[Tutorial + Template] Lantern Envelope

Hello, crafters!

In this tutorial, we are making a Chinese New Year lucky money envelope.  The design of the envelope allows for the locking latch to double as a 3D lantern.  I have provided the graphics for this card in three different languages (English, Chinese, and Vietnamese).  You can also create your own graphics using the template provided.

Buy the Lantern Envelope Template Here

Quick Links:

Materials Needed

  • Cardstock - I've used white gloss Brochure & Flyer paper 170 g/m2 8 mil from Staples.  The gloss makes a HUGE difference in the vibrancy of the red colour, see the colour difference on the same print on matte cardstock vs. the gloss

  • Embroidery Floss or Yarn - Use something thin for the tiny tassels
  • Crochet Thread size 10 - Use something thinner than the string used for the tassels, anything thicker might not fit the holes in the envelope
  • Fork - An entrée fork or bigger
  • Double sided tape - 1/4" 
  • Crochet Hook 2mm (optional) - Helps tremendously with tying knots

Video Tutorial

Written Tutorial

Step 1 - Making the tassel

Wrap the embroidery floss around the fork 5-7 times. Cut the string making sure the ends are on the same side.  Cut an extra 2" (5 cm) segment and set it aside.

With a 4" (10 cm) strand of crochet thread, loop it through the top of the wrapped string.  Tie and knot at the end of the strand and trim off the excess.  Pull the knot until it is tucked away behind the wrapped string on the fork.

Bring back the 2" (5 cm) segment and thread it between the first and second prong of the fork.  Tie a knot around the wrapped string - here is where the crochet hook or a thin stick will help with the short string ends.  At this point you can remove the tassel off of the fork and adjust the knot so that the top of the tassel encases the knot from the crochet thread.

A final knot in the crochet thread will make the top of the tassel nice and round.  Slide the knot as close to the top of the tassel as possible.  Finally, trim the loops on the tassel ends and make sure the ends are even.

Step 2 - Print and cut

The template includes print and cut graphics that are easily imported into whichever software you are using.  PNGs provided come in 2 versions, one with a 1/8" bleed and one without. PDFs are hires layered files and can be opened in any vector based software and edited freely.

For those who are cutting manually, you can print the PNG and dieline files separately, lay the dieline print on top of the PNG and cut/score where directed.  Both should be printed without any scaling.

For more further help, you can email me at contact@paperchaser.to

Step 3 - Bringing it together

Fold along all creases and line the sides of the front panel with the double sided tape.  Keep the tape as close to the edge as possible.

Insert the folded thread through the top hole from front to back then through the bottom hole from back to front.  Loop the entire tassel through thread loop and pull tight.

Remove the backing of the double sided tape and press into place.  Pinch the lock flaps together and insert through the slot, open the flaps to lock the envelope closed.


I am ecstatic about this craft as it's so quick and easy to put together - the most time consuming part is making the tassel which, with a great show/movie on, is a breeze!  With the COVID-19 pandemic veering its second wave, I surely will miss the joys of celebrating CNY with my family and friends.  The food, the games, the riots over bầu cua cá cọp...nothing can replace the excitement jolting through a group of cousins after hitting triple "Chinese Henny" after the dice reveal! (Vietnamese gambling game typically played during Tết)

Happy Crafting!

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