How To Make A Simple Parol

Filipinos adorn their houses with parol (Christmas lantern influenced by the Mexican piñata) during Christmas. Most of these lanterns are made of bamboo sticks and thin sheets of paper (called Japanese paper in the Philippines). They are lighted up at night. More recent innovations of the parol are those made of capiz (seashells) that have dancing lights, which originated in Pampangga. The parol’s size depends on where it will be hung. A very large parol is usually used for high-rise buildings. For regular houses, parols are smaller.

What you will need:

1. Two 32-inch (80 cm) bamboo strips
2. A ruler
3. Five 3-inch (7.5 cm) wire strips
4. Ten 7-inch (17.5 cm) wire strips
5. Tape
6. Thread
7. Glue
8. A pencil
9. Scissors
10. Tinsel
11. Colorful paper 24″ x 24″ (60 x 60 cm). You can use thin Japanese papers or shiny gift wrappers as substitute.


1. Use thread to tie the ends of each bamboo strip together, forming two circles.

2. Use the two circles and five of the 7-inch (17.5 cm) wire strips to make a frame by twisting the ends of each wire strip around the bamboo circles as shown.

3. Fold the colorful paper in half. Draw the shape of a five-pointed star and cut it out. You will have two stars.

4. Glue one star to each side of the circular frame. Attach the other five 7-inch (17.5 cm) wires to the five points where the angles of the star touch the wire frame. Attach the five 3-inch (7.5 cm) wires to the tips of the star so the star bulges. Tie some thread to one of these wires. Glue on pieces of paper to cover the frame. Attach tinsel to the two bottom points of the star.

End product

Text and images were from seasite.niu.edu and the book Festivals of the World: Philippines, Gareth Stevens Publishing. Milwaukee: 1999, pp. 28-29.

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