My baby girl (who is not so baby anymore, she turned 6 *teardrop) wanted a mermaid party. So in researching decor, I came across the idea of the paper lantern jellyfish, and thought, “hey I can totally make these myself”. So I did. I must give credit to an original tutorial I found that I tweeked to my liking.


  • 12″ Paper lanterns (I ordered 2 different colors for variation- lavender and mint)
  • 4 different colored plastic tablecloths (lavender, mint, white and light blue)


  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat and rotary cutter or xacto knife
  • Glue gun (Low Temp – Important!!  Do not use a high temperature glue gun for this project or it will melt the plastic!)

You will need to cut strips out of the tablecloths. I made 12 jellyfish so I cut lots and lots of strips. I am super anal about having straight cuts so I used my cutting board a ruler and a rotary cutter, but you could use scissors for this.

It is important that you unfold them lengthwise but leave folded widthwise, as we will be cutting widthwise. The top portion of the lantern will have 3 strips (2 ruffles and a fringe).

For the ruffles, I used white and the matching color of the lantern. So the lavender lantern had white and lavender. The white strips I cut to 4 inches and the lavender to 3 inches, so that one sits inside the other and you can see both colors. Unfold the strips and use your fingers to stretch out the edges of the strips, working all the way down the length of the strip. This will create a nice jellyfish-like texture.

For the fringe, you will need a strip that is 5 inches in the coordinating color. before you unfold, use your scissors to cut the fringe, stopping about an inch from the top.

When you have your fringe and ruffles made, lets start glueing. I had a high temp glue gun, so it would get really hot and melt through the plastic. I remedied this by just unplugging it before it got to hot and plugging it back in, so best to use a low temp glue gun. Start with the fringe, I just tacked it on using spots of glue, not a whole line of it. Each strip should give you enough for 2 lanterns, then glue on the white ruffle so that it overlaps the fringe a bit, using the same technique of spots of glue. Then glue the lavender ruffle right on top of the white ruffle.

Now lets work on the tentacles. Cut a 1 1/2″ strip out of each of the 4 colors. Unfold the strip and start stretching out the edges with your thumbs and fingers. Cut the strips in half and you should have 2 of every color for one lantern.

Turn the lantern upside down and push out the fringe so that you have a clear area to attach the tentacles. You will be attaching 8 tentacles total so I put 4 in a circular pattern in the inner ring and 4 outer so that they would be evenly spaced out.

Anddddd viola!

I can’t say enough how much I loved them. I hung them all around the yard and they moved and swayed in the wind just like real jellyfish. I got tons of compliments and I even kept 2 to hang in her room.

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