Lantern Made From Dollar Store Finds

6 Materials
$7
2 Hours
Easy

I love the look of lanterns for decorating but they’re so expensive so I made my own out of Dollar Store items
I wanted a tall lantern so I bought 4 collage frames.
1 - I removed the back and all of the papers inside.
2 - Then I removed the glass



3 - I applied glue to each corner and along the edge.
4 - I cut the metal pins in half. These pins hold in the glass; however, if they aren’t cut, you can see them through the glass
5 - Putting the lantern together:
1: I applied glue on the edge of each frame
2: I place the edges of two frames together and taped them together using painter’s tape
3: I continued to glue the frames together
4: As I glued all the frames together, I continued to tape the corners together
5: Allow the frames to dry
6 - I wanted to make a peaked roof/top for the lantern. Using old wrapping paper, I made a template.
1 - I wrapped the paper around the top of the lantern. Bringing the center together on two sides, I taped it to secure
2 - I then brought the other two sides to the center and stapled to secure
3 - I took the paper off of the lantern and folded the bottom inside to make an even edge
4 - I brought both sides together again flattening the template
5 - I measured 3” from the bottom which would wrap around the lantern
6 - I folded the top right corner to the center, then folded the top left corner to the center.
7 - I flipped the template around and did the same thing on the other side.
8 - I cut out the 4 triangles that were created
These are my templates

7 - To make the actual roof/top:
1 - I purchased two packages of aluminum cookie sheets (2 in one pack)
2 - I cut the edge from all four sheets so I was left with a flat surface
3 - I laid one triangle onto the sheet and traced around it
4 - Using a utility knife, I cut out the triangle. I did not cut on the traced line but cut an inch wider
5 - I cut one diagonal cut from each of the top points
6 - I used a paint stir stick, laying the edge on the traced line, then folded the one inch piece up
This is what each of the four triangles should look like after they’ve been cut and folded.
8 - Putting the roof/top together
1 - I laid the lantern on it’s side and laid the first triangle underneath and taped it into place
2 - I righted the lantern and added the second triangle directly across from the first piece. I taped it to the lantern and taped the top together.
3 - I then added the other two sides, taping them into place.
4 - I removed the roof/top and hot glued the triangles together. The glue was applied to the one inch pieces which were inside the roof/top
9 - I spray painted the entire roof/top black using Rustoleum spray paint. This paint will stick to metal surfaces.
10 - I wanted a bottom for the lantern so using an 8”x 8” aluminum pan, I cut the sides down leaving one inch on all sides.
11 - I spray painted the pan black
12 - I attached the bottom by placing the pan inside the lantern, pushing it to the bottom and hot glued the sides directly to the lantern.

I added a battery operated candle and some seasonal greenery. I really like the way it turned out and to think this whole project cost $7 and everything was from the Dollar Store.
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Have a question about this project?

18 questions
  • Tsh22412045
    on Nov 9, 2017

    What's the name of the glue you are using?
    • Barb T
      on Nov 9, 2017

      E-6000 glue for the frames in a different DIY lantern.

  • Itsmemic
    on Nov 9, 2017

    very cute...how do you turn the lite on and off? Is there a hole in the bottom?
    • Susan
      on Nov 9, 2017

      My guess is she used the battery operated candles that have an automatic timer on them. Once you turn it on, it will automatically shut off a few hours later. For example, if you turn it on at 5:00 pm, it will turn itself off a few hours later. Then it will turn itself on at 5:00 pm the next night and turn itself off in a few hours. They sell these at walmart, amazon, etc. I have several and the batteries last a few months.
    • Laurie Powell
      on Nov 9, 2017

      She used a battery operated candle.
    • Some of the newer flameless candles have timers and some even come with tiny remotes!
    • Sandra Brown-Hurley
      on Nov 9, 2017

      Some have timers.

    • Wif15345417
      on Nov 9, 2017

      She glued the roof together & spay painted it. She didn't say it was yet to the frames. My guess is that it just sits over the frames & can be removed.
    • Flipturn
      on Apr 12, 2020

      Even if the candle is battery operated, at some point in time easy access to the inside of the lantern will still be needed to change the battery.

