Halloween Paper Lanterns with Cricut

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

With last month’s theme and project in the books, I am back for a new Cricut Design Space Star challenge. My design team chose a Halloween theme this time around and my creation is Halloween paper lanterns.  While All Hallow’s Eve isn’t my favorite of holidays, I can appreciate the style elements. :) Black is sharp and classy and, paired with white, quite striking. I love love love intricate designs (which is why I bought my first Cricut so long ago) and I took full advantage of the Cricut Explore’s improved cutting power. Seriously, it’s fantastic.

My overall design morphed as I experimented and fiddled around to get something to work. The longer I messed around, the more complicated and detailed it got. I can’t help it. It’s just me. Thankfully, the Cricut does the lion’s share of the hard work and I was left with putting the parts together. *Special note: the bat design was inspired by Love Bug. After watching the other two designs come together, she thought bats made the perfect Halloween triad.

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

Because I created my appliques designs last month without really delving into the options and possibilities of the online Cricut design space, I made it a point to take time to play around in it this time through. And wow. It’s very intuitive and easy to work in and I cannot tell you how happy I felt when I pushed the cut button after creating something from scratch and, gasp, the machine cut it out!! I told MJ I wanted to marry the machine. He seemed surprisingly okay with it. I could not contain my gleeful smile as the machine easily cut out the many notches of the spider web. Made.My.Day. Intricate, complicated me has found the perfect paper cutting partner.

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

When I began building my lanterns, I wanted to build the whole thing from scratch like my applique bag designs – the top, middle panels and base. However, after some experimenting, I thought it better to create just the top and base portion and then utilize the extensive collection of shapes and designs from the Cricut library to fill the panels. Even without my top and base designs, the whole thing can be created with shapes from the library, however, it’s more time consuming to build it from scratch each time. I created the shapes in Illustrator and, for the first step, imported them into the design space. As you can see over on the right, the larger shape is created by smaller shapes. While they are grouped together upon import, they can be ungrouped and moved if desired.

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With the lantern top and base in place and resized, I used Halloween shapes from the Cricut library to fill the space between. For the bats, I started with just one bat.

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I added more bats, enough to fill the panel, and then grouped them together. Doing this made it easier to move the group around to see if they filled the space well.

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Then I welded them together. You will notice the outlines of the bats have now merged together into one continuous shape.

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Because I’m particular, I changed the color of the newly welded bats to match the lantern top and base.

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From there I copy and pasted the bat group three more times for the other three panels.

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Using the edit option, I made sure all the bat shapes were level or on the same Y position.

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When I had everything place right, I welded all the pieces together to create one continuous shape. With that, I could cut to my heart’s content without lifting a finger. For the mini lanterns, I was able to fit two lanterns on one 12×12. Since the lantern image is welding together, I was able to resize it for the larger lanterns very easily.

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With the cut out lantern, I used my bone folder to score all the fold lines. Of course, my Cricut could have done this for me but I don’t own the perforation blade yet so the bone folder worked.

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

I folded it up and used double sided tape for all the connections.

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

Then I measured out a piece of white typing paper, scoring the folds on it as well, to sit on the inside of the lantern. Finally, I taped the tabs together at the top and the lantern was finished.

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

Pop in flameless candle and your spooky decor is set!

Halloween Paper Lanterns, made easy with a Cricut Explore! | this heart of mine

This post is in partnership with Cricut. I received the Cricut Explore as part of the Cricut Design Space Star Competition. All opinions are my own.

Here are the ideas from my Design Star Team!

halloween 1

Over the Big Moon | Vintage Renewal | This Heart of Mine

halloween 2

The Polka Dot Chair | Dolen Diaries | Crazy Little Projects

About Amy Christie

Amy is a wife, mother of two and a maker. Making is her thing whether it is food, DIYs or photos of her children. Follow Amy on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin, Twitter, and through her once-a-month newsletter to keep up with the latest from this heart of mine.

4 thoughts on “Halloween Paper Lanterns with Cricut

  1. These are really awesome!! I don’t know very much on how Cricut Craft room works but are you able to share this file? I’m trying to make centerpieces for a Halloween party and these would be perfect!

    Thanks for sharing your idea!!

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