5 DIY Halloween Paper Bag Lanterns to Light Up Your Porch

Make a set of adorable paper bag Halloween luminaries with three basic materials and five different lantern designs that are perfect for Halloween.

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

Turn brown paper bags, adhesive shapes, and votive candles into festive Halloween decor. Display them around your home or front porch to welcome trick-or-treaters with these fun Halloween paper bag luminaries. 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!

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Scissors
  • 1 Foam brush


  • 1 Paper bags
  • 1 Thin Black Tape
  • 1 Large Adhesive Letters
  • 1 Small Adhesive Letters
  • 1 Acrylic paint
  • 1 Black adhesive vinyl


  1. ¡Ojo! Lantern

    ojo letters making a face halloween lanterns

    No mal de ojo (evil eye) on these Halloween paper bag luminaries:

    1. Use letter stickers and a white paper sack to spell out this hidden meaning. (The word "ojo" forms two eyes—or ojos—and a nose.
    2. Put one letter on each paper sack and cut up extra letters to make eyelashes for the two O letters.
    3. Add googly eyes to watch over your trick-or-treaters or guests attending your Halloween party or Dia de los Muertos celebration.
    4. Spiderweb Lantern

      paper bag spider web halloween lantern
      Matthew Clark

      Make this simple spiderweb with a white paper sack and a roll of thin black tape:

      1. Stretch the tape in alternating lines to cross in the center and stretch all the way to the bag's top, sides, and corners.
      2. 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.
      3. Use glue to add a plastic spider to your web; you're ready to go!
      4. Tombstone Lantern

        paper bag grave halloween lantern

        Make this (sort of ) creepy tombstone for Halloween spookiness:

        1. Brush blue or grey watered-down acrylic paint onto a white paper bag.
        2. When the paint is dry, cut the top opening of the bag into the curved shape of the top of a tombstone.
        3. 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.
        4. Pumpkin Lantern

          Jack o' lantern face paper bag halloween lantern

          No Halloween lantern set is complete without a classic black and orange jack-o-lantern face:

          1. Brush watered-down orange acrylic paint onto a white paper bag.
          2. While the paint dries, cut face shapes from vinyl to make a spooky (or silly) jack-o-lantern.
          3. 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.
          4. Spooky Skull Lantern

            paper bag skull halloween lantern

            Go full-on spooky with a bright green lantern adorned with a skull design:

            1. Brush watered-down green acrylic paint onto a paper bag.
            2. 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.
            3. Swap out the skull for a radioactive symbol or a ghostly ghoul for a set of extra spooky lanterns.
Related Articles