This spooky Halloween lantern craft will look great on your mantle this October. Keep reading to learn how quick and easy it is to make.
I actually made this Halloween decor lantern about 5 years ago and I put it out every year on my mantle every October. For the longest time, the glass in this DIY Halloween lantern was covered in vellum with hand-drawn spider webs and spider stickers. However, this year, I decided that my spooky Halloween lantern needed an upgrade.
Instead of vellum, I used frosted glass spray paint to achieve the haunted house – dirty window effect. And in lieu of my hand-drawn spider web, I pulled out my trusty Cricut and cut some Halloween silhouettes from black vinyl. I just love how it turned out!
Supplies Needed for this Spooky Halloween Lantern Craft:
- Decorative Lantern
- Krylon Frosted Glass Spray Paint
- Cricut Die Cutting Machine
- Cricut Chic & Scary Cartridge
- Black Self-Adhesive Vinyl
- Electric Candle (battery powered is best) with a flicker bulb
I think the hardest part of this DIY Halloween lantern was finding the perfect lantern to use. Most of the ones at the craft store had cross bars which wouldn’t work for this particular project since I wanted to add silhouettes cut from vinyl. Finally I settled on a wooden one with undecorated windows and a distressed finish. It has an old abandoned feel to it that made it a perfect choice for this project.
Can’t find the perfect lantern at local stores? Amazon has a wooden lantern that is very similar to the one I have.
DIY Halloween Lantern Tutorial:
You want to start by painting the glass with Krylon Frosted Glass Spray Paint. Some lanterns have removable glass panels which makes things easier. The glass does not come out of mine, so I used painter’s tape to mask off the metal clasp on the door. I figured the wood part of the lantern was already painted white and distressed, so if I got some spray paint on it, you wouldn’t really be able to tell. Depending on what finish your lantern has, you may want to mask the lantern frame with painter’s tape as well.
I used one light coat of the spray paint and that was adequate to give it the abandoned dirty window look I was going for. After I painted the glass, I let it sit overnight to dry.
After your lantern glass is dry, you will want to cut your Halloween silhouettes from black self-adhesive vinyl. (I used the Cricut brand vinyl to make sure it played nicely with my die cutting machine.)
You can use any Halloween Cricut cartridge you want, but I used the
Chic & Scary cartridge because I loved the images. Decide whether you want all the sides of your spooky Halloween lantern to look the same or if you want a different image on all sides. I chose to do different images on all sides. The nice thing about using Cricut vinyl though is if you decide you want to change up your lantern at a later time, the vinyl peels off easily without leaving any residue.
I chose to do one side with a spider and web, one side with a witch, and one side with a creepy tree and bats. I highly recommend cutting trial shapes out of scrap cardstock to make sure they will fit on the lantern side before you cut the vinyl. That way you don’t waste the vinyl by cutting shapes that are too large or too small.
Each lantern is going to be different of course, but the sizes that worked best for the lantern I was using are
- Spider Web – 4″
- Spider – 1 1/2″
- Tree – 4″
- Bats – (1) 1″ and (2) 3/4″
- Witch – 4″
Quick tip! Be sure to save any vinyl scraps left over after you cut out your Halloween silhouettes. They work great for other projects where you only need small pieces – like my Spooky Halloween Goblets.
Remove the backing and place your Halloween shapes directly on the painted glass.
Here is how mine ended up looking on all three sides…
This side has a creepy bare tree with some bats flying around it.
This side has a witch flying through the air.
This side is my favorite I think. It features a creepy spider dangling from its web.
The only other thing you need to do for your DIY Halloween lantern craft is to add an electric flameless candle so you can light it up at night. A battery powered candle works really well for this. I went with an antique looking candle because I thought it added to the spooky look, but any flameless candle will work – even the little electric tea lights.
If you have a flameless candle that has a cord, you can either leave the lantern door open or you can remove the glass from the door panel. The vintage looking flameless candle I wanted was only available with a cord. So I took the glass out of the lantern door, so I could run the cord out the back. I will use other decorations on the mantle to hide the cord completely.
I wouldn’t recommend using an actual candle in there because most are constructed with wood and I wouldn’t want to risk a fire if the lantern accidentally got bumped. An electric flameless candle is a much safer option.
If you want to add to the creepy effect, get a flicker flame light bulb for your electric candle. It makes it seem like there is actually a real candle in there and gives off a warm orange glow.
Pin this DIY Halloween Lantern Tutorial for later:
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If you make this spooky Halloween lantern craft, you will have to come back here and let me know how it turned out. So tell me… Have you made any Halloween crafts yet?