Milk Carton Lanterns

Now that we are weeks into fall, our after school routine could use a bit of a pick me up. We normally come home, have a snack, drink a glass of milk, and bring out the homework (yes, even my kindergartners have homework this year!). To bring some fun into our routine last week, I surprised the kids with a simple after school craft project.

We used pretty wrapping paper to transform milk cartons into tea light lanterns. It was an easy project that the whole family took part in. The kid’s were super excited for the festive change up and the lanterns are a great accent for chilly early fall evenings outside.

How to make a milk carton lantern

Festive lanterns made from milk cartons

To make the lanterns, I saved up a selection of milk cartons – we drink plenty of milk so this only took a couple of weeks. Instead of buying my milk in our normal plastic gallons, I opted for various size cartons and we were set. I also collected wrapping paper for the project. The brown kraft paper version is my favorite to work with since it’s thick and has an awesome graphic design (found it in the dollar section at Target).

The only other materials needed are Mod Podge, scissors, tape, and a candle to put inside.

Before the kids got home, I washed out all the containers and allowed them to fully dry.

Milk carton lanterns

Snack time activity: make milk carton lanterns

It was awesome to see the kids jump right into the fun – wrapping and helping to tape the cartons closed before we applied the paper. Their imperfect wrapping jobs give this project even more charm.

To make these milk carton lanterns; have the kid’s help you tape the top of the cartons closed. Then use scissors to cut out a small opening on one end of the carton for the tea light to sit in.

Begin wrapping around the sides, just like you would a present. To make the cutting and wrapping even easier, use our download for a small milk container as a template. Use Mod Podge to secure the paper to the carton – both a small layer underneath to hold the paper in place, and a thin layer on top to secure everything firmly. Fold over the top portions to adhere to each carton, brushing on the sealant as you go.

Finish by poking a couple small holes in the back of the lanterns to allow heat to escape.

Milk Lanterns

Once everything is wrapped, place the candles inside for brightly lit evening fun. Placing the tea light in a glass holder will make them safer to light while the kids are up. Using an LED candle will allow you to leave these beauties unattended and shining all night long! The cartons make a great solution for lighting up the porch on dusk evenings this fall.

This post is brought to you by got milk? Drink to a brighter future.