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Americana Lanterns

Posted by on May. 21, 2011 at 6:18 PM
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Give your old Lantern a new look for your Memorial Day Celebration. This was an old rusty lantern that I gave new life to with an Americana Theme for Memorial Day and can be used as well for 4th of July. Perfect to use lite or just as a table decoration. Add any words you like as your text, mine was USA

Approximate Time: 30 minutes or less


  • Lantern
  • 3 colors of acrylic paints Red/White/Blue and black for the words USA or any color you like
  • small paint brushes for painting the item and a liner brush for the text words you will ad to it
  • Wooden stars (2) as added decoration (optional)
  • raffia to tie on the handle (optional)
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • Clear spray paint to seal it


You can just paint it in the 3 colors (Red/White and Blue) or add any embellishments as I did like the wooden stars on each side painted and raffia.

Begin painting your item, starting with Red as your first color on the highest part (the top). Continue thinking in those terms as you paint moving from red to white, then blue. I painted my next section down white then my handles blue then the last part remaining red.

While the lantern is drying, if you decide to add wooden embellishments as I did in the wooden stars (one on each side), do the same thing. Paint the top section in red straight across then white straight across then blue and let dry.

If you want to add an American flag to the front center of the lantern, you can either free hand that on as I did or use a stencil. Free handing it is simple. Just think in terms of a triangle shape on an angle. And paint on a white triangle shape with the outside edge on the right hand side a bit squiggly to resemble a flag moving in the breeze. The flag does not have to be perfect with the exact amount of stars or stripes you just want to give the idea of a USA flag. After the white has dried, you then add a blue square to the left upper corner then use red to put on. Take your liner brush and, using white, just add a few stars to the blue part of the flag.

By now your Lantern should be dry where you will hot glue on your wooden star so just add a bit of hot glue to both the stars back and the lantern and place it on. After it has dried, take your liner brush and, using black paint, free hand on in Upper Case Letters "USA" in the center of the star in the white section.

Spray paint the complete item with 2 coats of clear spray paint to seal it from scratches/water exposure or sunlight which will oxidize the paint color if you do not seal it. This will keep your bright colors and last a long time to enjoy its beauty.

Add raffia on the wire handle and tie it in a bow.

Note: You can use this Americana item in many ways; as a table setting center piece or to use as lighting, which I will be doing. Enjoy it both for your Memorial Day Celebration and 4th of July.

By Julie from Tenn


I like this... I think I would do something like this and maybe just have it blue... or a rustic red so that it can be repurposed and avoid the "goodwill" pile later on down the road. 

by on May. 21, 2011 at 6:18 PM
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