  • Mel
    on Nov 9, 2017

    Which Dollar store did you find collage frames at? The ones in my area only carry single frames.
    • You need to hunt around, I have 3 Dollar Tree's in my area, yet only one carries collage frames. I also have 2 99 Cent sores and several independent shops. A half hour away I have a Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree within 2 blocks. They all carry slightly different merchandise so I make the rounds when looking for a specific item, then make a note for future reference. Dollar Tree also sells on line, see if that works for you too.
    • Mel29688289
      on Nov 9, 2017

      Glue single ones together to get the look you need 🙄
    • Alicia W
      on Nov 9, 2017

      That’s true Naomie. Different Dollar Stores have different merchandise. I have 4 within a 10 miles of my home and they all carry slightly different items.
      As far as gluing single one’s together Melissa, if you want a long single glass side, you couldn’t glue two together.
    • Irina
      on Nov 9, 2017

      Great job!!!Dollar Tree has thousands of frames!Sometimes they sell it 2 fir1$!
    • Irina
      on Nov 9, 2017

      And I just bought 3 pcs of lasagna pans for 1$!!
  • Linda Holland
    on Nov 9, 2017

    Adorable.. You old punch holes in the top a few each side and light would come through..
    You said cost was $7.00 But the frames were $4.99 alone that was $20. then the pans etc. So cost was a lot more than $7.00 am I correct?
    • Rti15359825
      on Nov 9, 2017

      Is she shopped at The Dollar Tree everything would be only a dollar x 7.

    • Jye31640353
      on Nov 9, 2017

      Not everything is a dollar at dollar store
    • Mary
      on Nov 9, 2017

      At Dollar Tree every item is.

    • Bronxgirlcl
      on Nov 9, 2017

      Dollar tree everything is a dollar and I get all of my craft stuff there. Amazon is expensive so try staying away from that .
    • Charlotte
      on Nov 9, 2017

      Did I miss something or did she just set the time on the lantern and not glue it down?
    • Cindy Rarrick
      on Nov 13, 2017

      $ store frames are $4 right?

    • Alicia W
      on Nov 16, 2017

      All of the items that I purchased were from the Dollar Tree where everything is $1.00.
      Charlotte - I did not glue the candle down as it is battery operated so every time I want to turn it on or off, it needs to be removed from the lantern
    • Stephanie
      on Nov 19, 2017

      Great job!!! Awesome idea. Keep the good ideas and keep sharing.

  • Yylowinger
    on Nov 9, 2017

    I would like to try this but before I do, I also would like more info on the cost. $7 for a $20 frame and the rest of the supplies?
    • She purchased all her supplies from a Dollar store. The items featured at for people who shop on line, are unable to obtain any other way or think dollar stores are "icky" . . .
    • Margaret Green
      on Nov 9, 2017

      The materials list with shopping links is added by HomeTalk. The links take you to Amazon and the prices listed are Amazon. The crafter actually bought her supplies at the Dollar Store. I think HomeTalk gets some kind of incentive payment from Amazon.
    • Debba Robinson
      on Nov 9, 2017

      The frames from the Dollar Store are $1 each.
    • Cathy Hays
      on Nov 10, 2017

      Love the Dollar Store! Ridiculous cheap
    • Mar6300605
      on Nov 10, 2017

      I think a little patience Goodwill MIGHT have carved frames that would jive and make an interesting (even squair) lantern?!?!
    • Cindy Rarrick
      on Nov 13, 2017

      Dollar store frames = $4

    • Debbie
      on Nov 15, 2017

      Probably not permitted to post this link according to the guidelines for Hometalk but here is the link to the item she used to clear up any confusion: https://www.dollartree.com/Special-Moments-Black-3-Picture-Collage-Frames/p400104/index.pro
    • Alicia W
      on Nov 16, 2017

      Thanks everyone for the help in answering Yylowinger’s questions. The answers were spot on!
    • Mimi
      on Nov 18, 2017

      I would love to try this, I am thinking of more of a stable top and bottom with perhaps a couple small hinges from Lowes so I can open one of the sides to change the candles battery if need be. Thank you this is beautiful
    • Barbara Kirby Lawson
      on Nov 18, 2017

