What is a DIY Jack O’lantern lantern? Try this easy porch decoration

Do you like fall and Halloween decorations that you can repurpose and reuse? I love jack o’lanterns, but I find they draw in critters and eventually rot because it’s so hot where I live. I saw these at Crate and Barrel and I wanted sometime similar.

halloween lantern

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I really love these, but the large size is $100. I thought about spray painting a lantern I own, because spray painting is so easy! But instead, I went with paper inserts because then I can re-use the lantern after Halloween. This would be SO easy if I owned one of those fancy paper cutters, like a Cricut, but I don’t.

I’m sharing ideas for fall and Halloween with a few friends. Check out these ideas:

Supplies Needed to Make Jack-O-Lantern Lantern

To make your own Jack-0-lantern lantern you need:

  • Lantern – These are affordable at Home Depot, Target or Amazon. I had the copper one from Target..
  • LED flicker candles. If you use paper inside your lantern, you won’t want to use real candles.
  • Black and orange paper. I bought 12×12 scrap book paper, but regular construction paper would work well too. Make sure you get paper that will fill up most of the side of your lantern (you might need sheets larger than 8.5×11
  • Scissors or an exacto knife.
  • Tape or sticky putty

Steps to Make Jack O Lantern Lantern

The first step is to trace the side of your lantern. If you have a lantern where the glass comes out, this is easy. Sometimes the glass is sealed and not easily removable.

Next you want to cut one piece the same size as the glass in black and three sides in orange. By putting orange in three sides, the orange will show through the cut outs to make it look like a jack-o-lantern.

Step 3 is to cut your jack-0-lantern face out of the black piece. I cut a pattern out of orange, which I laid on top of the black paper to use as a pattern.

You can make any face you want. I opted for the simplest face with triangle eyes. I used an Exacto knife and a rolling cutter. This would be an easy thing to make in a paper cutter like Cricut. If you have multiple lanterns, you can make different faces.

jack o'lantern face

Finally, tack your pieces into your lantern using tape or putty. I used some double-sided tape. Add your LED candle and that’s it. If you have multiple lanterns, you can make different faces.

This one is so easy you can do it with kids. And when Halloween is over, you can still use the lantern all year long. I kind of still want the one from Crate and Barrel, but this will have to do.

diy jack o'lantern

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  1. Andrea, what a clever idea! I never thought to do this but I have so many lanterns that this would work! Thanks for sharing. I am so looking forward to decorating for Halloween.

  2. Andrea, this is so cute!!! What a great idea and I love the different color paper to make the face really pop. Can’t wait to see you soon!

  3. This is so cute! I love that it works with an existing lantern to make year round decor a bit more festive for the holiday.

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