These spooky lanterns cost very little to make. The black-and-white drawings were found online and printed on vellum paper then inserted in secondhand 8" x 10" picture frames. The frames were then fastened together to make a square, and then a votive candle was placed inside.

Step 1


Prep the Frames

For each lantern, use four picture frames that are all the same size. We were lucky to find a bunch of standard-size frames at a resale shop. Discount stores often carry basic frames that will cost just a dollar or two.

Remove the matting and glass from the frame and set aside. Keep the brackets or nails that hold the glass in place.

Step 2


Paint the Frames

Lay the frames out on a tarp and spray them with black spray paint. Let dry and then turn them over to spray the back and sides.

Step 3


Find Spooky Drawings

Search the internet for vintage-style black-and-white Halloween drawings. We used bats, skeletons, witches and old medical drawings. Size the images accordingly, then print them out on the white vellum paper.

Step 4


Attach Picture to Glass

Cut the printouts to fit the frame. Place the front of the picture down upon the glass. Cover the back of the paper with the clear packing tape (this way water will not get on the paper and potentially damage it).  Lay the packing tape so it overhangs the glass, then fold it over the glass by about 1/4".

Step 5


Place Picture in Frame

Place the glass and print back into the frame and fold the brackets (or nails) back over to hold it all in place.

Step 6

Lay Out the Frames

Lay the four frames down beside each other with the backs facing up (Image 1). Use black tape to secure the edges of the frames together (Image 2). Leave one at the end unattached for the moment. Stand up the frames and put them into a square, then attach the last piece of tape from the inside (Image 3).

Step 7


Photo By: Susan Teare

Susan Teare

Add Candle

Place lantern frame over a candle (battery-operated or standard).