How to Waterproof Paper Lanterns

Sharing a tutorial for DIY Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns that will dress up your patio, backyard, or outdoor space for Halloween.

Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns - Holiday - Sugar & Cloth - Houston Blogger - Halloween - DIY

 

I can honestly say that my favorite part of Halloween is passing out candy. I would rather pass out candy than to go to any party.

There’s just something about chubby babies dressed up as tigers and little kids with lisps as Spiderman that I find so hilarious. Can you really blame me though?

To keep the decor kid friendly and still able to weather the elements, I made these DIY Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns for a simple and cute entry way.

You can customize bags yourself (like I did). Or you can make this into a five-minute project by just buying store bought paper bags that you love and coating them with outdoor Mod Podge.

Seriously, this stuff is a dream.

Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns - Holiday - Sugar & Cloth - Houston Blogger - Halloween - DIY

Materials and Tools Needed to Make DIY Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns

Paper bags

Scissors

Vellum paper

Glue

Battery operated candles

Outdoor Mod Podge Water Base Sealer

Foam brush

Sticker letters — Optional

Hole puncher — Optional

Black craft paint — Optional

Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns - Holiday - Sugar & Cloth - Houston Blogger - Halloween - DIY

How to Make DIY Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns

To waterproof bags:

If you’re not customizing any bags and are just transforming store bought ones to be waterproof for the outdoors, just use a foam brush and the outdoor Mod Podge over the entire bag.

Place several coats over the bags letting them dry 15-20 minutes in between. The water-base sealer, glue and finish lets you decoupage for the outdoors and you can use it on any type of surface.

Make sure to let it seal for 72 hours before placing them outside.

To make these Halloween lanterns:

1 — Water down some black craft paint and use a foam brush to paint watercolor type stripes across plain white bags.

2 — Use a a small bowl or spool to trace and cut a circle in the middle the paper bags.

Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns - Holiday - Sugar & Cloth - Houston Blogger - Halloween - DIY

3 — Glue squares of vellum paper on the inside of the bag to diffuse the light from the cut-outs.

4 — You can also use varying sizes of hole punches to add extra interest.

5 — Lastly, place sticky letters to the vellum and then Mod Podge the entire bag.

6 — Insert your battery operated lights, and you’re all set!

Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns - Holiday - Sugar & Cloth - Houston Blogger - Halloween - DIY

How Do You Protect Paper Lanterns from Rain?

Once the lantern is clean, hang it up somewhere and give it a few good coats of clear spray paint.

This won’t make the paper completely waterproof but will help to keep your outdoor light dry in rain or snow! 

Please keep in mind that though the paper lanterns are water resistant but cannot withstand stand long periods of wet weather conditions.

So if you bring them inside if there is a huge downpour.

 Is It Possible to Use Regular Paper Bags for Luminaries?

Making paper bag luminaries is such a fun way to decorate your home for all of the different colors that it offers.

All you need are some plain, small bags and they’ll be ready in no time!

 

 

Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns - Holiday - Sugar & Cloth - Houston Blogger - Halloween - DIY

More Outdoor Decor Ideas

 

DIY Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns - sugar and cloth

DIY Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns

Print
5 from 5 votes
Use this simple tutorial to make your own waterproof paper lanterns!
Prep Time30 minutes
Dry Time2 days
Total Time2 days 30 minutes
Course DIY
Category Lighting

Equipment

  • Scissors
  • Foam brush
  • Hole punch optional

Materials

  • Paper bag
  • Outdoor Mod Podge Water Base Sealer
  • Vellum paper
  • Glue
  • Battery operated candle
  • Sticker letters optional
  • Craft paint optional

Instructions

To waterproof any bag:

  • If you’re just wanting to waterproof a store bought bag for the outdoors, simply use a foam brush to cover the entire bag with Outdoor Mod Podge.
  • Paint several coats over the bag while letting Outdoor Mod Podge to dry 15-20 minutes in between each coat.
  • Make sure to allow the Outdoor Mod Podge to seal for 72 hours before placing the lantern outside.

To customize your bag with this Halloween look:

  • Water down some black craft paint and use a foam brush to paint watercolor type stripes across plain white bags.
  • Using a a small bowl or spool, trace and cut out a circle in the middle the paper bags.
  • Glue squares of vellum paper on the inside of the bag to diffuse the light from the circle cut-out.
  • You can also use varying sizes of hole punches to add extra interest.
  • If you want the lanterns to spell out a word, place a sticker letter to the vellum.
  • Cover the entire bag with Outdoor Mod Podge. Paint several coats, allowing 15-20 minutes of dry time in between each coat. Make sure to allow the Outdoor Mod Podge to seal for 72 hours.
  • Insert your battery operated lights, and you’re all set!
Cost: $40
KEYWORD: how to waterproof paper lanterns

Don’t forget to share your home decor projects with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! Looking for more interior design inspiration? You can find them all of our home decor tutorials and ideas right here!

 

Please note that we may earn a commission for some of the above affiliate links. However, products featured are independently selected and personally well-loved by us!

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12 Comments

  1. Amazing Halloween bags Ashley. I didn’t know that Mod Podge could be used outside. I must purchase some of this! So many concepts5 stars

    1. Thank you! Yes, you can definitely use Mod Podge outdoors. BUT just make sure to purchase the type specifically for outdoor use.

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  9. Love these Halloween bags Ashley. I had no idea that Mod Podge had an outdoor option. I have to buy some of this! So many ideas…5 stars

  10. This is such a cute idea! How is Modge Pod any different from other outdoor glues like Titebond?5 stars