Stick This: DIY Halloween Lantern

Since Halloween is coming soon, I thought I’d make a little cardboard lantern to decorate the table. This is a fairly easy craft that kids can definitely help with, but I recommend that an adult do the cutting and gluing.

You can make all four sides the same or different. I recommend not choosing really complicated “creatures”, but the choice is yours. Bats, witch hats, pumpkins, cats, skulls, owls, the letters “B O O”… There are tons of possibilities.


– cardboard

– tissue paper (I used yellow, but you can use orange, green, purple, or whatever color you prefer)

– black acrylic paint, brush

– scissors, exacto knife

– glue gun, glue sticks

– white glue (optional)

– black ribbon

1. Cut a piece of cardboard that is 21″ long by 5″ wide. This will make a lantern that is a 5″ cube with a 1″ overlap to glue it together. Mark and score at 5″, 10″, 15″, and 20″.

2. Mark a 3″ by 3″ square inside each of your sides.

3. Draw your creatures inside these squares, leaving part of the creature attached to the sides of the square so that when you cut it out, it won’t just fall out.

Carefully cut around the designs.

4. Measure and mark four triangles that are 3″ high and 5″ wide at the bottom.

5. Cut out the four triangles.

6. Paint the “outside” and edges of all the cardboard pieces black. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

7. Cut a piece of ribbon and tie a knot in it. I used a 6″ long piece to make a short loop.

8. Cut four squares of tissue paper slightly smaller than 5″ by 5″. Use white and/or hot glue to attach the tissue paper squares to the “inside” of each of the lantern sides.

9. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly.

10. Glue the 1″ flap to the inside of the far side to form the cube.

11. Glue the ribbon loop to the inside of the top corner of one of the triangles.

12. Attach the four triangles to the top edges of the cube. Glue one, then the opposite, then the other two. Glue between the triangles and fill in along all the edges.

13. Paint along the glue seams with black paint.

14. You can add a bottom to the lantern if you want (5″ by 5″ square). I wanted to put a battery-operated light inside mine, so I didn’t put a bottom on.

15. Add a light inside and enjoy your spooky lantern. DONE!