, simplicity, white, purity, and balmy effect. The lightness and simplicity of white paper adds to the aura you want to create in your room. And perfect for this hot summer.

Paper lanterns are beautiful when hung individually. But if you want a ceiling centerpiece, it is great to bunch up some lanterns together and light up the lights. Here is how you make your frugal rice paper and bamboo lamp shades chandelier for ambient lighting:

Things you need to make your paper lantern lighting accent:

  • White Chinese/Japanese Paper Lanterns. Something like this
  • Metal or bamboo frame or ring (to bring in distance between the lamps and  to balance them)
  • Electric Cord for Paper Lanterns(as per the length of the lamp required)
  • Bulb holders and bulbs (CFLs to go gentle on the environment as you are lighting more than one bulb for this arrangement)
  • Tools such as scissors, cutting player, screw driver, etc (in most cases, teeth and finger nails suffice)

Here is the basic template of how I did it. There are many other interesting ways in which it can be done. Be bold and creative in trying out.

Tutorial Design Template for Making your Rice Paper Lamp Accent

Step 1: Using the above template, hang the paper lamps with ordinary string on the frame. This is to get an estimate of how much wire you will need, what would be the length of the entire lamp arrangement, how to balance the lamps against its lengths,  etc. It is always better to have a rough idea of it would eventually look like when hung on the ceiling.

Knots, Wiring, Bulb holders for Paper Lantern Chandelier DIY

Step 2: Wire the bulb holders and secure them in the lamps. Cut the required wire length for each lamp.

Step 3: Hang all the lamps on the frame at a workable height. Try to balance the weight, heights and lengths of the lamps if you want to make uneven hanging arrangement. You need to strike the balance before you secure the wires with knots or adhesives. If you are wanting to make an uneven arrangement with different paper lamp sizes, then you need to spend some time getting it right.

Three is not a crowd – DIY Lamp Shades

Step 4: Secure the wire lengths and locations with knots or adhesives.

Step 5: Check for all the internal wiring with bulb holders. Secure the open wires with insulation tape.


> Having attached to the ceiling, check for the balance of the design as these lamps may droop to one side due to weight of the biggest lamp or long wire length. Only after you are sure of the design and balance, attach the electrical wires to the power outlet.

>The circle frame determines the shape of your lantern. The frame could be circular, triangular, or any other shape to accommodate any number of lanterns of varying size and diameter that you want to accommodate. Apart from round paper lamps, there are many other shapes available such as squares, pyramids, cylinders, etc.

> These tri-lamp chandeliers look good on ceiling and even better in dark neglected corner of your house. This frugal lamp gives an instant face lift to room corners where you can hang  3 or 4 lamps in elongated fashion to fill in the empty area. Accentuate this arrangement with houseplants such as palms, spider plants, etc.

And then switch on for a beautiful experience that breathes in soft light, as the cool evening breeze that wafts by.

Zen, Pure, White, Soft, Diffused Balmy Light for Night

This trio hangs in one of my rooms and  and every time I switch them on, they do a lot more than just lighting up the room. Every time I switch it on, the room becomes inviting :-)

Design Tip: Here is a beautiful book called Paper Illuminated: 15 Projects for Making Handcrafted Luminaria, Lanterns, Screens, Lamp Shades and Window Treatments that serves as a great DIY guide for creating personalized lighting accents.

Do try this lantern DIY if you love paper lamps for it is an experience by itself… and let me know how it went.

Hello Wanderer,
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Your Comments I Love!

  1. Mystic Peace Poet says..

    Beautiful, and magical….always most talented.

    Here, since there is much Mexican influence here…..these are lights they put up during special times…

    Luminaria’s which look simply stunning…check them out….

    I know you will love their magical glow…

  2. says..

    This looks good.. It would be lovely to do one of these lantern clusters.
    Btw, thanks again for the links on handbags. After reading through them I did one of my own :) Would put up a post on it pretty soon.

  3. christine says..

    i love this idea and would love to try it myself but i can’t find a metal circle like this to save my life. any ideas where i can purchase one?

    • ishrath says..

      Christine: You can also use a wooden ring instead of a metal one. You can get stuff like this in a hardware or art/craft store. Anything circular will do. It need not be a perfect circle as triangular or any other shape would do. Just use your wild imagination and make the lantern balls balance.
      Let me know if you got it right :-)
      I will be happy to see the result.

  4. Kathy says..

    i love the way you did these hanging lanterns! I was looking for ideas, and this is what I’m going to do!