These DIY Dollar Tree concrete lanterns are a simple upcycle that elevates the humble original to a gorgeous and sophisticated new level!
If there’s one certainty in life, one thing that you can count on time and time again, one inviolate rule that shall never be broken, it is this: when it comes to crafting and DIY, if I come up with an idea, it will always be built in the most complicated manner possible.
Which is weird, you know, because I’m a pretty laid back and lazy kinda guy. You’d think my brain would naturally seek out the path of least resistance.
You’d think that…and you’d be wrong.
Contrast this with my babes. She and I could not be more different…on almost every front you could imagine. Where as I’m laid back and lazy, she’s Category 5 hurricane in human form. There’s something in her blood…a pathogen maybe…that drives her to work, even when she’s not working! It’s a remarkable attribute that makes me tired just thinking about it! So you’d think with all that frenetic squirrely brain power and kinetic motion, she’d be the one coming up with all sorts of convoluted ways of doing things.
When it comes to DIY and crafting, she has the confounding ability to see the absolute easiest and most straightforward way of getting from point A to point B.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it – it saves Yours Sufferingly a ton of time on our crafts and projects! But on the other hand, it can be a teensy bit show-offy and annoying. Like, I’ll come to her all proud and be like, “Hey babes! Look at this widget I just made!”
And she’ll look at the widget, and she’ll immediately see and understand exactly how I made it and how many steps there were from inception to completed widget.
Then she’ll say the obligatory, “That’s great my babes.”
Now, you all know the next word. It’s the most ruinous word in the entire English language…
“But, you could have made it by…” And here she’ll short-circuit my methodology by pointing out a solution that I could have take from step 2 directly to step 10 and then finished on step 11.
And I hold my widget and wonder how such perfect simplicity could come from such a overclocked brain!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking:
Oh, so this is a project that Greg thought of and then Handan made it easier.
Yes, I thought of a project to make lanterns from Dollar Tree concrete candle holders, and yes I came up with a…certain method…for achieving my goal.
And then I shared the project on Instagram.
But it was an Instagram follower who showed me a better way!
Okay, look, here’s the thing. It wasn’t my fault. I made the original version with what Dollar Tree had at the time – plain discs of concrete with a simple copper wire frame. How was I supposed to know that a hot minute later they would come out with a new and improved version with beautiful patterned concrete and a glass cylinder?
Anyway, before we get to the new and improved DIY Dollar Tree concrete lanterns, have a look at the original Reel on Instagram so you can understand the materials I had to work with for version 1.
The follower in question left the following comment:
They now have those with patterns on them! I just saw them yesterday and they come with a clear glass candle holder and the concrete base. So you wouldn’t even need the ball ornament!
This was intriguing news!
Sure enough, on our very next trip to Dollar Tree, I found the candle holders to which she referred.
They were beautiful!
I deposited 6 of them in my basket and went back home to create DIY Dollar Tree concrete lanterns version 2.
And when I showed my babes the finished product, she didn’t dissect it with a glance and offer a better way. She looked it over, nodded, and said, “Great job, my babes!”
So you can rest assured, madam, that this version is indeed the easiest version of all!
DIY Dollar Tree Concrete Lanterns
- Dollar Tree concrete candle holders – you’ll need two for each lantern
- Battery-operated LED string lights (even better, you can get these remote-controlled ones!)
- Fun tak / poster putty (Dollar Tree also carries it)
It is truly amazing what Dollar Tree is selling these days. No matter how you look at it, this concrete and glass candle holder is a steal at $1.
These concrete candle holders are offered in four different patterns. We chose our three favorites for our concrete lanterns.
In college, I knew it as Fun Tak – the blue stretchy stuff we used to hang our posters on dorm room walls. Now it’s also called Poster Tack (at Dollar Tree) or Mounting Putty by the funsters at Scotch. Fun Tak is still made by Loctite. Sure is a better name than Mounting Putty! Anyway, you’ll just need a little, so I recommend Jot from Dollar Tree if you have one nearby.
This is just about all you need for each lantern.
Just place it onto one of the concrete bases as shown below.
And give it a little smush.
Bundle the plastic-coated length of wire with the controller.
And press that puppy onto the Fun Tak like you’re hanging a Led Zeppelin poster in your freshman dorm room in 1990. Or maybe you’re more into my freshman year roommate’s music, in which case, you can press that controller onto the Fun Tak like it’s a Paula Abdul poster.
You want that control unit to be mounted entirely within the recessed base so you don’t see it hanging down later on.
Next, just stuff the lights into the glass any old way you’d like – the messier, the better.
When all the lights are in, place the concrete base with the control switch on top.
Couldn’t be easier, right?
Each one of these DIY Dollar Tree concrete lanterns costs just over $3 to make, but they look like they cost a whole lot more!