two japanese paper lanterns in the amigurumi style hang over a background of pink sky with wispy clouds

Japanese Lanterns FREE Crochet Pattern

Introducing Hikari + Mitsu, Lanterns of Light!

Meet Hikari and Mitsu, twin brother and sister! Both of their names mean “light” in Japanese, and they believe that they can brighten anyone’s day, whether through literal light or the light that people feel through their optimism and cuteness. Hikari loves to work in her garden and share her flowers and vegetables with friends. Mitsu enjoys his karate studies and looking out for his “younger” twin sister.

I am so happy to release my first pattern! I had a lot of fun creating it and engaging in the process of tech editing and working with amazing testers.

Hikari + Mitsu is an easy-level pattern that works up fairly quickly. They can be hung or sat on a level surface.

This pattern is also available as a Premium Pattern! Premium Patterns are printable PDF files, with photo/video tutorials not available in the free version, and ad-free. Premium Patterns are available on Etsy and Ravelry.

You may sell finished products made using this pattern, simply credit happy smile crochet as the designer. Please do not copy any part of this pattern for distribution or sale. Thank you!

Pattern is written in English, in US terms, using Craft Yarn Council abbreviations.

Abbreviations

  • ch – chain
  • sc – single crochet
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • dec – decrease
  • BLO – back loop only
  • Rnd(s) – round(s)
  • RS – right side
  • WS – wrong side

Supplies

  • Big Twist Value yarn, 100% acrylic, worsted weight (6oz/170g, 380yds/347m) in these colors:
    Varsity Red 30yd/1oz; 27m/28g
    White 35yd/1oz; 32m/28g
    Varsity Gold 8yd/0.3oz; 7.5m/8.5g
    Black 22yd/1oz; 20m/28g
    Of course, feel free to use whatever color combinations/yarns you would like! Note that you may get a different gauge and lantern size if you use different yarn or hook sizes.
  • Scraps of black and pink yarn for mouth, cheeks, Sakura blossom ornament, and Headband.
  • G (4.0mm) hook
  • E (3.5mm) hook
  • Four 10mm black round safety eyes (note that eyes are a choking hazard for children under 3 years old)
  • Poly-fil stuffing
  • Tapestry needle
  • Straight pins
  • Stitch marker
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Glass beads and glue (optional)

Measurements

Hikari (red lantern): approximately 4 x 3in; 10.2 x 7.6cm, excluding Hanging Chain
Mitsu (white lantern): approximately 5.5 x 2.5in; 14 x 6.4cm, excluding Hanging Chain

Gauge

8 sts x 8 rows in the round in sc = 2 x 2in/5 x 5cm
(Tip on finding gauge in the round, as opposed to traditional rows: measure your gauge once you have completed the first 15 Rnds of either lantern, before adding any stuffing. Squish the tube flat and measure 8 sts across and 8 rows down to see if it is square. It does not have to be exactly square but should be very close. If the measurements are very different from each other, consider adjusting your tension or hook size to achieve the desired gauge.)

Skill Level

Easy

Pattern Notes

  • Work in continuous rounds. I like to place my stitch marker in the 1st stitch of each round to mark the start of the round.
  • In this pattern, I am using the traditional “yarn over” technique. If you prefer another technique, such as “yarn under” and variations, the dimensions and texture will differ, but feel free to play around!
  • For best results, assemble parts in order as directed.
  • Before inserting the stuffing, break it up a bit with your hands so there are no obvious clumps. Any clumps that make it into the lantern bodies, especially in Mitsu’s long white shape, will be easily seen.

Instructions

Hikari Lantern Body

(Make 1)

With red yarn, using a 4.0mm hook

Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic circle. [Alternatively, ch 2 and, in 2nd ch from hook, sc 6.] (6)

Rnd 2: inc in each st. (12)

Rnd 3: [sc, inc] 6 times. (18)

Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 6 times. (24)

Rnd 5: [3 sc, inc] 6 times. (30)

Rnd 6: [4 sc, inc] 6 times. (36)

Rnd 7-15: BLO 36 sc. (36, 9 Rnds)

Insert eyes between rows 10 and 11, with 5 st holes in between.

