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DIY Dollar Tree Picture Frame Lanterns

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Love farmhouse style lanterns?

Here’s how to easily make a DIY large decorative lantern for around $5 using inexpensive picture frames from the Dollar Tree! These are such a fun way to display candles or other seasonal decor on a tabletop. Put a couple lanterns on your dining room table to get this trendy, farmhouse look on a dollar store budget!

DIY Dollar Tree Picture Frame Lanterns

We told you making these stylish lanterns from Dollar Tree picture frames was easy, and now you will see. Check out all you need to get going.

Supplies Needed:


1. Take the backing off of each frame, and glue each side together to create a cube with the four frames. Make sure to glue the front of each frame facing the outside.

2. Using the needle nose pliers, break apart the square picture frame and remove the tiny metal pieces holding the sides together. (I left one side together and then separated the other two pieces, as shown above; this will make it easier when constructing the lantern.)

3. With the hot glue gun, glue them to the top of lantern at each corner, making a point at the center.

4. For an optional, yet realistic detail, paint a plastic shower curtain ring and add it to the top. It adds a nice touch.

5. Add pillar candles to the middle of lantern or holiday decor to display.

I seriously LOVE how these Dollar Tree lanterns turned out!

The size is actually pretty substantial. They really are a pretty statement piece for the home and you can’t beat the price! I’ve seen real lanterns like these priced at $25+.

Here’s an example of how you can style these lanterns for Christmas. 🎄

All items inside are from Dollar Tree. They even carry tiny LED lights and candles to put inside! So have some fun and be creative!

Tips For Success: 

  • Before you leave the Dollar Tree store, I’d open the frames to make sure they aren’t damaged to save a trip back. I had one. 
  • You can glue a simple cube with the 4 frames and skip the top part, but I think that’s the coolest detail!
  • For festive Halloween decor, it would be fun to embellish further with black vinyl shapes for a spooky lantern.
  • You can glue a frame to the bottom to have a “base”, but I think it’s more convenient to have it open for larger candles and decor.

Lina ( loves cooking new recipes, thrift store shopping, and DIY home decor projects.
Join The Discussion

Comments 82

  1. Becks

    Pure genius! I love making stuff like this & I just so happen to have some insane amount of identical frames I’m not using! Thanks!

    • Lina D

      Oh great! Have fun!

    • Freda

      I bent the tabs back to the frame, using the eraser on a pencil. Easy and now, you don’t see them.

  2. M

    Is there a way to attach the glass to the frames? Having those little metal tabs holding the glass in showing would drive me crazy every time I looked at it. It’s a really cute idea, though!

    • Lina D

      Maybe glue into frame? – thanks!

      • Laura

        Glue on the outside of the glass, as if you were caulking the glass in with glue or clear caulk. Be sure to make a small bead!

    • Susan H

      I do thought thr same thing! Tabs would lose the appeal for me but I am sure glue would work. Super cute idea though!

      • Susan H

        Oops! I so thought the same thing!**

    • Jeannie Retherford

      Yes use double sided tape. It will stick to the frame and the glass

    • Tanya

      I glued mine in with a little dab of E6000 in the corners. And used the little metal tabs as ” brackets ” i just shaped them into an L. And glued them to the inside in the center of each frame for added support. I also used wooden skewers. Broken down to size and painted black and hot glued those inside at all seems . i did this because i used beveled frames that had a very thin edge. Hooe this helps .😊

  3. keeah

    So cute i love it…

    • Lina D

      Thanks Keeah!!!

  4. WestbergFive

    Amazingly cute!! Very nice idea! Can’t wait to try! Thank you!!

    • Lina D

      Thanks so much!

  5. Alison

    That would bother me as well! Break the little metal tabs off by wiggling back and forth!! I love this idea!! Thank you so much for posting!!

  6. jaksmom8

    Love this!!

    • Lina D


  7. madmadamemim

    very cool. love this idea!

  8. Jtaylorsmith

    Thanks for the cute idea! This would be fun to do with a group of friends.

    • Lina D

      Yes! How fun

  9. Jo

    Great idea! So cute with all the holidays approaching.

    • Lina D

      Thanks Jo!

  10. Robyn

    I love this idea! I’m gonna make a trip to Dollar Tree tomorrow to get the frames.

    • Lina D

      Great! Enjoy 😉

  11. Charlotte's Mom

    This is so creative!

  12. Christine

    Hi Lina,
    When you say to glue front of each frame do you see the glue bead after it is dried?
    Thank you for this great idea. Also, are the frames ok for outdoor use too.

    • Lina D

      Oh I think I meant the front of each frame how it is Facing. So my frames had a gold decorative molding on the front so I was trying to say have them face outward. You’ll be gluing the sides 👍

      • Christine

        Ok thanks for helping me better understand. I want to use for outside table also. Do you think these would work for that?

        • Lina D

          Hmmm maybe, you’d just want to be careful it wouldn’t blow away and have shattered glass. That’s what I’d be worried about. Hope that helps.

  13. Leslie Ramey

    So cute and creative! 😀

    • Lina D


  14. Ginger

    What a great idea!

    • Lina D

      Thanks ginger!!

      • Lotetta

        I’m gonna do this for a Christmas gift but I was wondering how to put pictures on it…thanks

  15. Jiya

    You are very creative. Great idea. 🙂

  16. JA

    Whaaattt? You are way too creative for me! That is amazing!

