Chinese Lantern Pumpkins




Introduction: Chinese Lantern Pumpkins

About: Lover of hackers, knitters, cupcake bakers, shennanigans, sci-fi/fantasy, board games, coding and men in drag. Find me blogging at Catch me on Twitter too! @zazenergy

I love the fall, and Halloween is definitely up there as one of my favorite holidays! I wanted to get a bunch of pumpkins to decorate my apartment, but being a city gal, I don't have a car and didn't love the idea of lugging home 25 pounds of pumpkin.

What's a city girl to do?

Fortunately I stumbled upon the idea of turning chinese lanterns into pumpkins! Thank you Martha Stewart! I wanted mine to be spooky, so I added some spiders to mine.

Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know before making this project:

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time: 10 minutes
Cost: $15 - 50 dollars (this depends on how many "pumpkins" you buy, since chinese lanterns are the most expensive component)

Onto the parts you'll need....

Step 1: What You'll Need to Get Started

Chinese lanterns (8", 12" and 16" inches are the sizes I used). They're relatively inexpensive on, but can also be found in many shops.
Floral Tape
Thread (clear would be ideal, but I used black and that also worked well)
Green Pipe Cleaners
Plastic Spiders

Step 2: Put Together Your Pumpkins

As simple as it sounds, simply insert the wire into the chinese lantern.

A couple items of note. These lantern are extremely easy to tear. Insert the wire with extreme caution and do not try to push anything into place -- you'll probably end up just tearing the lantern!

Step 3: Add the Leaves

I attached the pipe cleaners to the horizontal bar going across the lantern. As you can see, I hooked the pipe cleaner around it and that seemed to hold it snug.

With a separate piece of pipe cleaner I ran half of it through the notch in that bar to secure it.

Simply twist the pipe cleaner around your finger to get the curls and you're good!

Step 4: Add Your Stem

Take a scrap piece of paper and make it into a very loose shape of a stem. Then grab your floral tape and wrap it around the paper. Keep wrapping until it has covered all the paper and pop it on top of the wire frame.

Step 5:

Grab a spider and double knot your string along its leg. Then simply decide the length you'd like and tie the string to the wire frame. From zero to pumpkin in under 10 minutes!

I don't have my pumpkins lit up, but you could very easily just add a light if you prefer that look.

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    Love these lanterns ;) Would you mind putting my Treehouse Cocoon into the Ikea hacks collection? Thanks.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool but wanted to give a heads up, Dollar Tree (everything's 1 buck) has some small ~10"'s with LEDs for sale. Yes they are cheap but actually look nice;-)


    11 years ago on Step 5


    For adding a light, 4 lengths of cotton, taped around the oustide of an led tealight and taped or knotted to the top bar should work well. Or a single thread hot glued to the tip of the tealight then,again, taped or knotted to the bar. In either case, make sure you can get your hand up inside to switch the light on and off.

    If you want to have your pumpkin(s) leaning 'artistically', be aware that these hanging lights (especially the single-thread version) will 'fall' off-centre. To counter this, florist's wire might be best.

    However, if you add some of your spider string through the stem to hang it up in a doorway, the movement might add an interesting dimension - or put a few in a window, and have an oscillating fan pointing towards them (don't have it on constantly, and vary the power if possible).