Embroider mouth directly between eyes.

Embroider cheeks under each eye, starting at the inner corner of the eye and ending slightly beyond the outer corner of the eye for an extra kawaii look.

Rnd 16: BLO [4 sc, dec] 6 times. (30)

Rnd 17: [3 sc, dec] 6 times. (24)

Start stuffing. You want to put enough in to encourage and keep the soft cylindrical shape of the lantern body, but not so much that it just ends up looking like an over-stuffed oval. Continue to stuff as you go.

Rnd 18: [2 sc, dec] 6 times. (18)

Rnd 19: [sc, dec] 6 times. (12)

Rnd 20: [dec] 6 times. (6)

Add a bit more stuffing, if needed, before sewing up the hole. You can use your tapestry needle to encourage the stuffing to fill up the top and bottom “edges” (where the increases end or the decreases begin) of the lantern body shape by inserting the tip into the body from the outside at the “edges” and pushing/pulling on the stuffing with the needle tip to fill up those “edges” all around the body.

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing. Using the yarn tail and tapestry needle, sew up the hole by threading the needle through the front loops of the remaining 6 sts. Pull the yarn tail tight to close. Weave in end.

Mitsu Lantern Body

(Make 1)

With white yarn, using a 4.0mm hook

Rnd 1: 6 sc in magic circle. [Alternatively, ch 2 and, in 2nd ch from hook, sc 6.] (6)

Rnd 2: inc in each st. (12)

Rnd 3: [sc, inc] 6 times. (18)

Rnd 4: [2 sc, inc] 6 times. (24)

Rnd 5: [3 sc, inc] 6 times. (30)

Rnd 6-15: BLO 30 sc. (30, 10 Rnds)

Insert eyes between rows 9 and 10, with 4 st holes in between.

Embroider mouth directly between eyes.

Embroider cheeks under each eye, starting at the inner corner of the eye and ending slightly beyond the outer corner of the eye for an extra kawaii look.

Rnd 16-20: BLO 30 sc. (30, 5 Rnds)

Rnd 21: BLO [3 sc, dec] 6 times. (24)

Rnd 22: [2 sc, dec] 6 times. (18)

Start stuffing. You want to put enough in to encourage and keep the soft cylindrical shape of the lantern body, but not so much that it just ends up looking like an over-stuffed oval. Continue to stuff as you go.

Rnd 23: [sc, dec] 6 times. (12)

Rnd 24: [dec] 6 times. (6)

Add a bit more stuffing, if needed, before sewing up the hole. You can use your tapestry needle to encourage the stuffing to fill up the top and bottom “edges” (where the increases end or the decreases begin) of the lantern body shape by inserting the tip into the body from the outside at the “edges” and pushing/pulling on the stuffing with the needle tip to fill up those “edges” all around the body.Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing. Using the yarn tail and tapestry needle, sew up the hole by threading the needle through the front loops of the remaining 6 sts. Pull the yarn tail tight to close. Weave in end.

Bottom Cap

(Make 2)

With yellow yarn for Hikari or black yarn for Mitsu, using a 4.0mm hook

Rnd 1: 8 in magic circle. [Alternatively, ch 2 and, in 2nd ch from hook, sc 8.] (8)

Rnd 2: inc in each st. (16)

Rnd 3: [sc, inc] 8 times. (24)

Rnd 4: BLO [sc, dec] 8 times. (16)

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing. Invisible finish.

Cut a circular piece of cardboard to fit inside the Cap. This is essential to keep the integrity of the Cap’s flat shape.

If you are not hanging your lantern, you may choose to make it even more stable by gluing a few glass beads to the cardboard to give it some extra stability.