      I am doin this now..gor 4 frames dollar tree..a little taller..ie..just regular frames..im planning to cut a clothes hanger wire to put in windows.crossed..jus paint and glue in..i like the look a little better...this is a great project

    • Sue Elrod
      on Nov 18, 2017

      Barbara Kirby Lawson = wish we could see your finished project. Sounds great. Happy crafting and HOLIDAY. {{\0/}}
    • Yylowinger
      on Nov 19, 2017

      These comments are being made in the Question and Answer section. Please make your comments in the Comments section. I received an email from Ms. Elrod and a few others unrelated to my question.
    • JudyH
      on Jun 20, 2018

      Mimi, if you could find a square dinner plate larger than the panels so that you had an overlap, you could flip it upside down and glue a fennel on it to act as a knob you could lift it to change the batteries. It would look more like a terrarium or a cloche though.

    • JudyH
      on Jun 20, 2018

      Mimi, if you could find a square dinner plate larger than the panels so that you had an overlap, you could flip it upside down and glue a fennel on it to act as a knob you could lift it to change the batteries. It would look more like a terrarium or a cloche though.

    • JudyH
      on Jun 20, 2018

      Sorry website seems to be malfunctioning

    • Joe Jones
      on Jun 20, 2018

      @MiMi I used a regular old cookie sheet and I turned my pan sideways to get two sides out of one pan and folded them to make the 90°turn since it’s being painted any smooth metal can be used if you know how to cut it. You can use a jig saw with metal blades to get the best cut. Or an angle grinder even a Dremel they all have metal cutting blades. For the bottom to be able to allow air in for a real candle I glued a small circle to the center of a cross I made with clothes hanger. And attached the hanger to each frame on the bottom with holes I drilled for it to hold the hanger. Two pieces of straight hanger metal the exact width of the inside of your lantern and make an equal cross. and I also used small hinges and a sliding bolt lock to keep it closed on the opposite frame the door opens on

    • Joe Jones
      on Jun 20, 2018

      YYLOWINGER the reason it’s a $20 frame is Hometalk keeps this site running by linking to amazon they have to have sponsors or they couldn’t have such a great free site

    • Joe Jones
      on Jun 20, 2018

      YYLOWINGER the reason it’s a $20 frame is Hometalk keeps this site running by linking to amazon they have to have sponsors or they couldn’t have such a great free site

  • Ann
    on Nov 9, 2017

    What kind of glue did you use to hold the frames together in the first step?
    • Nancy
      on Nov 10, 2017

      You can see the glue between the blue tape strips. They are using a glue that will work with metal or wood.
    • Ann
      on Nov 10, 2017

      I did see the glue between the blue tape strips, which led me to my question.
      I was looking for an answer that was a bit more specific. I'm not sure that you've told me more than I might have guessed. Can someone recommend a glue, based on their own experience or knowledge: I'm not sure that a guess or conjecture is helpful. I wondered why the use of a liquid glue on the top and a glue gun on the bottom.

      Thanks for trying to help. I appreciate your good intentions.
    • Kim
      on Nov 10, 2017

      I love E6000!!!
    • Alicia W
      on Nov 10, 2017

      Hi Ann. Sorry about not answering right away. I used Ultrabond for this project which I bought at Hobby Lobby. I also use E6000 which you can find at any craft store.
    • Love this idea Alicia! would look nice on my stoop ~ i don't have a porch, persay, and this wouldn't take up much room!
      thanks for posting!
    • Chubby58
      on Nov 11, 2017

      Turned out beautiful. You could probably make different color tops for the seasons. Great instructions as well. Love it!
    • Wsl7304262
      on Dec 26, 2017

      when buying that E6000 be sure to check the color of the tube you've picked up as I found out the hard way it comes in white, clear, and black that I know of.....just a piece of advise ....happy crafting!!!
    • Maude LaFountain
      on Jun 20, 2018

      Looks like she used WELLBOND Glue


    • Kathy Zorescu Hindrichs
      on Jun 23, 2018

      CLear E6000 works best with glass!

