How to Make a Halloween Lantern

turnipjackolanternTo make a Halloween lantern out of a turnip, you need a large root such as a swede, a beet, or a mangel. These are the kind of roots which have reddish skin and yellow flesh.  The skin of these turnips can be carved (or scribed) to make a pattern that will glow when a small candle or flashlight is placed inside the lantern.

What you’ll need:

  • turnip, beet or mangel
  • hard pencil
  • small kitchen knife
  • metal spoon
  • modelling knife
  • length of soft wire
  • small candle or flashlight


1. Carefully cut into the flesh with a kitchen knife to the depth of about 3/4″, keeping the walls of the lantern about 1/4″ thick.
2. Draw the knife all over the flesh many times, keeping it at a constant depth so that the flesh becomes loosened.  You will now be able to scoop cut the first 3/4″ with a spoon.
3.  Repeat this process taking care not to cut too near the skin.  You will find that once a fair sized cavity has been hollowed out, you will be able to carve out the rest with the spoon.
4.  Draw a pattern on the skin with a hard pencil, then carve the skin with the modelling knife, taking care not to cut too deeply.
5.  Make a handle with the wire and place a night light or small flashlight inside the lantern ready for lighting on Halloween.

For more Halloween craft ideas, pick up the Easy Halloween Crafts ebook.

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