Top Cap

(Make 2)

With yellow yarn for Hikari or black yarn for Mitsu, using a 4.0mm hook

Rnd 1: 8 in magic circle. [Alternatively, ch 2 and, in 2nd ch from hook, sc 8.] (8)

Rnd 2: inc in each st. (16)

Rnd 3: [sc, inc] 8 times. (24)

Rnd 4: BLO [sc, dec] 8 times. (16)

Sl st in next st (1st st of Rnd 4, the one with the stitch marker).

Ch 24. This is the hanging chain for the lantern.

Attach the loose end of the hanging chain to the 8th st of Rnd 4 with a sl st.

Add a bit more stuffing, if needed.

Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing. Invisible finish (see link in “Useful Tutorials for this Pattern” above).

Cut a circular piece of cardboard to fit inside the Cap. This is essential to keep the integrity of the Cap’s flat shape.

Sakura Ornament for Hikari

(Make 1)

With pink yarn, using a 4.0mm hook

Rnd 1: 5 sc in magic circle. [Alternatively, ch 2 and, in 2nd ch from hook, sc 5.] (5)

Rnd 2: [(sc, ch 2, sl st) in same st] 4 times, sc, ch 2, then do not sl st in the same st, but in the 1st st of Rnd 1. (20)

Fasten off, leaving about a 5in tail. Weave the tail toward the center and out the back of the Sakura Ornament.

Karate Headband for Mitsu

(Make 1)

With black yarn, using a 3.5mm hook (*note the smaller hook size here)

Row 1: ch 71, turn. (71)

Row 2: (WS) Starting in second ch from hook, sc 70, turn (do not ch 1 at this point as is done traditionally). (70)

Row 3: (RS) Sc 70. (70)

Fasten off, weave in ends.

Assembly

1. Stuff the Bottom Caps with a very small amount of stuffing, just enough to fill each Cap without making them lose their shape. Alternatively, you could use two thick layers of cardboard and no stuffing. Sew the yellow Bottom Cap to Hikari’s Lantern Body and the black Bottom Cap to Mitsu’s Lantern Body using the yarn tail from each Cap. Center the Cap; it may be helpful to use pins to keep the Cap in place while you sew. You can view my preferred method of attaching the Caps at the video tutorial linked above in “Useful Tutorials for this Pattern: Sewing an open piece to a closed piece.”

2. Stuff the Top Caps with a very small amount of stuffing, just enough to fill each Cap without making them lose their shape. Sew the yellow Top Cap to Hikari’s Lantern Body and the black Top Cap to Mitsu’s Lantern Body using the yarn tail from each Cap. Center the Cap, lining up the hanging chain attachment points with the sides of the body; it may be helpful to use pins to keep the Cap in place as you sew.

While sewing, make sure the stitches are extra secure at the points where the hanging chain is attached to the Cap. This will help ensure that the Cap does not appear to lift up slightly at those points when the lantern is hung by the chain.

3. Attach the Sakura Ornament to Hikari, 2 Rnds above the right eye, with the center of the flower 3 st holes to the right of the right eye. Thread each tail of the Ornament, at least one st apart, through the front of the lantern body and then out the back, through the same st. Knot the tails together, cut the excess yarn, and pull the knot back into the lantern so it is hidden.

4. Tie the Headband on Mitsu, just over his eyes. It has been sized to be double-knotted. You may choose to sew the Headband in place or leave it detachable. (If you are finding that the headband is excessively long, double check to see if 1. the hook size is 3.5mm as opposed to the 4mm for the rest of the pattern, 2. the black yarn is exactly the same weight as the white. For instance, even if both yarns are labeled as worsted or #4 weight, they may differ across brands, or even within brands! If the black turns out to be bigger than the white, simply decrease the number of chains in the first row of the Headband to fit your desired length.  You may also choose to crochet a total of 2 rows as opposed to 3, as directed in the pattern.)

You are done! Now go find the perfect place to sit or hang your Lantern duo so that they may fill your day with their cuteness!

Please feel free to leave your reviews below, and I’d love to see your pictures on Facebook and Instagram! @happysmilecrochet #happysmilecrochet

two japanese paper lanterns in the amigurumi style hang over a background of pink sky with wispy clouds

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