Lantern Project

I love lanterns. By chance I managed to acquire 3 “lanterns” popular in the early 80s. They’re bad Moroccan reproductions that were electrified, had long chains, antique gold finish, and outfitted with colored panes of glass or acrylic. If you get really lucky you’ll find them with the decorative bottom that matches the top. The tops and bottoms unscrew so sometimes they’re missing one. Only one of mine have the bottom attached but I got lucky that it happened to be my extra large lantern. Panes are frequently missing because they’re easily broken. However you can find the colored acrylic at hardware and home stores and have it cut to fit the openings if you want that look. They just slide in from the top. I have enough panes for my large lantern but haven’t quite decided if I want to use them or not. Fortunately they’re that flexible and can easily be popped in at any time.

Lantern before painting

Lantern before painting

I tore the bulb base out of the lanterns. The exterior of one of the lanterns was already painted black so I sprayed the others black as well. I then spray painted the interior of the lanterns silver to enhance light reflection. All of them are going in the same area outside so I wanted them all to match. After drying I first rubbed gold and then sliver paint over the surface with a rag. Rubbing the metallic paints on allows for the black to show through and makes the surface pattern stand out. Spray paint the chain after you hang them up. It’s much easier.

Lantern after painting.

Lantern after painting.

Lantern detail:

Because there is a hole in the bottom of the lanterns I needed something to cover the hole to hold the candle. I purchased 3 round mirrors typically for craft projects and slipped them inside the lantern. A terra cotta pot saucer would also work. They come in a variety of sizes and are very inexpensive. Now, add a candle and finis.

Interior view of lantern showing mirror and candle.

Interior view of lantern showing mirror and candle.


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