    • Lina D

      Aw thanks 😀

  17. gailio

    clever I love lanterns

  18. BergenD

    I was in there today and they told me you can order “bulk” from their website and it ships to the store FREE! My kids are making hand painted plates/cups for Christmas so this will come in handy and I can order beyond what my store offers!

  19. Survivor Stephanie

    Lina, I love this! You’ve done a wonderful job chronicling the steps both in written word, and photography. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Lolie

    What an awesome idea! I love this!

  21. Yayara

    Love it! Thank you.

    • Lina D

      Great! Thanks!

  22. Raedev

    Great for weddings too. Nice job Lina!!

    • Lina D

      Yes! I agree! Would be a great centerpiece 👍

    • Carolyn D

      These are really awesome..we are having a Chinese Christmas party this year..they will make great gifts for under $10.00..I’m going to add the extra frame on the bottom that way I can add some candles or a Christmas scene and make it look very expensive. Thank you. Have a Blessed Christmas.

      • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        Perfect! That’s so neat – enjoy and thanks for sharing!

  23. Jen G.

    Such a fantastic idea! I am going to Dollar Tree to look for these this weekend. Thanks for posting!

    • Lina D

      Oh sure! Have fun!

  24. Erika

    Lina! Pure Genius!! I love this! : )

    • Lina D

      Thanks Erika!

  25. Mamascott

    I love this! I think I can even do this! Haha

    • Lina D

      Yes you can!! Thanks for stopping by 😀

  26. Rae

    These are adorable, and very original, and creative!
    Just be really careful or use gloves their frame glass is thinner than most frames, and the edges are much sharper. VERY SHARP. I have a scar on my hand from 8 years ago from one of those special moments frames from the dollar tree. Also recommend putting them where little hands wont grab.
    Look forward to trying this project. 🙂

  27. Selecthia

    Going to try this l have a bridal shower to plan. Do you have any ideas for a Paris theme.

  28. Lyndsie

    Awesome & economical idea. Please let me know where you found the 8 X 8 frames. Went to Dollar Tree here and also online and did not find them. Thank you!

    • Lina D

      They were at my dollar tree. In my top pic it is the first frame that is for a collage of pics. – hope that helps. Ps you can use an 8×10 and cut down the two longer pieces with a saw.

  29. AGoodall

    Can we please get a tour of your dining room? The hutch/table look divine… and I love your decorating style 😍

  30. Lyndsie

    Thank you Lina! Was focused on 8 x 8 frame your clarification truly frames the situation for me (sorry for the pun). Will look to implement your idea and again many thanks for sharing!!!

    • Lina D

      Ha thanks!

  31. laura

    I love this! Can you find an 8×8 at the dollar tree? The picture shows a 5×7 which would make it uneven.

    • Lina D

      Pictured is a 8×8 but it’s a collage with a. 5×7 and 2×3 – if you take out the paper it’s an 8×8 Frame

  32. acgold

    Lina-you are a genius! 🙂

    • Lina D

      Ha thanks!! Lol

  33. OwlB222

    I can’t wait to try this. Can I use a 5 x 7 frame for a smaller lantern? If I do, what size could I use for the top part?

    • Lina D

      Ya I’m sure you could. So a 5×5 maybe? You could always cut it down with a saw to size. 👍🏻

  34. LindaD

    Great idea. I’ll be starting my lanterns tomorrow for gifts and for myself. Can’t have too many lanterns!!! I believe I will be painting them a flat black, maybe a rustic red and distress them!! Very cool!!

    • Lina D

      How fun!!

  35. Charlene

    Love the idea. So many ideas. Christmas, Valentine, wedding etc

  36. Nancy

    I could not get mine to hold. I tried hot glue, super glue. Any suggestions

    • Anna

      Try silicone caulk[clear for windows and doors] or E6000 glue

  37. Debbie

    Thanks for showing this. Perfect for my coffee table.

    • Lina D

      You’re so welcome

  38. Gloria

    Love this! Have to make some for the bffs!!!

    • Lina D

      So fun!

  39. Jenny

    I made this tonight and it turned out well! I need something to cover up, or at least detract from, the joint at the top, where you added the ring. Mine doesn’t look quite so neat. Any suggestions?
    Anyway, thanks for the wonderful project. I enjoyed making it.

    • Lina D

      I’ve seen some people use burlap ribbons, or maybe even a flower? Thanks Jenny!

  40. Euleda Faye

    Dollar Tree does not sell an 8 x 8 frame. What did you use to cut the 8 x 10 frame to 8 x 8 ?

    • Lina D

      They have a collage frame that’s square – 8×8. That’s what I used. you could use a saw to cut.

      • Brenda Barton

        I couldn’t find a square frame so I just bought one more 5 x 7 frame ($1) and used the extra two 5″ sides for the top!

  41. Carolyn Spradlen

    I just found this post and love love the idea for my Women’s Ministry. I can’t seem to find the 8×8 frames as cheap at the 8×10 frames. Could this work with 5×7 frames??

  42. Karen Meyer

    This is a great idea!! My son is currently in the Marine Corps. Boot Camp and I going to make one for when he is doing his Crucible and put a flameless candle in it and keep it lit until he is done.

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