It’s that time of year again!  Here in Malaysia we are greeted with cheerful cherry blossom branches, red Chinese lanterns, and other festive decorations wherever we go.  One of the great things about living in Malaysia is getting to experience the holidays of many cultures!

This post was originally written in Jan. 2013 and published on my first quilling blog.  I am reposting it here in time for Chinese New Year 2014!  Here is the original post:

For several weeks now I have been wanting to come up with a Chinese New Year greeting card design, as requested by one of my customers.  Time is getting closer to Chinese New Year and I keep finding myself short of time!  Between homeschooling my 5 year old, taking care of my 4 month old, the house, and keeping up with orders, I find myself short on creative time.  But creative time is what I crave, so I find what moments I have.  Tonight I sat down and squeezed out some creative time in between completing some quilling orders from my etsy shop.  It isn’t the decorative greeting card that  I had planned, but it’s still cute and hopefully someone will find this little pattern useful 🙂

gift tag1

If you wish to make a gift tag yourself, here is the pattern that I used.  Feel free to change it up to suit how you would like your own lantern to look.  I’m just offering mine as a starting point!  I used all 1/8″ (3mm) width paper.  Narrow (1.5mm) would also be a good choice for cards.  I used an easy grip slotted quilling tool. (find it here on Amazon)

48″ strip of red paper for lantern

six 1cm strips of bright yellow paper for small tassel

one 1cm strip of bright yellow for string

one 3cm strip of bright yellow for circle

four 2cm strips of bright yellow for bottom tassel

one 3″ strip of bright yellow for top of lantern

Roll the 48″ strip (I glued together two 24″ lengths) and let it expand just a little bit so that the circle is not too tight.  Squish it slightly into an oval and glue it down onto your card.

Fold the 1cm strips for the small tassel and pinch tightly.  Glue them to the bottom of your lantern.  It is helpful to put some glue on top of them after you get them in place and squeeze them with the tweezers so that they all stick together well.  Stick the 1cm strip for the string into the tassel so that it sticks out a bit.  You can cut it shorter if you think it is too long.  Roll the 3cm strip into a tight roll and glue to the end of the “string”.  Fold your 2cm strips for the bottom tassel.  Glue each one closed and then glue into place at the bottom of the tight roll.  Roll the 3″ strip and let it expand.  Pinch it into a rectangle shape and glue it to the top of your lantern.

As I said, this is just a simple little design.  Good for a gift tag or to embellish an Ang Pow packet. Feel free to use it as is, or let it spark some of your own creative juices!  I am imagining a much larger lantern to use on the front of a gift card. The lantern base would be made of several expanded rolls that are pinched together to make a ball shape.  Each roll would be bordered with a gold paper to give some golden accents in the lantern.  I don’t know if that makes much sense, but I still have some hope that I am able to sit down and create this larger lantern before Chinese New Year gets much closer!

gift tag2

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*All products and supplies mentioned in this post I purchased and/or made on my own.

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