DIY halloween décor | flameless lantern

cheap and easy DIY Halloween decorations [pinit]


If you're looking for a cheap, easy, safe, and last-minute Halloween decoration idea, our flameless lantern is a perfect fit! It looks great in the daytime, spooky in the nighttime, and you can re-purpose it after the holiday is over.

Supplies (for 1 lantern):

  • a glass jar (any size and any shape, as long as you can fit the flameless tea light inside)
  • paint (I used white acrylic paint and chalkboard paint)
  • paintbrush
  • string, twine, or cord (I used a thick twine that is suitable for the outdoors)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a screwdriver
  • a battery-operated tea light (make sure it comes with the battery!)
  • blue tape (the kind you use for painting)
  • sand (optional)


Cost: Since I had all of these supplies at home, this project didn't cost me anything. If you don't have a battery-operated tea light, you can buy a "pumpkin light" almost anywhere. If you haven't seen them, try the grocery store near the pumpkin carving supplies. A hardware supply store will also have them year-round.


cheap and easy Halloween decoration ideas | flameless lantern


  1. Paint the lid of the jar. (I painted mine white.) After it dries, puncture a hole in the center using a screwdriver. (I recommend doing this outside to avoid damaging furniture and whatnot.) If you're having trouble, hit the top of the screwdriver with a mallet. Next, feed your twine through the hole, then tie a knot on the inside (the "bottom" of the lid). Make it big enough so the knot will stay securely in place once you hang your jar.
  2. (OPTIONAL) Paint the bottom half of the jar with chalkboard paint. You can use blue tape around the center to get a clean line. See our "Chalkboard Paint Tips" below.
  3. (OPTIONAL) Fill the jar partway with sand. (This will allow the top of the tea light "flame" to peek through.)
  4. Place the battery-operated tea light inside the jar.
  5. Tie the twine and lid to a strong tree branch. Screw the jar into the lid, and there you have it: a safe and spooky lantern that won't catch anything on fire!

When Halloween is over, you can store the tea light, sand, and lid, then use the jar itself as a cute pencil cup or storage container. (I actually made these last all I had to do this year was tie them back up in the tree.)

Helpful Hint :: Do NOT leave these lanterns outside if it rains. The water will seep into the jar and get the tea light wet, rendering it useless.

cheap and easy Halloween decoration ideas | flameless lantern


tips for using chalkboard paint