Skip to content

Tutorials for Making Halloween-Themed Lanterns to Light Up Your Space


Halloween is a time for magic, mystery, and creating an atmosphere that shivers with delight. Lanterns, with their warm glow and enchanting shadows, are the perfect way to illuminate your space and infuse it with the spirit of the season. While store-bought decorations can be tempting, crafting your own Halloween lanterns offers a unique opportunity to personalize your home, unleash your creativity, and save money.

This blog post will guide you through a series of simple and fun tutorials, from beginner-friendly ideas to more elaborate projects. Whether you’re looking to create spooky jars, transform paper lanterns into festive displays, or upcycle old materials into unique light sources, you’ll find inspiration and step-by-step instructions to bring your Halloween lantern dreams to life.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Simple and Easy Lanterns for Beginners

Title: “Spooky Jars: A Beginner-Friendly Approach”

Let’s start with a project that’s perfect for those new to crafting or looking for a quick and easy way to add a spooky touch to their home. You can transform ordinary glass jars into enchanting Halloween lanterns with just a few simple steps.


  • Glass jars of various sizes (pickle jars, jam jars, etc.)
  • Acrylic paint in spooky colors (black, orange, purple, green)
  • Glitter in complementary colors (optional)
  • Craft glue
  • Paintbrushes
  • Stencils (bats, pumpkins, ghosts) – optional
  • Battery-operated LED tea lights

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Prepare your jars: Thoroughly wash and dry your glass jars to ensure a clean surface for painting.
  2. Paint the jars: Using your chosen acrylic paints, paint the jars in solid colors, or use stencils to create fun Halloween motifs like bats, pumpkins, or ghosts. If using stencils, apply a layer of paint to the jar and gently press the stencil onto the wet paint. Let the paint dry completely before removing the stencil.
  3. Add embellishments (optional): If you want to add extra sparkle and texture, use craft glue to attach glitter around the painted designs, or use fabric scraps, dried leaves, or other small embellishments to create unique textures.
  4. Secure the tea light: Once your decorations are dry, carefully place a battery-operated LED tea light inside the jar. Choose a tea light that is small enough to fit comfortably and securely inside the jar.
  5. Display your lanterns: Arrange your spooky jars on window sills, shelves, or tables to create a festive and enchanting ambiance.

Safety Tip: Always use battery-operated tea lights for safety, and ensure the lights are securely placed in the jars. Avoid using real candles inside glass jars, as they can pose a fire hazard.

Part 2: Crafting with Paper Lanterns

Title: “Paper Lanterns for Spooky Shadows and Festive Lights”

Paper lanterns are a versatile and affordable crafting material that can be easily transformed into eye-catching Halloween decorations. Their translucent nature allows for a soft, ethereal glow, perfect for creating spooky shadows and adding a touch of whimsy to your space.


  • Paper lanterns of various sizes and shapes (round, square, star)
  • Acrylic paint in spooky colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glow sticks
  • Scissors

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Choose your lanterns: Select paper lanterns in sizes and shapes that complement your Halloween decor.
  2. Paint the lanterns: Using acrylic paint, create spooky designs on the lanterns. You can use a solid color or paint a variety of Halloween motifs like pumpkins, bats, ghosts, or intricate patterns.
  3. Add details: Use markers or stencils to add details to your painted designs, enhancing their visual appeal.
  4. Insert glow sticks: Once the paint is dry, insert glow sticks into the lanterns for a luminous effect. Choose glow sticks that match your color scheme or create a vibrant contrast.
  5. Hang the lanterns: Use string or wire to hang the lanterns from the ceiling, doorways, or around furniture for a festive and ethereal display.

Tip: Experiment with different painting techniques to achieve different looks. Try using sponge brushes, dotting techniques, or even using torn fabric to create unique textures.

Part 3: Beyond the Basics: DIY Mason Jar Lanterns

Title: “Turn Mason Jars into Enchanting Halloween Lanterns”

Mason jars are a versatile crafting staple, and with a little creativity, you can transform them into elegant and unique Halloween lanterns. Their sturdy construction allows for a variety of embellishments, and their clear glass provides a beautiful backdrop for your spooky designs.


  • Mason jars (various sizes)
  • Wire (thin, flexible wire is ideal)
  • Battery-operated lights (string lights, fairy lights, or LED tea lights)
  • Acrylic paint (in spooky colors)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Optional embellishments:
    • Lace trim
    • Fabric scraps
    • Dried flowers
    • Twine or ribbon

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Prepare the Mason Jars: Wash and dry your mason jars thoroughly.
  2. Create a wire frame: Cut a length of wire that will fit snugly around the opening of the mason jar. Bend the wire into a circle, leaving enough extra wire at each end to create loops for hanging.
  3. Secure the wire: Wrap the wire around the jar opening, ensuring the loops are positioned opposite each other. Twist the wire ends together to create a secure handle.
  4. Paint the jar: Choose a spooky color (black, orange, purple, or green) and paint the mason jar. You can paint it entirely, or create a gradient effect with two or three colors.
  5. Add embellishments (optional): Once the paint is dry, add decorative touches to your lanterns. Use fabric scraps, lace trim, or dried flowers to create textures and accents. Wrap twine or ribbon around the jar for a rustic touch.
  6. Secure the light source: Place the battery-operated lights inside the jar, ensuring they are securely positioned and won’t fall out.
  7. Hang or display: Use the wire loops to hang the lanterns from the ceiling, doorways, or branches. Alternatively, arrange the lanterns on tables or shelves for a festive display.

