Make a set of adorable paper bag Halloween luminaries with three basic materials. We'll show you how to make five different lantern designs that are perfect for Halloween.

By Amy Palanjian
September 26, 2018

Turn brown paper bags, adhesive shapes, and votive candles into festive Halloween decor. Display them around your home, or put them on the front porch to welcome trick-or-treaters with this fun outdoor Halloween decoration. Use one of our five spooky designs, or get creative and personalize your bags with your own designs. We'll show you how quick and easy it is to put this Halloween craft together—just in time for trick-or-treating!

  • Working time 15 mins
  • Start to finish 30 mins
  • Difficulty Easy
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What you need

Tools
Materials
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How to do it

Step 1

¡Ojo! Lantern

No mal de ojo here! Using letter stickers and a white paper sack, these Halloween luminarias have a hidden meaning: the word "ojo" forms two eyes (or ojos) and a nose. Put one letter on each paper sack and cut up extra letters to make eyelashes for the two O letters. Add googly eyes to watch over your trick-or-treaters or guests attending your Halloween party or Dia de los Muertos celebration

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Step 2

Spiderweb Lantern

Make this simple spiderweb with a white paper sack and a roll of thin black tape. Stretch the tape in alternating lines so that they cross in the center and stretch all the way to the top, sides, and corners of the bag. Then, add shorter pieces of tape to connect the lines. Start from the center and work out, making connecting lines spaced an inch or so apart on the bag until the web pattern is complete. Use glue to add a plastic spider to your web, and you're ready to go!

Step 3

Tombstone Lantern

Brush blue or grey watered-down acrylic paint onto a white paper bag. When the paint is dry, cut the top opening of the bag into the curved shape of the top of a tombstone. Attach small adhesive letters to spell out your spooky sayings, such as "beware!" and "RIP." If you don't have adhesive letters, you can use a thick black marker to write out your phrase.

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Step 4

Pumpkin Lantern

No Halloween lantern set is complete without a classic black and orange jack-o-lantern face. Start this lantern by brushing watered-down orange acrylic paint onto a white paper bag. While the paint dries, cut face shapes from vinyl to make a spooky (or silly) jack-o-lantern. If you don't want to freehand the design, browse our selection of free pumpkin face stencils use your printer to scale down the designs, and use them as a template.

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Step 5

Spooky Skull Lantern

Go full-on spooky with a bright green lantern adorned with a skull design. To make it, brush watered-down green acrylic paint onto a paper bag. When the bag is completely dry, attach a skull shape to the bag—you can cut your own from black adhesive vinyl, or look for a store-bought sticker. Swap out the skull for a radioactive symbol or a ghostly ghoul for a set of lanterns that's extra spooky. 

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