Make Pretty Paper Lanterns from Bella Carta Design

Summer nights are an ideal time to throw a party and do I have a great - and free - decoration for you! Laura Shirley of Bella Carta Design wrote to offer All Things Paper readers her SVG cutting template and instructions for making hanging Moroccan lanterns (note: the design can also be hand cut). Laura's website is stocked with clever cutting files for holidays, birthdays, weddings, and more. 


 several colorful, lighted paper cut lanterns hanging from white wood strip ceiling


Laura has created a page where you will be able to download a zip folder containing a PNG file for hand cutting, an SVG and a Studio3 file for cutting machines, and a PDF with instructions to make as many lanterns as you like. Before we get to that, however, I asked Laura to tell us about herself and how she came to be a whiz at designing SVG files.


brightly colored monster truck gift box filled with bright red and yellow tissue paper
Monster Truck Gift Box

(There is an equally cute Monster Truck Pop Up Card to pair with it too.)


"Remember the thrill of opening a fresh pack of construction paper as a child? The smell, the texture, and the endless possibilities with just a few crayons, some glue and a pair of scissors? That magical feeling never left me. Even as a child, my love for paper was so strong that I once attempted to make a pair of shoes out of it. They didn’t last long, but the experience taught me a lot about the versatility and strength of paper."


layered paper cut golf card shows person swinging golf club, also a coordinating envelope

Golfing Layered Birthday Card

"My passion for paper crafting began with making cards for loved ones. With a large circle of family and friends, there was always an occasion for a handmade card. During college, I had the chance to study art in London for a summer, deepening my love for art and design. Working in desktop publishing for a time after college, I honed graphic design skills that later became invaluable for my crafting."


"My journey took a significant turn when I discovered cutting and embossing machines with the Sizzix Big Shot, opening up new possibilities for adding intricate details to my handmade cards. Inspired by paper engineers like Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda, I began experimenting with 3D pop-up cards and other interactive elements in my designs."

pop up card of mermaid and undersea foliage

 Mermaid Pop Up Card



"Eventually, I needed an electronic cutting machine that would allow me to bring my interactive works to life without laborious hand-cutting. After extensive research, I chose the Silhouette Cameo, a game-changer. I mastered the design software, experimenting with various projects and learning the machine's capabilities."


"At my studio, Bella Carta Design, I specialize in designing 3D paper projects and pop-up card templates that are both fun and easy for crafters. I take great care to make each design with the paper crafter’s enjoyment in mind. Many of my designs are still inspired by a special birthday or other occasion for someone I love."


layered paper greeting card and envelope, Adventure Awaits, shows young woman in mountainous, wooded area with walking stick and backpack
This Mountain Hike Pop Up Card is actually a shadow box!


hiker woman wearing backpack and carrying walking stick in a shadowbox birthday card


"When I design a new project, I often start with my own photographs, which I simplify down to a few essential colors in Photoshop. Then I export these simplified designs into Silhouette Studio to create vector images. Here I transform them into interactive cards, paper gifts, and home decor items that anyone would love to make and give."


five lighted paper cut lanterns on wooden surface outdoors

"To share my love for paper crafting, I am offering a free Hanging Lantern 3D SVG template to readers of All Things Paper. You can download it here: Free Paper Lantern SVG Template. Additionally, watch the Assembly Tutorial to see how easy it is to put together."


graphic showing files types and dimensions of paper cut Moroccan hanging lantern


"While I still use my trusty Silhouette Cameo for designing and prototyping, I have added a Cricut Maker to my arsenal, which I love for its speed and quiet operation."


"My enduring love for paper is evident in every design I create. Despite experimenting with other materials, I always return to my first love: paper. If you’ve never experienced the joy of creating with a cutting machine, you might be surprised by the possibilities it can open up. Imagine crafting a stunning 3D pop-up card, like my best-selling Flower Bouquet Pop Up Card in just an hour."


pair of woman's hands holding flower bouquet pop up card surrounded by gifts, striped paper straws and plates, and other birthday party supplies

"Bella Carta Design offers a range of unique 3D SVG templates to help you craft interactive and heartfelt cards and gifts. Visit Bella Carta Design for inspiration and templates that can enhance your creative journey. Your inner child—and your loved ones—will thank you."

text graphic describing the Bella Carta Design paper crafting community

Bella Carta Design is also on Etsy (BellaCartaDesignsSVG), as well as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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