  • Mary Ellen Rech
    on Nov 9, 2017

    Do you have to remove the lid to turn the candle on?
    • Mar6300605
      on Nov 10, 2017

      false bottom
    • Susan Snyder
      on Nov 10, 2017

      The bottom is hot glued directly to the frames. My guess is that the lid comes off. There are options, though: there’s great flameless candles that have remote controls, or timers that allow them to come on at a pre-determined time.
  • Terri T
    on Jun 21, 2018

    All glues are not equal. What kind did u use.

  • Retiredmom55
    on Mar 3, 2019

    Looks like a lot of work. How long did it take you?

    • Pat whitmus
      on Mar 3, 2019

      Once you get everything together and start...I imagine it would only take an hour or two depending on the glue time for drying.

  • Dpbeee2
    on Mar 3, 2019

    That is very nice thanks, but....This was a link to a cookie sheet project?

    • Jul
      on Mar 3, 2019

      The cookie sheet is one of the disposable ones, she used it for the top to the lantern.

    • Sherry
      on Mar 10, 2019

      1 - I purchased two packages of aluminum cookie sheets (2 in one pack)

    • Jean Dunn
      on Mar 10, 2019

      You use the cookie sheet for lattern top.

    • Mary-Beth
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Cookie sheet project?

    • Jami Gano Boslow
      on Mar 10, 2019

      That’s exactly what I want to know! WHERES THE COOKIE SHEET PROJECT?!

    • Marsha Litten Johnson
      on Mar 10, 2019

      It’s the roof to the lantern

    • Karen Parsons
      on Mar 10, 2019

      She used dollar store aluminum cookie sheets to make the top and bottom

    • Dpbeee2
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Thank you one and all for responding to my question. Hmmm? Some of these click bait titles are still misleading.

  • Terri
    on Mar 10, 2019

    So where’s the cookie sheet? This was advertised as being made with a cookie sheet.

    • Rebecca
      on Mar 10, 2019

      It’s the roof

    • Kelly Kolassa
      on Mar 10, 2019

      The disposable cookie sheet is used for the roof of the lantern. Read the article & it will tell you.

    • Melissa
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Then the picture showing cookie sheet project should be the disposable instead of a regular cookie sheet.

    • Melody B
      on Mar 10, 2019

      The cookie sheet was cut to form the top of the light the bottom was 4 photo frames all from the dollar store go back and read the part about the paper being a templete for cutting the cookie sheet

    • Nikki Olivier
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I was wondering the same thing... 😅

    • Lisa
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Roof

    • Ellen Brodfehrer Robak
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I agree Terri...the title is misleading. Makes you think the item is made solely from a cookie sheet instead of picture frames with a cookie sheet as the top.

    • Karen Parsons
      on Mar 10, 2019

      She used Dollar Store aluminum cookie sheets to make the top and the bottom

    • Melissa Burt Bell
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Cookie sheet is the roof top

    • Jo Cook
      on Mar 10, 2019

      It’s the roof top

    • Sandra Hankins Cormier
      on Mar 10, 2019

      WOW some people have a lot of time on their hands. Spend it reading!

      Not misleading at all. She used 2 cookie sheets for bottom and too. She also used 4 picture frames. There was also a battery candle and greenery.

      Looks great to me.

      I really would like to some projects you have done teri, nicki and Ellen. Post some pics and let us see your style.

    • Linda
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Me too!

    • Lisa Wingert
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Read the instructions its used for the top of the lantern

    • Ces
      on Mar 10, 2019

      The cookie sheets made the top and bottom of the lantern

  • Diane Shewmaker Barrow
    on Mar 10, 2019

    Did you put the glass back in?

    • Peg Hetzer
      on Mar 10, 2019

      In order to keep her seasonal items contained around the battery operated candle yes I think she put the glass back in

    • Ellen Brodfehrer Robak
      on Mar 10, 2019

      The glass was put back in. I can see a reflection off of the side glass. :)

    • Patricia
      on Mar 10, 2019

      It shows gluing in the glass.

    • Michelle
      on Mar 10, 2019

      She did not mention gluing the bottom edges of the roof she created. I think the roof slides up and off.

  • Barb
    on Mar 10, 2019

    What ??

  • Pat Goostree Sprowl
    on Mar 10, 2019

    How do you get back in it to change greenery or candle, battery etc?

    • Lee Deal
      on Mar 10, 2019

      She didn't glue the top to the lantern, she only glued the sides of the top to each other so she can lift off the top to change things out.

