I remember lanterns, called fanous in Arabic, being a big part of my life as a child in Libya.
We would bring them out for every Eid, the Arabic word for holiday, in our home, but they were always hanging in the souk, or open markets. They were also all over the mosques sprinkled throughout the cities and permanently mounted in the alleyways of old parts of town.
I first posted a simple paper lantern tutorial seven years ago and have since put them on cards, (twice!) made them holey and even used ice to create them. My daughter puts them in her hair, we have made them out of foil and even used them to count.
Today I made a free printable with a lantern design to download. It is on black and white but you can print it on any color or printed card stock. I also added three optional arabesque cutouts, on the side, if you do not have the special window punch below. You can add an electric tea light inside the lantern once it is complete, but please do make sure to check it for heat. Never leave unattended candles, of any kind, around children.
Print out the download below and cut out the two lantern shapes on the solid lines. Both will be glued together to crate four sides.
Once cut, fold the lantern in half, so that only the flap is showing. This is a good time to make sure your tops are nice and even.
Use the Everywhere Window punch to add two cut outs to the lantern sides. Try to position the window in the middle of the lantern. You can also trace and cut one of the shapes on the side of the printable or write Eid Mubarak, Blessed Eid in Arabic, on the sides.
Fold over all the dotted lines and glue the two pieces to each other by attaching the flaps.
Optional – Arabesque Paper Lantern Mobile
Use the hole punch to create two holes at the top of the lantern, on opposite sides.
Tie the baker’s twine through the holes, tie it off and tie the other end of the string to a metal ring.
Download the Arabesque Paper Lanterns Printable.
If you would like to make more lanterns, please visit
Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more fun tutorials.