When my daughter was in first grade, I was room mom for my daughter’s class and needed an activity for the Halloween Party. I wanted a simple Paper Jack O’Lantern craft. I also wanted a craft with minimal prep work. This ruled out cutting out pumpkin shapes for them to draw on.
The previous year, my daughter had a Tangled Birthday Party. One party craft was purple paper lanterns. This craft inspired my creation of Paper Jack O’Lanterns for Halloween.
Draw your Jack O’Lantern
Start with orange cardstock, construction paper, or even orange printer paper.
Lay the paper out in a landscape orientation. Draw a jack o’lantern face in the center of the paper.
My daughter’s first face was off-center. By folding the paper in half first, she placed the nose on the center line and add the eyes above it an the mouth below it. She had a much more balanced Jack O’Lantern with this method.
Cut the Lantern
The next step is cutting the jack o’lantern into strips. Fold the paper in half on the long side of the paper with the face on the outside. Start each cut at the folded edge and cut to about 1″ from the top edge. Repeat the cutting process every inch along the fold.
Make the Lantern
Unfold the paper and bring the left side to the right side forming a circle with the face on the outside. Fasten the edges at the top and bottom. You can fasten it with staples, tape, or glue.
Finished Paper Jack O’Lantern
The finished Paper Jack O’Lanterns can be hung using a scrap of paper as a handle. They can also be set on a table or counter for display. I actually like them sitting on the table because they puff wider than when they are hung and gravity pulls them straight.