Tip: Experiment with different lighting effects by using various types of battery-operated lights. Fairy lights create a twinkling effect, while LED tea lights provide a warm and inviting glow.

Part 4: Upcycling and Repurposing for Unique Lanterns

Title: “Giving Old Things a Spooky Second Life”

Instead of buying new materials, give your old items a spooky second life by transforming them into unique Halloween lanterns. Upcycling and repurposing are not only environmentally friendly but also offer a chance to create one-of-a-kind decorations that reflect your personal style.


  • Recycled materials (tin cans, old jars, cardboard boxes, old light bulbs)
  • Black paint
  • Acrylic paints in spooky colors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Glow-in-the-dark paint
  • Battery-operated lights (LED tea lights, fairy lights)

Ideas for Repurposed Lanterns:

  1. Tin Can Lanterns: Clean and dry an empty tin can. Use black paint to cover the entire can, and then use scissors to cut out spooky shapes like bats, ghosts, or pumpkins. Insert an LED tea light inside the can for a spooky glow.
  2. Glass Jar Lanterns: Use old jars (pickle jars, jam jars) and give them a unique look with textured paint. Apply a layer of paint, then use a sponge or a textured brush to create bumps, swirls, or other textures. Add glitter for extra sparkle, and insert a battery-operated light.
  3. Cardboard Box Lanterns: Cut out lantern shapes from cardboard boxes. Decorate them with Halloween motifs using paint, markers, or patterned paper. Cut out windows and patterns for a spooky effect. Place a battery-operated light inside for illumination.
  4. Light Bulb Lanterns: Use old light bulbs and paint them with glow-in-the-dark paint. Let the paint dry completely, and then insert a small battery-operated light inside the bulb. The glow-in-the-dark effect creates a magical and eerie glow.

Tip: Be creative with your repurposed materials. Use old CDs, buttons, bottle caps, or other small objects to embellish your lanterns.

Part 5: Tips for Lighting and Placement

Title: “Illuminating Your Halloween Space”

The way you light your Halloween lanterns can significantly impact the overall atmosphere you create. Choosing the right light source and strategically placing your lanterns can transform your space from ordinary to extraordinary.

Types of Lighting:

  • LED Tea Lights: These are a safe and convenient option for creating a warm and inviting glow.
  • Battery-Operated Fairy Lights: Fairy lights add a whimsical and festive touch with their twinkling effect.
  • Glow Sticks: Glow sticks offer a vibrant and playful glow, perfect for adding a pop of color to your lanterns.
  • Real Candles (with safety precautions): For a traditional and romantic ambiance, you can use real candles, but only if your lanterns are made from heat-resistant materials like metal or glass. Always use caution and never leave candles unattended.

Placement Strategies:

  • Height and Arrangement: Play with different heights and arrangements to create visual interest. Place lanterns on shelves, tables, window sills, or hang them from the ceiling or branches.
  • Focal Points: Use lanterns to highlight key areas in your space, such as doorways, fireplaces, or entryways.
  • Shadows and Effects: Experiment with placing lanterns behind sheer curtains or using light sources that cast dramatic shadows to create a spooky ambiance.

Safety First:

  • Always use safe lighting techniques. Never use real candles inside lanterns made from flammable materials, and always supervise lit candles.
  • Place lanterns out of reach of children and pets. Ensure your lanterns are stable and secure to prevent accidents.

FAQ Section

  • Q: What kind of paint is best for Halloween lanterns?
    • A: Acrylic paints are versatile, easy to work with, and dry quickly.
  • Q: Can I use real candles in my Halloween lanterns?
    • A: Only if you are using heat-resistant materials like metal or glass and take extreme safety measures. Always supervise lit candles and never leave them unattended.
  • Q: How do I create spooky shadows with my lanterns?
    • A: Try using lanterns with intricate cut-outs, placing them behind a sheer curtain, or using a light source that casts a dramatic shadow.
  • Q: What are some creative ways to hang my lanterns?
    • A: Use string, wire, branches, or even decorative hooks to hang your lanterns. Be creative and experiment with different placement options.
  • Q: Where can I find inspiration for Halloween lantern designs?
    • A: Pinterest, Instagram, and craft blogs are excellent resources for finding inspiration.


Creating your own Halloween lanterns is a fun and rewarding way to personalize your home, unleash your creativity, and add a touch of spooky magic to your decorations. Whether you choose a simple spooky jar, a whimsical paper lantern, or an upcycled masterpiece, these DIY projects will transform your space into a captivating and festive Halloween haven.

So gather your materials, let your imagination run wild, and get ready to illuminate your Halloween with the enchanting glow of your very own handcrafted lanterns. Share your creations on social media using the hashtag #DIYHalloweenLanterns and inspire others to embrace the creative spirit of the season.