    • Lori
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I don't think it has a bottom so just lift

  • Debra
    on Mar 10, 2019

    I like the bottom looks great but that roof looks like a first graders art project. Can you think of another way to do the roof.

    I would really love several of these.

    • Barb
      on Mar 10, 2019

      agreed

    • Virginia Mahalak Mize
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I agree

    • Tammy S
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I agree to.

    • Audrey
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I think it looks great . I would never had thought of this , great thinking outside the box .

      Will have to try this for my pool area also .

    • Lisa Olson
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Roof would look better not glossy. Flat black or rusty tin maybe?

    • Cathy
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I totally agree with you I was so in tell the roof it blew the hole project in my opinion

    • Tina
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I totally agree!

    • Barbara
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Gluing sheet moss or something else to the roof would make it look finished.

    • Melissa Elliott
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Why not just leave it open?

      Or maybe spray paint a fine mesh screen black to match, either to fit right on top or domed a bit?

      Happy crafting!

    • THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR IDEA!!!

      For the rest of you my grandmother always taught us if you can't say anything nice don't say nothing at all. God rest her soul!!!

      If you rude ladies have a better idea go for it, but why attack someone who's sharing her idea with you. Have seen several other ideas for the top but I like this one better.

      Personally I hope you ladies project falls apart...sorry NANNIE...just cant handle grown women knocking another woman who was trying to share her talent ...and again THANK YOU & I APOLOGIZE FOR THEIR RUDENESS.

    • Brenda
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I think I would purchase another collage frame and use the wooden pieces to put on the bottom of the top. I would make the wooden pieces slightly bigger so that it would fit over the the top and make a sort of lid that could be lifted off and on...so as to easily access the inside. Using the pans is a great idea, but their are endless possibles. With the use of a glass cutter...you could make a glass top, or use the heavy cardboard in the frames cut and glue together, also the lid could be decorated with mosaic to make a one of a kind lantern.

    • Melinda
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I thought the same thing. I think the top should be tucked inside so it will have a nice edge. But I do think it's a great idea.

    • Donna
      on Mar 10, 2019

      Very creative thinking!

    • Renee Williams
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I like it! You could always glue a mosaic to the top to cover anything you don't like. You could also use another frame, remove the glass, separate the edges, form the the pyramid dome, glue the tin to that, and then maybe paint it a matte black or brown. So many ideas! Thank you to the original poster for sharing this idea. So creative!

    • Katie Arritt
      on Mar 10, 2019

      I agree I love this idea. I think that these would also make great gifts. This may actually get me to give it a try. Thanks for sharing

    • Denise Robertson
      on Jun 8, 2019

      I love this. But I also like the variety for things on the top. Miss or Mosaic sounds great as well as small holes in the top for light to come through/add small colored glass beads also if not too heavy. I actually love the look of “old tin” which seems to happen when you soak those dollar store tins in water in your sink and/or put through dishwasher! Then if you followed instructions but didn’t spray paint, I wonder if that would look interesting also?

    • Denise Robertson
      on Jun 8, 2019

      I meant moss

  • Wanda Barnes
    on Mar 10, 2019

    This turned out Beautiful! 1 question how do you get back into it to change greenery and battery for candle?

    • Carol
      on Mar 10, 2019

      That was my first thought too. Everything looks great until you see the top. Sorry for negative thought

    • Quesha
      on Mar 11, 2019

      I agree Carol, it looks so nice without the top

    • Jill Wilson Vraa
      on Mar 11, 2019

      You had me until the top.

    • Ronda Jaramillo
      on Mar 28, 2019

      Jill Wilson Vraa, You took the words right out of my mouth!


    • Kiersten
      on May 23, 2019

      It looks like the top lifts off, in order to replace the candle batteries, etc..

    • Shug
      on Oct 23, 2019

      I’m thinking you have more money in this project than if you were to just buy one ????? Not sure but just wondering. But it is very nice.

  • Rose Brady
    on Mar 10, 2019

    is there anyway you can save a project to a wish list or something so I can do it later? and if you can where do you go then to find the saved projects?

  • Carmen
    on Mar 10, 2019

    Can you translate the proyect to spanish?

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