Home » Art » How To: Halloween Shadow Lanterns

How To: Halloween Shadow Lanterns


Every year I love to experiment with new craft projects for Halloween. Something fun, creepy, and of course easy to make. This week I’ve been making Halloween Shadow Lanterns, you can hang them up,  cluster them on a table, or set them out down your houses side-walk. To light them you can use either real candles or to be extra safe around kids, with electric votives.

Here is how to make your Halloween Shadow Lanterns.
What you will need for three lanterns:
Black Construction Paper – 12 sheets
Tissue Paper – Multiple Colors
Halloween Laser Cut Shapes – bats, spiders, webs etc…
Elmers White Glue
Spray Adhesive
Painters Tape
Whole Punch
Metal Ruler
X-Acto Knife
Bone Folder
Black Floral Wire
Rubberized Cutting Board with Ruler Grid

1. Take four sheets of neatly stacked black paper, make sure the papers are centered on the cutting mats grid, and then carefully tape them down using small pieces of painters tape.

2. To layout my lanterns face, I started by girding out my pattern, which is laid out around the center cutout. Then I drew in a 1-inch, and a half-inch stacked column on either side of the cut out window. Next I made sure to leave an extra 1 inch gluing flap on the sides of the face, these will be used to glue each of the lanterns sides together. To make the exact lantern you see here just print out the template.

3.  Now with the papers taped down, and gridded use your x-acto knife to cut off the excess paper.4. Using your bone folder and a ruler, score the inner edge of your glueing flange, then bend the edge in. SInce I didn’t have a bone folder, I just bent the edge in over my metal ruler.

5. Now that all of your lantern sides are cut out and shaped, you’ll start glueing them together. First glue together the two facing sides of the glue flange, then glue the flange down to the back of the lanterns face. Continue until all four sides are glued together.6. Using the piece of construction paper cut out for the window as a guide, cut four pieces of tissue paper slightly larger to place over the windows. Then run a bead of glue around the inner face of the lanterns windows and put the tissue paper in place. Gently tugging all the way around to make sure that the tissue paper is taught.

7. Once the glue is dry take your Halloween laser cut spiders, bats, and webs and coat them with spray adhesive on one side. Then place them onto the inside of the lanterns windows.
8. Now that you’ve finished decorating the inside of the lantern, glue the last glue flange into place, to create the 3 dimensional lantern. Once the lantern is standing, fold the corners to give them better definition, and now you may want to add a few laser cut figures to the outside of the lantern as well.9. To finish the lantern off, punch wholes in two of the lanterns faces, to attach the hanging bar made of wire.  Then fold the wire in half and twist to create a ring to hang the lantern from. Finishing by sliding the wire through each whole and twisting the excess wire into a spiral.

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