Halloween Paper Lanterns {DIY Tutorial}

Today, we’re going to make some easy, versatile and cute Halloween lanterns for a tablescape, party décor or even a nice foyer vignette (which is what I used my lanterns for).



  • 2 pieces of white cardstock
  • 1 piece of black cardstock
  • Glue Dots® craft dots, mini dots and removable dots
  • Silhouette SD or scissors, x-acto knife and perforator
  • 3 battery operated tealights
  • Printer (black/white only is fine)
  • Halloween confetti (optional)
  • Accessories such as a tray/creepy cloth/pumpkins/etc. (if desired)

To begin, I laid out my lantern file in Silhouette Studio. I made it fairly large, since this would be the tallest of the lanterns.


Using Silhouette’s print & cut feature, I wanted to add in some stripes to make it a bit more Halloween-ish. I made a rectangle over one of the stripes.


Then I filled it with black.


Then I copied/pasted the rectangle into every other stripe of the lantern.


Until I ended up with this. Remember to move all the stripes to the back (right click, send to back) and then adjust the height/width to fit within the stripe/cut area.


Then I went to the cut menu, and I clicked on each of my black/orange stripes and made sure “No Cut” is selected so it won’t cut out my stripes. This would defeat the purpose.


In order to use the print/cut feature, you need to make sure you show/print registration marks like I did below.


Of course, then I remembered I don’t have color toner right now, so I made all the orange stripes gray by using the fill menu.


Next, it’s time to print my design. Since my lantern is landscape-oriented, I changed my page set-up to reflect that so it’ll print correctly. I send it to the printer, and then I load it onto my Silhouette on the thick-media carriage sheet and let it cut away. (Note: if you have trouble with the print & cut feature, this blog post is super HELPFUL. It’s what I used to learn.)


Finally, I end up with my lantern.


You kind of have to work the lantern a bit to get it to get in shape. I folded down the center:


Then added 3 craft Glue Dots to one of the ends to secure the lantern together. Then you smoosh it down (like my technical terms) to reveal your awesome lantern:



I repeated this process again using this spider web background and making the lantern slightly smaller than the last one.


And again one last time using plain black paper. This was the smallest lantern, so I had to whip out my mini Glue Dots®.



As you can see, all the lanterns do have holes so they can be hung. I didn’t get rid of the holes (though it’s easy to just delete them in Silhouette Studio) just in case I do decide to hang them or something. I like options.

Once you have all your lanterns assembled, you might want to embellish them a bit. I had some glittery Halloween themed confetti on hand from Walmart that was perfect for this project.




I also had a mirror I wanted to use for this décor project, but didn’t want to have to deal with peeling off adhesive residue, so thank goodness for removable Glue Dots®


I used quite a few of these to create the spider marching line on my mirror.




Finally, I had a low cost, creative and unique vignette for my foyer area.





I really like the way these turned! You could make a large batch of them and line a table with them for a party or even use them as luminaries outdoors. I’m all for affordable décor that is quick, easy and creative. I know using my Silhouette SD made it super easy, but you could make these with an x-acto knife, perforator and some scissors. Just use a ruler to make sure your lines are straight/even, and you could whip these up without needing a craft cutter.

Where would you use these lanterns? Do you have an idea for them that I missed? Let me know in the comments section.


I wrote this blog post while participating on the Glue Dots design team; hope you enjoyed my first project as a Glue Dots Dottess.



  1. Kassi @ Truly Lovely
    October 3, 2011 / 10:02 pm

    Oooh that looks great! Love the spiders on the mirror too!

  2. Go Against The Grain
    October 3, 2011 / 11:02 pm

    oh nice!! Love the lanterns, especially the one with the webs 🙂

  3. The Little Flapper
    October 8, 2011 / 10:16 pm

    These lanterns have been my favorite tutorial. Especially because lanterns can be so versatile and used for other different occasions.

  4. Candace @Naturaly Educational
    October 9, 2011 / 1:30 am

    Gorgeous! I have done something similar with red for Chinese New Year…but just used scissors.

  5. paper lantern
    November 26, 2011 / 6:36 pm

    This is a excellent Blog. I am pretty much impressed with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up.Thanks

  6. Dianne Grover
    March 23, 2012 / 6:34 am

    Paper lanterns are very elegant and decorative pieces. The instructions you have shared in making one are so easy to follow. Other art enthusiasts use recycled paper or shredded paper strips from Dallas shredding (for example) as materials. Some even use tissue papers. Whichever material, the out come is surely amazing. Thanks for sharing a very great tutorial.