Paper Bag Leaf Lantern

  • Science & STEM
  • Grades 1-3

Create a cute fall lantern of a paper lunch bag and coffee filters! Add a subtle glow with an LED tea light!


  • EZ Grip Paint Brushes, 5 pack
  • Paint Dab Markers
  • Skinny Sticks
  • Hot Glue ***May Require Adult Assistance
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Pen
  • Decoupage Glue
  • Coffee Filter
  • Paper Lunch Bag
  • Ruler
  • Optional: LED Tealight
printDownload Template


Step 1. Gather your supplies.



Step 2.


Cut about 4″ off of the top of the paper lunch bag.


Step 3.


Download, print and cut out the provided template on card stock. To download the template, simply click the “Template” button above.


Step 4.


Trace the template on the back and front of the paper bag.


Step 5.


Cut out the leaf on both sides.


Step 6.


Glue (2) skinny sticks into each corner to make the lantern sturdy.


Step 7.


Tie dye (2) coffee filters using yellow and red paint dabbers. To learn how to tie dye coffee filters, follow this tutorial.


Step 8.


Once your coffee filters are dry, use the leftover piece of the paper bag to measure the width of the coffee filters so they slide right into the bag. Draw a line on each side to mark the excess filter.


Step 9.


Cut along the lines. Use a ruler to draw a line from corner to corner of the filter.


Step 10.


Cut along the lines and you now have (2) rectangular coffee filters.


Step 11.


Spread decoupage glue on the insides of the bag.


Step 12.


Slide one of the coffee filters into the bag and decoupage glue over it to secure. Repeat for both sides of the bag.


Step 13.


Cut the top of the bag into a zig zag pattern to add a decorative touch.


Brighten your days with a leaf-shaped lantern full of primary and secondary colors!

  • Color Me Primary: The red and yellow paint dab markers blend to make orange! Combining two primary colors makes a secondary color — ask your students if they know what colors they need to blend to make green or purple leaves.
  • Over the Rainbow: Light and color go hand-in-hand! When light bounces off an object, the colors of the object are either absorbed or reflected, and our eyes see a reflection of the colors. Explore the science behind color with your class using this activity sheet 

When your students are done creating their leaf lanterns, they should still have their blank leaf templates. As a class, come up with ways to blend more colors into art projects — how about diving into some watercolors or oil pastels?!