Halloween Lantern from a Wooden Hurricane Lantern

Halloween Lantern from a Wooden Hurricane Lantern

Raise your hand if you had a candle lantern or wooden hurricane lantern like this one in your home? There was a similar one in mine – and in fact, I think my parents still have it! Either way, when I saw this one in a thrift store, I snapped it up for an upcycling idea I had. I wondered if I could repurpose it into a Halloween lantern or some sort of light up Halloween decor?

Wooden hurricane lantern or candle lantern at thrift store for upcycling ideas

Here’s a better view of the candle lantern (sans the candle) once I got it down from the top shelf and home safely.

Candle lantern and wooden hurricane lantern to be repurposed for Halloween decor

Historically, I’ve made light-up Halloween decorations using old light fixtures. But this time, I decided to make a Halloween lantern! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Upcycling a Candle Lantern into a Halloween Lantern

As with all things from the thrift store, it needed a good cleaning. Thankfully, it was easy to deconstruct so that I could wipe down the wood parts and clean off the grime from the glass plates.

Taking apart a wooden hurricane lantern before spray painting as a Halloween lantern

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.

Spray painting a candle lantern to upcycle it into light up Halloween decorations

For this Halloween lantern, I decided to use Halloween treat bags (these are the exact ones I used). But, I was a little concerned that the cellophane would be TOO transparent, and that my light source would be visible at night.

I needed to add a little insurance to each side of the Halloween lantern. Thankfully, I came up with a super easy fix- rectangles of white parchment paper from my kitchen- but vellum paper from the scrapbook section at a craft store would work, too.

The parchment paper would allow light to shine through…but would cleverly diffuse the light (and mask the source). A more permanent fix would be to spray paint the glass with frosted spray paint, like this.

Parchment paper to be used to frost the glass panels of a wooden hurricane lantern

Next, I grabbed the Halloween goodie bags to cut down to size.  As I had done with the parchment paper, I used the glass panels as my size templates before cutting out the inserts.

Halloween treat bags or Halloween goodie bags to use in a halloween lantern

So I set to work tracing the glass panes on parchment, cutting them out, and then cutting out same size rectangles from the Halloween treat bags. I slid each pair of inserts behind the four glass panes, and was ready to fully re-assemble the Halloween lantern.

Using the Halloween goodie bags or Halloween treat bags inside the light up Halloween decorations

Halloween Lantern / Light Up Halloween Decorations from a Candle Lantern

And that was it! My Halloween Lantern turned out cuter than I could have even imagined…

Halloween Lantern or Light up Halloween decorations by upcycling a candle lantern

But this was the moment I was waiting for- darkness! I used a battery operated LED light and set it inside my Halloween lantern.

The Halloween goodie bags worked PERFECTLY! And the secret (shhh!) parchment paper allowed the light to be distributed more evenly.

Upcycling a wooden hurricane lantern into the light up Halloween decorations

And irony of ironies- if you remove the Halloween treat bags but leave the parchment paper, the Halloween lantern just looks like plain black lantern from a trendy home decor store! So, it really is an all-year project, but with a Halloween bonus.

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for light up Halloween decorations, then please check out this Halloween Moon light project before you go!

Halloween moon by upcycling a vintage light fixture into a light up moon with Halloween witch by Sadie Seasongoods

Craft on!


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  1. Love it, Great idea!

  2. So cute and I love the fact that it can be used year round – an added bonus!

  3. Great project! Now I need to find a lantern at the thrift store!

  4. Love it and great idea using the treat bags!

  5. That is ridiculously creative! Pinning to share!

  6. Kristie Cook says

    Great idea! I really love your crocheted spider web too!

  7. So creative! Pinning!

  8. I totally love this! Now I’m going to be on the lookout for one of these lanterns.

  9. Nice transformation!

  10. What a great transformation! I love it!!

  11. Mary-The Boondocks Blog says

    Very cute and smart too Sarah! Happy Halloween!

  12. That is really adorable! Never would have thought of using parchment paper, or any paper for that matter. It’s a great Halloween look! Pinned.

  13. Your creativity really amazes me – what a fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW DIY party!

  14. Very cute and creative – I love that you can use it year round. Pinned and shared. Visting from Creative Spark party

  15. So clever, Sarah! I’ve seen the treat bags for different holidays so trading them out would be fun too 😉

  16. Here’s where I admit that I’ve never seen a candle lantern before and obviously I hang out at the wrong thrift stores.

  17. Adorable. I am featuring on Vintage Charm tomorrow.

  18. This is my favorite type of DIY project. Unique, inexpensive, easy and beyond cute. Love it.

  19. Sadie, these Halloween lanterns are just so cute 🙂 You do such an amazing job as always! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Dishing It & Digging It!

  20. Yep. Smitten again. Featured this creative beauty in this weekend’s DIY Salvaged Junk 350. Thanks for linking up!

  21. I don’t recall having one of these lanterns, but this is so creative, especially that you just used those treat bags to create the cute ‘stained glass’ look!

  22. This is such a neat idea! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  23. Kathy A. says

    OK, now I have to add candle lantern to my “look for at yard sales and thrift stores” list! I’ve got the Halloween bags–somewhere! Vellum scrapbook paper would be cool, too, but your way is more economical!


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