Easy DIY Glowing Pumpkin Lanterns {Day 28}


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DIY Halloween Decorating Outdoor Lights

One of the problems of blogging about one topic for all 31 Days in October is that a few seasonal ideas are bound to sneak in– such as how to make a EASY glowing pumpkin lanterns using materials from Target or the Dollar Store.  Since it took under 15 minutes I thought it would be okay to share within this series.  It’s EASY, it’s QUICK, and it’s DECOR… and if it happens to be pumpkins, such is life.  😉

DIY Outdoor Halloween lights

But back to the glowing pumpkin lanterns.  This idea is SO simple and easy, but truthfully it never even occurred to try it until I spotted it while trick or treating last year.  Simply drop Tap Lights, thick glow sticks, or other flameless lights into cheap plastic pumpkins, and BOOM– you’ve got the cutest glowing pumpkin lanterns on the block!

These adorable pumpkin lights are so easy to make!

Here’s a hint: none of the local Dollar Tree stores in my area had the old fashioned style plastic pumpkins.  They’ve upgraded to pumpkin buckets.  Which led to my desperate plea on Facebook, where my Philly gals started posting pics of where I could find them (like this one at Target from Jennifer of PhillyFun4Kids, um, I think they have a few left…)

Plenty of pumpkins for your pumpkin lights

Also, we tried the skinny glowsticks that sell for $1 a pack but they didn’t work as well as Tap Lights or larger glow sticks.  You really want these puppies to shine.  And they DO, as long as they have a light source on the stronger side.  The skinny glowsticks might work better if you used a whole bunch in each pumpkin.

Make sure you get the right glow sticks

We use them to line the driveway, welcoming trick or treaters to our home.

Line them up to welcome trick or treaters

*Someone* was only too happy to don her Rapunzel hair and pretend to trick-or-treat for me.

They look so cute and festive!

As the sun set, we watched them light up and glow.

Watch them glow as the sun sets

Helpful Hint: Plastic pumpkins are bulky and annoying to store because they don’t flatten.  At the end of the season, a great place to store them is UP!  Use hooks along the wall in a basement or garage, or string the handles and hang from a rope across the wall.  They may need a little dusting next October, but you won’t waste an inch of shelf space.

Glowing pumpkin lights

Seeing the lanterns glowing and ready for the big night really got us in the mood for some trick or treating.  What are you or your little ones going as this year?

DIY Outdoor pumpkin lights

Easy DIY Glowing Pumpkin Lanterns is Day 28 in the 31 Days of 15 Minute Decorating Ideas series.  Subscribe in the header to get each quick decorating idea delivered to your inbox daily, and find of the rest of the 15 minute decorating ideas series here.

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DIY Halloween Decorating Outdoor Lights

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  1. Love this idea! We did a glow stick in our real pumpkin this year. You can’t have a Ninja Turtle pumpkin without it being the right color mask!

  2. Some of the best ideas are the simplest!
    I love how easy and reusable this is, plus it looks awesome at night!

  3. Great idea! I have lined our walkway with painted mason jars (ghosts/pumpkins) with candles inside…however every year one or two get broken by over zealous trick or treaters. I like this idea, easy and safe 🙂

  4. You may be the one person who can get me crafting because you’re ideas are so elegant & simple! Great stuff.

  5. Super cute!!!! My neighborhood growing up always did a Santa’s highway around Christmas…this reminds me a little of that! And Jen’s photo is a riot in the middle of this post…just a few left.

  6. Ohh, I might have to go pick some of those up and decoupage them or something fun. Pumpkins all around!

  7. Great idea! I love how easy and classic this project is. I featured it on my blog and directed folks to you. Thanks for sharing.

  8. So I have been doing this for 5 yrs and didn’t like turning on all the tea lights so I bought the solar light at the dollar store. I put two in Worked great and even where I live here in Minniesnowda haha.

  9. I did this same thing but used 1950’s C7 christmas string lights with clear bulbs. These are the ones that have the red and green strands and are important of the spacing of the sockets. They are unbelievable at night, and once you use these lights, you’ll never go back to the tealights. I also treat them with Krylon clear coat UV protection to keep them from fading.

    One caveat, if you decide to go electric, make sure the light sets you purchase, are NOT the Saf T Plug type, these started production in 1958, and while they are fused, the fuses are unavailable, and can produce bad connections in this situation.

    Fill the bakelite plugs with white silicone to seal them off.

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