How to Make Pumpkin Lanterns
Light up a dark evening with pumpkins designed to resemble lanterns. You can quickly make enough to use as path lights
Skill Level: Beginner
Estimated Time: A few hours
Estimated Cost: $ of $$$$$
TOOLS AND MATERIALS
- Drill with bit set
- Paring knife
- 2 - 3/8-in x 8-in eyebolts
- 1-3/4-in oak crafts finials, pack of 2, #81618
- LED tea lights
- 48-in shepherd’s hooks (optional), #58537
- Rust-Oleum flat black spray paint
Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.
Select two pumpkins about 5 inches tall at their center without including the stems. Snap off the pumpkin stems.
Choose the least attractive side of each pumpkin, and cut an opening in that side with a paring knife. It needs to be just large enough to insert an electric tea light. Remove the plug from the hole and scrape out the seeds and material inside with a spoon.
Drill a 3/8-inch hole centered on the top and another centered on the bottom. Pass the eyebolt through the holes to check for fit -- there should be about 1-1/4 inches of the end visible -- and then remove it.
Remove the screw from each crafts finial using pliers. Drill out the existing holes to 3/8 inch wide. Then use a handsaw with fine teeth to cut the bottom button from the base of each finial.
Drill random holes or a pattern of your choice centered on the fronts of the pumpkins. Clean and dry them before spray-painting them flat black. Then paint the eyebolt, nut, and finial pieces.
Pass the eyebolt through the finial button and a pumpkin so the loop is on top. Hold it in place with a nut so about 1/4 inch of the eyebolt extends past the bottom of the nut. Then screw the finial to the bottom of the bolt. If necessary, add tape around the bolt threads to hold the finial in place. Repeat for the second pumpkin.
Tip: When you’re through displaying your lanterns, you can remove and clean the bolt and finial pieces, touch up any paint as needed, and save them for next Halloween.
Illuminate the lantern with one or both tea lights (you may need a second pair) inserted through the opening. Hang your lanterns using 1/8-in nylon rope or from an optional shepherd’s hook.
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