These lanterns are colorful, inexpensive to make, and provide enough light by themselves that I can still read before calling it a day.
The only materials you need are two strands of white lights and a package of origami paper (either 4×4″ or 5×5″) that contains several more sheets than the total number of lights. This way, you can “practice” with a few without worry. Below you’ll find directions to make an origami balloon. Once you blow it up, place the balloon over each individual light. They’ll stay without any adhesive as long as you’re gentle with it. It’s that simple, I promise.
(Directions taken from this site.)