Raise your hand if you had one of these “candle lanterns” in your house 30 years ago? I am 99% sure we had one in ours…so when I saw this one at the thrift store, I snapped it up because I had a Halloween idea in mind.
Historically, I’ve made light-up Halloween projects using old light fixtures. But this time, I decided to make a Halloween lantern! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.
Here’s a better view of the candle lantern (sans the candle) once I got it down from the top shelf.
As with all things from the thrift store, it needed a good cleaning. Thankfully, it was easy to deconstruct (just four flat-head screws to remove) so that I could wipe down the wood parts and clean off the grime from the glass plates.
Once everything was wiped down, I spray painted the wooden parts black– it’s a Halloween project after all. Heck, even if it wasn’t for Halloween, it looks awfully nice in black- much more stylish.
To make my lantern unique (and keep it simple), I decided to use cellophane treat bags (these are the exact ones I used) with a fun Halloween print. Bear with me- it’s worth it, I promise.
All I needed to do was create cellophane “inserts” that were the same size and shape as the glass panes, and then slide them behind the glass. Right? Right…but…I was a little concerned that the cellophane would be TOO transparent, and that my light source would be visible at night.
So, I decided to add a little insurance to each side of the lantern. Thankfully, I came up with a super easy fix- rectangles of white parchment paper from my kitchen! The parchment paper would allow light to shine through…but would cleverly diffuse the light (and mask the source).
So I set to work tracing the glass panes on parchment, cutting them out, and then cutting out same size rectangles from the cellophane bags. I slid each pair of inserts behind the four glass panes, and was ready to fully re-assemble my lantern.
Ta-da! My Halloween lantern is cute enough in the daytime, no light source needed…
But this was the moment I was waiting for- darkness! I used a battery operated LED light and set it inside my Halloween lantern- and look at that. The cellophane gives it life and the secret (shhh!) parchment paper allows the light to be distributed more evenly.
And irony of ironies- if you remove the cellophane inserts but leave the parchment paper, it looks like a trendy lantern from a contemporary home décor store! So it really is an all-year project, but with a Halloween bonus.
Looking for more Holiday DIY projects? Check out DIYIdeaCenter to get inspired- for any holiday!