Halloween Craft: Paper Jack O’Lantern

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.

Paper Jack O'Lanterns

Draw your Jack O’Lantern

Start with orange cardstock, construction paper, or even orange printer paper. 


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Lay the paper out in a landscape orientation. Draw a jack o’lantern face in the center of the paper. 

Paper Jack O'Lantern - Draw a Face


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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.

Paper Jack O'Lantern - Cutting Strips

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.

Paper Jack O'Lantern - Make the Lantern

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.

Paper Jack O'Lantern - Finished Products

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Anna Mae

Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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