Skip to main content

Orange Carton Lanterns

I've mentioned before that our family goes through a ton of orange juice, so I'm always looking for ways to do something with all the old cartons. In the sprit of Autumn and Halloween, we turned a few into lanterns this week. 

Our Supplies: empty oj cartons, black spray paint, flameless tea lights, x-acto knife, scissors, tape, black construction paper, and a hole puncher (optional: tissue paper, color tint overlays, stencils, push pins, foam board, & pipe cleaners) 

Step 1: Use the x-acto knife to cut up the orange juice carton. We discarded the middle of the carton and cut the top portion to be approximately 7'' tall and the bottom portion to be approximately 1" tall. Then use the x-acto to cut windows into the top portion of the carton, ours are roughly 3" x 3". 

Step 2: spray paint cut-up orange juice carton

Step 3: cut "panes" slightly larger than "window" openings. 

Step 4: decorate panes. There is a lot of freedom in this step. We tried a couple different techniques: hole punchers, push-pin hole designs, cut out stencils/letters with colored paper backing, etc. I think that the hole punches and the stencil cut outs ended up looking the best. 

yes, he is rocking a red mohawk :) 

Step 5: tape all your panes to the inside of the oj carton.

Step 6: if you would like to hang or carry your lantern use the x-acto knife to puncture the top with a small hole, string pipe cleaner through, and secure it into a loop. 

Step 7: use tape to secure tea light to bottom portion of oj carton.

Step 8: slide top portion of oj carton over the bottom portion. 

That's it! Now you are ready to display your creations. Here's how all of ours turned out. 

in daylight

at night
The kids all think they are pretty cool. I'm not sure they'll last long enough - they've been using them for "camping" in our playroom - but I think it would be fun to carry them with us when we go Trick-or-Treating. 

p.s. lots more great kid friendly ideas can be found at these link parties: Link and LearnMade by Little HandsMontessori MondayHip Homeschool HopPreschool CornerFor the Kids Fridays, and Show and Share Saturday.

p.p.s. looking for more creative home ideas? Check out these great link parities: Transformation ThursdayInspiration ExchangeWeekly CreativeShow & Tell SaturdayShare Your Creativity,  & Sunday Life Party.


  1. I love this! so simple! wonderful! Thank you for the inspiration! Maybe we'll have to do this for Christmas, paint them White, add some mistletoe and leaf options -- & voila! A Christmas light pole version! Thank you!


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment - you make me smile :)

Popular posts from this blog

Preschool Syllabus: Dr. Seuss

Normally I'd do a Dr. Seuss unit in March around his birthday. We had to do one now though because on Saturday Big Buddy and I going on a date to a Dr. Seuss exhibit. The exhibit is only at the museum until January and I'm afraid if we don't go now we might not get the chance.

We are of course reading lots of Dr. Seuss's books. A great advatage to studying Dr. Seuss in November rather than March is that all his books were available at the library. I also found a great children's biography which is perfect for preschoolers.

 We've read it a couple times and Big Buddy loves reciting all the facts he's learned


LEARNING "TRAYS" -I rotate these, setting out about four a day from which the boy's can choose.

A Little Red Cardboard Barn

We've finished our farm unit and are moving on to a new theme tomorrow - but before we do I wanted share the barn we made.

The wooden farm animals came with a beautiful handmade ark that we gave Big Buddy for Christmas a couple years ago.  I would someday love to have a wood barn but it's currently not in the budget. So in the mean time we decided to improvise and make our own. 

I stumbled upon this perfectly sized milk box (4 gallons per box) while subbing and thought it would be sturdy enough to handle play. Hubandie and the boys used an x-acto knife and wood glue to build a barn shape.

We then painted with a basic primer and outlined a window and a door with painters tape.

Big Buddy however insisted that we add more windows so it looked like the barn in our book The Big Red Barn. He even brought the book over so we'd know exactly how to do it :) 

Once everything was taped I let the boys paint the barn with rollers and washable, red tempera paint.

The boys really enjoye…

Paint Chip Word Families

We haven't been doing a ton of school work this summer but we have tried to fit in a little reading practice everyday. We are currently working our way through Bob Books and The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading - I  highly recommend both. I saw this idea for paint chip word families on Pinterest several months ago and knew it would be one we'd have to try. I changed it up a little bit so that the the strips pulled through the word family cards.  

My supplies: large white paint chips, various colors of paint chips, sharpie, scissors, and an x-acto knife
 Step 1: Because my colored paint chips were so wide I folded and cut them in half.

Step 2: In the center of the white paint-chip, use the x-acto knife to cut two openings, at the top and bottom of the white square, the width of the color strip. 

Step 3: Use the sharpie to write letters on paint chips (a list of word families can be found here
Step 4: Pull strip through word family card 

 Step 5: Have fun readi…