Christmas Lantern from a Camper Jack and Christmas Gift Wrap

Christmas Lantern from a Camper Jack and Christmas Gift Wrap

A friend of mine was cleaning out her barn when she asked me, “Could you do anything with this?”. She was holding a camper jack or vintage jack, and all I could think was that it reminded me of a Christmas tree.

Camper jack or vintage jack that will be upcycled into a Christmas lantern

These were used for old campers- or “glampers” as we now refer to them. But as you can see, the actual jack part is missing, so it was just the stand.

Top of a camper jack to be repurposed with Xmas wrapping paper into a Christmas lantern

And since I only had one, it was PERFECT for repurposing into a Christmas lantern to use with my collection of vintage Christmas decorations. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Transforming a Camper Jack into a Christmas Lantern

First, I cleaned it up a little before giving it a paint job.

Because it’s made of rough metal, I decided to use latex paint (instead of basic craft paint). Plus, that allowed me to pick the exact color I envisioned – a very retro lime green. So, I got a sample of Behr paint from Home Depot and gave the camper jack a couple of coats of paint.

But what now? Where would the project go from here?

After some brainstorming and craft room-puttering, I knew what I’d do. Earlier this year, I hit up an estate sale and came back with a box filled with vintage wrapping paper or Christmas gift wrap.

So I dug through the box and came away with several squares of paper that coordinated well with the camper jack!

Christmas gift wrap or Xmas wrapping paper that is vintage or retro for Christmas lantern ideas

I had so many pieces of Christmas gift wrap with gorgeous designs that I couldn’t decide which to use. So, I decided to use four different pieces for my Christmas lantern!

First, I measured the side triangles on the camper jack and cut out a slightly larger version from one of the Xmas wrapping paper. And since the paper was delicate and easily torn, I used double-sided laminating sheets on each triangle- to protect it and give it more strength.

Clear laminating sheets to protect the Christmas gift wrap that will go inside a Christmas lantern

I pressed the gift wrap panel to the laminating sheets and rubbed over it with a plastic spatula to remove air bubbles. After that, I trimmed off the excess lamination and ended up with this!

Upcycling the Xmas wrapping paper and a camper jack into vintage Christmas decorations

Then, I made three more panels for the camper jack, each with a different piece of Christmas gift wrap.

Chrismtas lantern ideas with Christmas gift wrap that has been laminated to go in a camper jack

Then, I simply dragged a bead of hot glue along the inside edges of the camper jack and carefully set each “panel” inside.

Vintage Christmas Decorations with a Camper Jack and Christmas Gift Wrap

And just like that, I had a lovely Christmas lantern with my vintage jack.

Making a Christmas lantern for the retro Christmas decorations with a camper jack and Christmas gift wrap

Here are all sides of the Christmas lantern! Using different Xmas wrapping paper for each panel worked out perfectly, don’t you think?

Vintage Christmas decorations by upcycling a camper jack into a Christmas lantern

Now to see it lit up!! I didn’t have a bright enough LED pillar candle, so I used a cluster of these awesome bright white LED tealights instead.

I didn’t want the amber glow of traditional LED tealights, so the cool bright white was perfect! And with battery-operated candles, there was no dangerous flame to worry about.

Christmas lantern at night for retro Christmas decorations with Xmas wrapping paper

And here are all the different panels lit up at night. Who would have thought that a camper jack would become part of my collection of vintage Christmas decorations?

Vintage jack and vintage wrapping paper that have been repurposed into a Christmas lantern at night

How fun is that?? I love the different designs and how they are illuminated from within my camper jack Christmas lantern! Such festive Christmas home decor- and it definitely puts me in the holiday spirit.

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for Christmas decor, then you’ll love this minimalist Christmas tree that was made from a coffee mug tree!

Mug Holder or coffee cup holder as a Scandinavian Christmas tree or minimalist Christmas tree

Craft on!


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  1. Omg! Such a cute project. I love that you shared it lit up as well. Super nice!

  2. This is so creative! Who would have ever thought to turn that jack stand into a Christmas lantern? It turned out beautifully!

  3. Wow! This is stunning! You always come up awesome ideas and yet they’re so easily put together. That’s what you call artistic vision, I suppose! Well done!

  4. This is the greatest Christmas recycle I have seen. I love it! Do you want my address to send it??
    Merry Christmas.

  5. Awesome. I’m keeping an eye out for one of these. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Christmas!

  6. This is so clever and beautiful. Looks great!!

  7. I never would have thought of doing that! So cool!

  8. Sarah, this is so cool!! Very imaginative of you to see a Christmas lantern within that old jack! Love the vintage look you gave it, and those LED tealights make it shine perfectly!!! 🙂

  9. Totally gorgeous!

  10. too cool! love it and just think you could swap out the Christmas paper for other holidays/seasons to use year round!

  11. Genious! What an awesome idea and so clever to use the wrapping paper like that. 🙂 Thanks for sharing at VIParty.

  12. Oh, this is just delightful! What a creative idea — and it looks terrific. Great job. I saw your link at Elizabeth & Co.’s party.

  13. Got two in the barn. Making this weekend! Thanks for the idea, I was gong to toss the jacks. ?

  14. I have a couple of these downstairs (came with the house), but I had no idea what they were! They would be great luminaries for the driveway

  15. So Creative, as usual

  16. Now that’s a great idea what a wonderful example of visioning something where there is nothing. I truly would never of thought of his so super cute.
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  17. Oh my gosh…what a neat idea!!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J! Merry Christmas!

  18. Love this! Now I just need to find an antique jack stand.

  19. Love your vision to see a way to repurpose almost anything. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm and I’m pinning to out Favorites and Features board.

  20. Sarah, it is really cool!! You’re right, it has the perfect shape for Christmas!
    Thanks for sharing at #2usestuesday
    Merry Christmas!!

  21. Oh Sarah, this is so neat! You come up with the most amazing upcycles, I’m always impressed!

  22. Wow… you continually amaze me! This is so pretty… only you would think of something so cute with a jack stand!! :o)


  23. Love this so much.

  24. Seriously girl, would I love to get inside the creative brain of yours – genius! I used to have some of these and got rid of them…dang.

  25. Another fantastic project! Love it!

  26. Of course it’s a Christmas tree!!! Nice job! 🙂

  27. How creative and cute! I never would of seen a lantern out of that jack stand. That’s really thinking our side the box. Love it!

  28. betnice haryman says

    i love it. i have 4 of those that i was going to get rid of but not now


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