Cheap Recycled Halloween Lantern DIY

Do you have an old tattered lantern you're no longer using? Here's a budget-friendly idea for recycling it into a fun DIY Halloween Lantern. Everything you need to make it can either be found in your Halloween bin or from the dollar store. Mine cost a whopping $4 to make but had I not given my grown children our Halloween stash last year, it would've cost nothing. 

Dollar Store Decor Halloween Lantern

Cheap Recycled Halloween Lantern DIY

Since the kids left the roost, we've become one of THOSE houses with the porch lights off. We tiptoe out the back gate clad in black and head to our neighborhood pub instead. In our defense. we live in an older neighborhood and get maybe 10 kids if we're lucky. So our daughter will be the recipient of this lantern to add to her Halloween decor this year.

Easy Halloween Lantern Idea

When I saw that the International Bloggers Club challenge this month was Halloween, I figured this was the perfect way to finally do something with that old garden lantern. But first I have to pry the melted flameless candle from the base.

Recycled Garden Lantern For Halloween

If you are new here or coming over from Unique Creations By Anita - welcome! You can find out more about me HERE.

If you haven't heard of the International Bloggers Club, we are a group of friends from around the globe who come together every month to share a themed DIY project.

We have members from Spain, South Africa, Australia, the United States, and Canada. I'm from a hamlet east of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, situated about a 4-5 hour drive from both Jasper National Park and Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies.

International Bloggers Club Iron 2019 Projects

You'll find links to my friend's Halloween inspired projects at the bottom of this post. For our iron challenge this summer, I turned a wine barrel stave into an Iron Door Knocker Flower Pot Holder for our back gate. For our linen challenge, I made a No-Sew Tailored Bed Skirt for an adjustable bed.

Back to the Halloween challenge. Here is the DIY Halloween Lantern during the daylight hours...

Recycled Halloween Lantern Decor

...and again during the spooktacular evening hours.

Spooktacular Halloween Lantern DIY

These are the supplies I used to make the outdoor Halloween lantern minus the strand of mini purple fairy lights on timers. I added some plastic spiders too as an afterthought.

DIY Halloween Lantern Supplies

What you'll need to make it

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Supply List

Metal Lantern (salvaged)
Black Spray Paint
Witch Hat Fascinator
Plastic Spiders (dollar store)
Mini Foam Pumpkins (dollar store)
Mini Witch Broom (alternatives)
Natural Raffia Ribbon
Orange Netting (salvaged from mini pumpkins)
Halloween Ribbons (alternatives)
Bow Maker Tool (optional)
Purple Mini Fairy Lights
Flameless Candle With Timer
Small Wood Dowling

How To Recycle A Lantern For Halloween

Let's get into the nitty-gritty of how I recycled our old garden lantern into a spooktacular Halloween lantern.

Budget-Friendly DIY Halloween Lantern

Step 1 - Paint that old lantern

Thankfully we're having unseasonably warm temperatures in September so I was able to take the lantern outside to spray paint it black.

(insert head smack here) I shouldn't have washed the cobwebs and dirt from the glass as it would've added to the spooky charm.

Step 2 - Make a three ribbon bow

Using three spools of ribbon that I had in my stash, I made a loopy bow for the handle of the lantern. Truthfully, I can't make a bow if my life depended on it so I cheat and use this handy bow maker tool.

Step 3 - How to make the mini witch broom

To make the witch broom to embellish the bow I cut a piece of small Dowling to size and painted it black and orange. I wrapped natural raffia ribbon around my fingers and tied it towards the top with more raffia ribbon (much like how you make tassels). I used a hot glue gun to attach the raffia to the Dowling and then cut the loops open with scissors.

Cheap Halloween Lantern Idea

Step 4 - The spooky candle

There's nothing spooky about a white flameless candle so I wrapped purple mini fairy lights around it and tucked the battery compartment to the back.

Next, I wrapped the candle with orange netting salvaged from some mini pumpkins I purchased at the grocery store. Thankfully my LED candle has a timer function so I could set it and forget it.

For some creepiness, I attached some plastic spiders on the netting.

Step 5 - Putting the Halloween lantern together

I filled the bottom of the lantern with the same natural raffia ribbon used to make the broom, I set the timer on the candle, plopped it on top of the raffia, and closed the lid.

I wired the loopy bow with DIY mini broom onto the handle of the lantern.

