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 for  light up Halloween decor?

Wooden hurricane lantern at thrift store

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

Wood hurricane lantern for upcycle crafts

Historically, I’ve made light-up Halloween decorations using old light fixtures, such as this Halloween moon light.

Halloween moon and witch decor from a glass globe light fixture

But this time, I decided to make a Halloween lantern using a very unexpected item. Here, allow me to show you what I did…

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Transforming a Wooden Hurricane Lantern

First things first, it needed a good cleaning- inside and out. Disassembling it simply required a screw driver for the top.

How to disassemble a wooden hurricane lantern

Once it was taken apart, I could wipe down the wood parts and clean off the grime from the glass plates.

Parts of a wood hurricane lantern for cleaning and painting

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.

Painting a candle lantern to become a Halloween lantern

Light Up Halloween Decor with a Halloween Lantern

Next, I needed to work on the actual Halloween aspects of my Halloween lantern. Since I would be adding lights inside, I focused first on a way to hide the lights without blocking them out.

To do that, I cut out rectangles of white parchment paper using the glass panes from the lantern.

Parchment paper to diffuse the light from a lantern

Vellum paper from the scrapbook section at a craft store would work, too.

Now for the the pièce de résistance of this Halloween lantern: Halloween cellophane bags! These are the exact ones I used.

Halloween cellophane bags

First, I cut the cellophane treat bags down to size, using my cut pieces of parchment paper as templates.

Then, I slid each pair of inserts behind the four glass panes, and was ready to fully re-assemble the Halloween lantern.

Halloween cellophane bags in a Halloween lantern

Halloween Lantern from a Wooden Hurricane Lantern

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

Upcycling a wooden candle lantern into a Halloween 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.

Halloween lantern for light up Halloween decor

And irony of ironies- if you remove the Halloween cellophane 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 a Halloween lantern, then you may also be interested in these versions of Halloween terrariums, too!

halloween terrarium in a black candle lantern

And, check out what I did with these outdoor versions of candle lanterns, too!

Halloween lamp post for Halloween porch decorations

Craft on!


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Light up Halloween decor with a lantern

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  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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