Love a cube? Then why not come and make this unique cube ang pow lantern decoration for this coming Chinese New Year – The Year of Water Rabbit 2023! This is another easy craft to make and is suitable for older children. This also makes a great opportunity to learn about our Chinese New Year wall decoration and how we celebrate.
This is a small lantern which measures approximately 16.5 cm by 16.5 cm by 16.5 cm, not including the length of the Chinese knot tassel, decorative ornament and string. The difficulty rating is 1.5 out of 5. You can also make more than one lantern and join them horizontally as a banner.
In my previous post on the Candy Lantern, I shared how to pick the right type of ang pow/red envelope or some people may call them a red packet. Do read about it to avoid getting the wrong type of ang pow. To be honest, these days, we tend to buy many things online and it can be difficult to know what they’re like until you receive them. If you are around the Chinatown area, some Asian supermarkets might sell them and usually, the ang pows are near the cash counter. Or you can buy the materials, like the ang pow, Chinese knot tassel and decorative ornaments, online using this eBay discount code to save some money, especially when you buy in bulk.
For this craft, I am using a rectangular ang pow (approx. 7.8 cm by 11.5 cm). The material of this ang pow is far too thick, hence you can see some corners are torn, which is not ideal. It is best to get soft or medium thick for flexibility. If you are using a thick card like me, you will not need to insert any plain cards to keep the shape. It will work well either in red or yellow ang pow. You do not need a design on the back of the ang pow.
You can also use a longer rectangular ang pow (approx. 9.5 cm by 17 cm) to make a bigger cube. You can see the images at the bottom of the post.
Before we make any ang pow/red envelope lantern, selecting the right design ang pow is very important. First, look at the design! Does the ang pow have a very pretty front, like spring flowers, birds or fish? The more impressive, striking designs will make this lantern more impressive.
For my decorative ornament, I upcycled some of the materials I have as some have loose threads or look tacky. For example, I was gifted a mini plastic red lantern from an online Asian shop. I removed the strings, beads and sucker, to reuse the lantern instead. If you don’t have a suitable ornament, it is not necessary to get one. You can leave it blank or you can cut out some Chinese wordings on an ang pow and make use of it.
As for the length of the red string, I recommend adjusting it according to where you want to hang it. Also, I like to insert the red string before I seal the lantern. In many YouTube tutorials, they always insert the Chinese knot tassel and string after finishing the lantern. I find it too troublesome to thread the lantern as you might punch a bigger hole or tear the side of the ang pow.
I used a stapler to secure most of my lantern crafts as I find it much more durable than clear packaging tape or doubled sided tape for durability. But it really depends on the craft itself and what you have to hand. Personally, I recommend using a stapler for all the ang pow lanterns. You can hardly see the staples from a distance and it is very secure.
Here’s how to make this cube lantern to decorate your wall! First, you will require these materials:
- 12 rectangle ang pows / red envelopes /red packets (approx. 7.8 cm by 11.5 cm)
- stapler & staples
- 60 – 80 cm red string
- 1 Chinese knot tassel
- 1 decorative ornament
These are the step-by-step instructions:
Fold the ang pow in half – vertically and press it down. Design of the ang pow on the outside.
Turn over the ang pow. Fold all corners down using the midpoint as the guide. Now do the same for the other ang pows.
Now build the top and bottom lids of the cube. You will need four ang pows to build the top lid. Place two ang pows together front-to-front as shown. Try to staple it close to the joint, please see the photo.
Join the third ang pow and follow by the fourth ang pow.
For the bottom lids, you will also need four ang pows and repeat steps 3 and 4.
To join the top and lids, you will need four ang pow to build the structure.
Take the bottom lid, place one ang pow on one of the sides and staple one side.
Do this for the second, third and fourth ang pow.
To join the top lid, take one corner and join onto one of the structures by stapling it. Place the red string with Chinese knot tassel and decorative ornament on the corner and staple the other side of the ang pow. This will seal the string.
Before stapling all the corners, place the string (Chinese knot tassel) out of the corner (opposite the hanging string). Make sure the decorative ornament is in the middle.
Now join the last corner using the stapler, sealing the decorative ornament inside the cube. I do find stapling some corners quite tricky.
What do you think about this cube ang pow lantern? What about this larger cube I made with long rectangular ang pows? Let me know in the comments below.
Disclosure: This is a featured post.