How to Make an Easy Fall Lantern That You’ll Absolutely Love

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Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Katherine

If you are looking for a unique idea to up your fall decor game, this post is for you. Below, I am going to share with you how you can make a gorgeous fall lantern using craft paint. This lantern is perfect if you just want a simple yet gorgeous lantern to sit outside on your front porch or on your patio somewhere.

Lanterns are a great way to add a bit of ambient light to a table or outside a door and you can buy almost any style to suit a wide variety of decor tastes. Instead of inserting a candle into the center, you can buy a battery powered LED candle for safety as well. No matter your personal style, this craft will get you excited for cozy fall evenings after the heat of summer is over!

This is the right hand tree panel of the fall lantern

Ready to DIY a fall lantern? Let’s get started!

Materials You Will Need:

Prepare Your Panels For Painting

The unfinished lantern is pretty plain looking with clear glass panels and metal frame!

I like to clear any dust off of your lantern, or residual styrofoam pieces (from the shipping package). My quick hack for this is to use a Swiffer cloth to wipe away any stray pieces.

You can also rinse it with plain water and dry it with a microfiber or streak free cloth.

If you can detach your glass panels, it’ll be easier to do that. If you can’t, you can use painter’s tape over the metal to avoid any splashing over of your paint.

Paint It Red

Now that my glass panels are painted a solid red, they are ready for the black paint in the fall pattern to complete the fall lantern!

I went with red as the primary background color, but you can create different vibes with these lanterns by picking a different background color.

For example, if you’d rather make a Halloween lantern, pick orange or purple craft paint instead of red. Christmas lanterns can be blue or green as well!

Start with a basic coat and let each application dry between. I did about three coats on mine. I left it a little “transparent”, but you can do as thick as you like.

Craft paint will leave brush strokes, as you can see on my lantern. If you don’t want it, one option is to spray paint the red onto your lantern panels. You will definitely need to tape the metal sides with painter’s tape to avoid spraying them in that case.

Set The Scenes

This is the left handed panel with the tree image on the fall lantern

Nothing says fall like trees losing leaves, so I decided that would be the major theme of my lantern. Other fall themed ideas include acorns, apples, maple leaves, and so on.

Other seasonal ideas:

  • Snowflakes
  • Snowmen
  • Full Moons
  • Black cats
  • Witches

Paint your scene using your black craft paint and reapply as needed to get the look you’re after.


The finished fall lantern looks amazing with the red background and tree with falling leaves!

Once the paint is dry on your lantern, it’s ready to be lit up. Pop in a battery operated LED candle or even a solar powered light and let the sun’s rays create some nighttime ambience on your patio!

If you are placing the lantern in a sheltered spot, it’s probably fine as is, but if you’re afraid of moisture ruining your paint job, I recommend using an outdoor sealant on your lantern to protect all your hard work.

Another addition you can make to your lantern is to decorate it with some lovely fall flowers by twining them throughout the pieces of your lantern.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you did, please share it far and wide on your favorite social media platforms and pin it to Pinterest!

pinterest pin image

Until next time, stay crafty my friends!!

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