Whimsical Fairy Lantern Made For Under $20

I really like making little art and creative things for my home to make it more cozy, and this little whimsical lamp was a really fun, easy project. I got the idea from Pinterest, and if you look at the ones on there, there are some lanterns with amazingly detailed scenes inside, so mine is a pretty simple version. But it was made really cheaply and mostly from things I already had or that I bought at the dollar store.

Gathering the materials for the project.

What I used:

  • The lantern was something that a neighbor was throwing away, which I cleaned out and up-cycled.
  • The wire is from a spiral bound notebook that I’d used up.
  • From the dollar store, I bought the lights (I choose warm light), tiny birds (which have handy clips on them), and air dry clay. (about $7 total)
  • I already had the fairy, she was a 3 for $10 part of a set, the others are in the pots on my balcony.
  • The moss, stones, mushrooms and paper butterflies I already had from other projects. But you can get these on eBay for a couple of dollars each, or at the dollar store.
How the lantern looks in the dark.

You can make any kind of scene that you like, but I used the air dry clay to make rocks for the fairy to sit on. Air dry clay is so easy to use. The wire makes an arch, which you can put things on and string lights. It means that your lantern has a dynamic feel and creates more of a scene, showcasing your central figure. I also built the moss slightly higher at the back as well. The arch is held in place by the air dry clay rocks, but otherwise things are not really stuck down so that I can add things or move them if I want to. The mushrooms have wire at the bottom and the butterflies are glued to tooth picks, so you can kind of poke them in where you want them. Sometimes you can find some pine cones and bark or sticks in your garden which make a nice addition too.

These lanterns are really everywhere, from IKEA to home decor stores and the dollar or craft store, but I think it’s fun to re-cycle the ones that people sell at their yard sales and throw away. They really do make a fun place to show off something you collect, or as a conversation piece lamp. Mine sits on a shelf and creates a warm glow in a corner of our lounge. The LED type of lights really last for ages, but you can also adapt them so that they have a USB if you want. I really enjoyed making this project, especially since it cost next to nothing and was pretty easy. You don’t have to be super creative or clever to make something that looks nice.

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