Go for a little Halloween glow with these simple milk carton Halloween lanterns thanks to this easy DIY lantern craft. Use a milk carton to make the frame and other basic craft supplies from your home to make these Halloween paper lanterns.
How to Decorate Paper Lanterns
Your choice of paper determines how the light diffuses, so choose carefully. You can use any thin paper for this project.
I used paper napkins as I came across some really fun prints but tissue paper, wax paper, parchment paper and vellum would also work well to decorate these lanterns.
Tips for Making this a Milk Carton Lantern Kids Craft
These simple tips will help you make this spooky milk carton lantern project perfect for kids to tackle:
- Kids can add their own designs to plain paper using permanent markers or crayons before gluing it to the milk carton.
- Either cut out the frames ahead of time for kids to paint and decorate or use your box cutter to cut an “X” in the center of each rectangle so that your kids can easily cut the windows out with safety scissors.
- Use white school glue to attach the paper to the milk carton. This is less messy to clean up than other options, dries clear and has a lasting hold.
When choosing or creating your designs, high contrasting patterns work the best and give the spookiest results once the lights go out. Definitely do look to include black and a pale colour if you can.
Please remember that these are made entirely of paper and so should not be illuminated with real candles. Battery operated candles are the only thing that should be used to illuminate these handmade paper lanterns.
Milk Carton Halloween Lantern Craft
Milk or Cream Carton
Lightweight paper (Paper napkins, tissue paper, vellum, wax paper etc..)
Box cutter or scissors
Black Pipe Cleaner
Black paint (acrylic paint)
Battery-powered tea light candle
Rinse the milk carton clean and allow it to dry completely.
Use a ruler to measure a rectangle on the carton to draw out the frame. It should be ½ inch on the sides and 1 inch from the top and bottom.
Use a box cutter or scissors to cut away the top of the carton.
Cut out the rectangles from each side.
Paint both the inside and outside of the milk carton black and allow to dry. This may take 2-3 coats to get good coverage.
Cut four pieces of paper that are about ½ inch wider and taller than the side openings.
Spread a thin layer of glue around the edges of the patterned side of the paper.
Lightly press the paper onto the inside of the lantern frame with the pattern facing out.
Allow glue to dry completely.
Use a hole punch to create two holes on opposing sides of the frame.
Feed pipe cleaner from the holes to make a handle. Twist to secure.
Place a small battery-operated candle into the bottom to illuminate the lantern.
(Note: Do not light these with a real flame. )
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!