Before going on a trip, I like to do a project or two to get the boys excited about where we’re going. Given everything going on, our little 3-day Lassen camping trip was a huge deal for us, so camping crafts for the kids had to follow! I was inspired by this lantern project from The Crazy Outdoor Mama, since 1) they pass the simplicity test, 2) they utilize recycled materials, and 3) they do double duty as nightlights for tent camping.


  • Recycled Juice Bottles
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint Brush
  • Tissue Paper
  • Stickers
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Beads
  • Flameless Candle or Glow Stick

Tear Up the Tissue Paper, Then Apply Pieces to Your Juice Bottle

JJ loved this part! First, tear up a sheet of tissue paper. Next, paint Mod Podge onto your juice bottle. Then, apply the tissue paper and smooth it out as much as possible.

We added a couple of layers, and JJ was ready for a break once his lantern was covered, so we decided to let our lanterns dry and pick up the project the next day.

Sticker Time!

The boys chose star stickers for their lanterns. Three year old Bug wasn’t as into paper tearing as JJ, but he lit up when it was time to cover the lanterns in stickers. 

Add a Handle as a Finishing Touch

Start by wrapping a pipe cleaner around the top of the lantern. Then, hook a second pipe cleaner to the loop you made with the first, and begin beading. Connect the open end of the pipe cleaner to the other side of the loop once you are done. This part held the boys’ attention for quite awhile. Bug needed a little help to get started, but soon he was ready to finish his lantern on his own. 

Ready for Camping!

Completed Lanterns

In terms of camping crafts for the kids, this one was perfect for us. Not only did it help them get excited for our first family camping trip, but they also served as night lights for the boys while John and I hung out around the campfire. They were a little nervous in the tent without us, but the lanterns made their first nights sleeping in a tent much easier!


Looking for other helpful camping crafts? Check out our tips for painting walking sticks here!