How to make paper bag halloween lanterns

It’s officially spooky season! It’s time to put your carved pumpkins outside your house and be ready for the influx of happy trick or treaters- so don’t forget to stock up on your sweetie supply!

It can be difficult when you want to go all out for halloween decorations but don’t have the budget to purchase ready made ones, or the time to create wonderful masterpieces yourself, well, cue halloweenie paper bag lanterns!

Paper bags for crafts

Now paper bags are a perfect material for all kinds of crafts and with the right kind of imagination it is surprising what you can do with them. We’re using paper bags for these lanterns because they are already holding their shape so don’t require any tape, they are also a really eco friendly option as you can store and reuse them for next halloween, or chuck them in your compost bin (just make sure you’re using water based inks with the pen!)

What you will need

  • Paper bags
  • Water based felt tip pens
  • Scissors
  • Small glass jars
  • Tea lights

How to make your paper bag lanterns

  1. Collect your paper bags

You can purchase paper bags for this activity, but it’s much more eco friendly if you have a stash lying around that you can use instead! It doesn’t matter what colour, shape or size the bags are, in fact a mixture can give a much more interesting aesthetic!

  1. Prepare your designs

It’s time to get creative! Use your pens to draw a spooky design on the front side of your paper bag, a scary pumpkin face tends to work well but whatever halloweenie design you can think of, keep it simple as these work best for the next step. If you’re worried about messing up, use a stencil or even start in pencil until you are confident with the design and then go over in the pen afterwards. If worse comes to worse you can flip the bag over and start on the other side.

You can draw on the paper bag whilst it is standing up right or gently fold the bag flat using the creases as this may make it easier to draw on.

  1. Make the cut outs

By now you should have a great spooky design on the front of your bag. Now what you need to do is pick some complete shapes on the front that you can cut out. For example if you’ve chosen to draw a spooky pumpkin face, you can cut out the eyes and the mouth. Be careful with the scissors and try not to rip the bag.

  1. Add some light

Now you’ve got your complete paper bag with spooky cutouts, it’s time to add the candle. As paper is a fire hazard you should always put your tea light into a glass jar and never put your tealight straight into the paper bag. Light your tealight in the jar first and then gently place it in the centre of your bag.

  1. Turn out the lights

The only thing that is left to do now is turn out the lights and appreciate your masterpiece. You can now decorate your home with them or your front porch. Just remember to never leave naked flames unattended.

Happy Halloween!


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