And last but not least, I slipped the hair clip on the witch hat fascinator that I found at the dollar store into the hole at the top of the lid. No need to wire or glue it on so so everything can be easily removed to use the lantern for it's intended purpose OR decorate for the holidays.

Recycled Halloween Lantern Assembly

Step 6 - Creating a Halloween lantern vignette

I painted three mini dollar store pumpkins orange, purple, and black with acrylic craft paint. To deepen the color I rubbed dark wax over them.

I set the lantern and pumpkins on top of a piece of hardboard that is painted with black chalkboard paint. To add more dark moodiness to my Halloween vignette, I leaned another chalkboard behind to cast the orange and purple glow of the mini lights and candle.

I made a banner with chalkboard tags that I had on hand and hung them with mini orange clothespins from jute twine onto the chalkboard. Super cheap and easy peasy.

Spooky DIY Lighted Halloween Lantern

Do you have an old lantern you could turn into a spooky vignette for Halloween? The dollar store sells those too if you don't. Again, this is all about cheap DIY Halloween decor.

If you have any questions about this Halloween project, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

Recycled DIY Halloween Lantern

Easy DIY Halloween Lantern

Please join me by clicking the links below to visit my friend's Halloween projects.
International Bloggers Club Halloween Challenge
  1. Northern Feeling
  2. A Crafty Mix
  3. Unique Creations By Anita
  4. Interior Frugalista 
  5. Raggedy Bits (not pictured)

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



  1. That's wicked Marie ;-) And I bet your kids will be fighting on who gets to keep the lantern for their Halloween decor. Thank goodness I'm all the way down here in South Africa, otherwise I'd be joining the fight.

    1. Both of them love to decorate their homes for Halloween so it'll be coin toss who gets it. Meanwhile at the ranch, you'll find us enjoying a nip at the local watering hole.

  2. You are so creative, I'm surprised a craft store hasn't scooped you up to develop product. Excellent upcycle, Marie!

    1. You are so kind my friend! xo Can you be that little voice on my left shoulder every day, especially on the challenging ones? LOL Hugs from Canada 🤗

  3. The power of spray paint, hey?? I have saved a few decor items just by giving them a fresh coat of spray paint! Your lantern turned out so cool for Halloween Marie, it'll look great on your kids porch!!

    1. Yes, definitely hands in the air for the power of spray paint. Especially this time of year for us when normally it's too cool outside to spray paint. I'm gathering all the things to get them done before the cooler temps hit.

  4. What a spooky awesome transformation! I can just see this sparkling up on the front porch to welcome all the sweet little trick or treaters!

    1. Thanks Sam, I'm glad you like it! Hopefully it'll be lighting up the porch of whichever child wins the coin toss as we don't decorate for Halloween.

  5. OMG. I had such a giggle reading this post. Sounds just like me. With my kids all grown up and out of the house we are the same. All the lights off and in the back of the house playing on my computer. I made all my projects for my great niece. Awesome lantern the colours you used are great.

    1. Yessssss, another fellow lights off gal! LOL It was fun when the kids were around (my son did most of the decorating) but now that it's just the two of us, meh. Glad you like the lantern, Anita, thank you! 😊

  6. Marie, I love it! I definitely want to make one. I just need to find a lantern! I have one but I don't think it's big enough for the candle. I just love the vignette, too. I know right where I will put it.

    Thaks so much for the tutorial and the inspiration!

    1. Awesome! Have fun making your Halloween lantern Naomi 😊 You could adapt your smaller lantern with a flameless votive candle or just fill it with the purple or orange fairy lights. I think a smaller version would be cute.

  7. Marie I love this idea of adding things inside a lantern. Now I have one but I need to make pumpkins that are small enough to fit inside. Happy Fall my dear friend!

    1. Happy Fall back to you my friend! Filling a lantern with mini pumpkins is a great idea too. That way it can be used for Fall and Halloween. Have fun making yours 😊

  8. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too!

    1. Thank you for the pin and share, Marilyn! xo Hope you're having a great weekend so far.

  9. Marie,
    I love how you converted this to a lovely Halloween lantern. Congratulations, you are being featured on Over The Moon Linky Party.

    1. Thank you so much Bev, for the feature! I truly appreciate your support of my work 🤗 Wishing you a wonderful week!


Post a Comment

I always enjoy hearing from you so please don't be shy! I read and reply to every single comment.