How to make a street light prop for halloween, school dances and weddings

DIY Street Light for Parties (under $11.75 each!)


We are in a fun and exciting new phase of parenthood: school dances, graduations and weddings!  These moments gave me the opportunity to expand my decorating experience with lots of budget DIY party decorating ideas here on the blog. I hope you enjoy our projects! See all of our party and event planning ideas here.

DIY Street Light for Parties

Masquerade Party Ideas

My daughter’s 8th grade formal was a “Masquerade” in a New Orleans style street setting. We transformed her entire school into the French Quarter in New Orleans. I created these plans for all the volunteers to have a map of the school and how to decorate it in zones.

Masquerade Party Ideas Outdoor Courtyard

And here is a glimpse of the real school decor…it turned out so cute! The kids were so excited!

See my DIY street lamp tutorial. We made 15 for this dance. I enlisted the help of high school seniors for 5 weeks prior to the dance.

See the entire school transformed here. The halls were lined with pretty building facades with awnings, street lights adorned with hanging ferns and Spanish moss. We also used some of the same decorations for my son’s prom.

I ended up being the chair of the decorating committee which gave me the chance to unleash some creativity. Making the street lights look realistic was my goal – I felt the lamps could fit most any theme for future dances.  I pictured these for Halloween decorating, school plays, church events or any elegant theme in the future.

How to Make the Street Lights

DIY Street Light Prop About 15.5 Inches Tall

You’ll need:

  1. Lantern pattern (for purchase and instant download)
  2. Black Corrugated Cardboard
  3. Tracing Paper
  4. Box Opener / Cutter
  5. Black masking tape
  6. Metal straight edge

Instructions:  I suggest assigning a single task below to any volunteers if you’re coordinating a group crafting event. Assembly line crafting worked wonders for us! Download and print our pattern on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Cut out the pattern, then trace the outline of the lantern onto the back of your corrugated cardboard.

DIY Street Light Props Free Template

Once you draw the pattern onto the cardboard, it’s time to cut. Use the metal straight edge and a sharp box cutter, cut out the shapes, four per lantern. Next, create your faux “windows” using white tracing paper. Attach paper “windows” on the brown side of your lanterns using Scotch tape at the 4 corners. (Tip! For Halloween you can also use green, purple or orange paper for your lantern windows).

DIY Street Lamp Props using template to make shapes

Next, it’s time to assemble the lantern. Space them out evenly, leaving a gap between each lantern window. Then tape with the slight gap using black masking tape:

DIY Street Lamp Props assemble panels using masking tape

Once all the lantern parts are assembled, stand it upright on your work surface:

DIY Street Lamp Prop Stand Upright to Assemble

After you tape your lantern completely together, add the bottom (square template) to hold it’s shape. I notched the ends of the tape so the tape lays flat.

DIY Street Lamp Prop attach bottom

Time to make the lid using our free triangle template. Create four adjoining triangles, like the diagram below. Lightly score in between triangles on the underside:

DIY Street Light Prop Lid Template Instructions

Fold the lid where it’s been slightly scored. This forms the pyramid. Secure the last seam with black masking tape.

DIY Street Light Prop Lid Instructions

Your top is finished! You can remove the lid and drop an LED tealight inside for ambiance. The height is approximately 15.5″ tall. If you prefer, you could finish off the exposed cardboard edges with more black masking tape to give it a more finished look.

DIY Street Light Prop About 15.5 Inches Tall

Make the Lamp Posts:

  1. 3″ x 72″ Mailing Tubes
  2. Rustoleum Flat Black Paint & a brush

Optional (add a horizontal bar for street signs, or to hang ferns)

  • 1/2″ dowel rod, 36″ long
  • 1/2″ drill bit
  • 1/2″ dowel cap (two needed) – for a finishing touch

Instructions to add a horizontal bar: Drill a hole 18″ from the top of the mailing tube, paint the dowel rod. Once dry, force through the drilled hole in the mailing tube. Place a 1/2 inch dowel cap on each end of the dowel rod and paint a color of your choice, we are choosing gold.

Create the X Support Stand

  1. 2″ x 6″ pine boards cut into three pieces as follows:  (One 19″ long. //  Two 7″ long)
  2. 3.25″ hole saw
  3. Kreg Jig
DIY Street Lamp Prop base to hold post

Stand instructions: Cut a 2 inch by 6 inch board into 3 pieces, one 19″ long and two 7″ long boards. In the 19″ board, use a 3.25″ hole saw attach to drill. Drill a 3.25″ hole in center of 19″ board. This is your “stand” for your post.  To make the “X” see diagram: Measured 9″ in from the right and left side of board. Use Kreg Jig to put pocket holes in one end of each of the 7″ pieces. Then attached both 7″ pieces to the 19″ piece using long screws.  Paint black when finished!

Almost 7.5 feet tall at $11.75 each

The approximate materials cost to make 15 finished street lamps was $175. Hopefully we can reuse these for future dances and events for the kids. More “masquerade” decor is in the works, including paper pom poms, and if we have time will will build brick facades and pretty buildings to line the hallways. We also need to decorate the entire school gym so I’ll post photos after each event and include all the finishing touches.

See my DIY street lamp tutorial. We made 15 for this dance. I enlisted the help of high school seniors for 5 weeks prior to the dance.

Check out the final result at my daughter’s school dance “Masquerade”! The street lamps were a hit!

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  1. Ohhh. These look great! Please hurry and post your graduation plans – I need ideas! ;)

    1. It’s creeping up on me too! Until we get through school dance season I won’t have many ideas. But I’ll keep writing and sharing as we make plans.

      1. Dawn Dennis says:

        What a great idea. I love the lamp posts.

  2. These are awesome! Will be making a couple these for my backyard summer party. Thanks so much Jeanette!!

    1. Aw that’s great! Our prom committee is also borrowing a few this weekend for their “last waltz” theme. Keep me posted and share pictures!

  3. Awesome ideas! And they’re so simple, can’t wait to try this craft!

  4. Love this project! You really inspired me with your work. I just finished making this lamp and It was very easy and fun for me. Thanks and keep sharing.

  5. Love! Are the templates for the lamp posts available for print? If so, I’m having trouble finding them. Thank you!

  6. Love the lamps. And so simple to do. I’ll be making some for a summer party.

    1. It was such a fun project. Enjoy!

  7. So cute! Are the templates available?

  8. This is AWESOME! Thanks for posting. My Middle Schoolers will be making this for our upcoming musical.
    Keep up the great work!

  9. Where are the instructions for attaching the post to the base and the lamp to the post? I want to buy your template and make this but need everything kncluded

  10. Rossy DeJesus says:

    Omg. Exactly what I’ve been looking for my granddaughters Paris themed sweet sixteen. I’m going to attempt to reduce the pattern to about half the size because I need them to use them for table numbers but instead of numbers we will use Paris street names.

    1. Jeanette, DIY & Decorating Blogger says:

      Very cute, keep me posted how it turned out!

  11. I took inspiration from this to create my own victorian London street lamppost for Halloween 2021, it is a realistic lamppost made from foam board. I will post pictures of the building process.

  12. thank you so much for this! saves me a ton of money on me buying a prop for my photoshoot! (i’m a photographer) this really helped me out a lot!

    1. Jeanette, DIY & Decorating Blogger says:

      Hi Zoe! Keep me posted how it goes! I’d love to see your setup! :)

  13. Thank you so much!!! We’re doing our annual murder mystery party and needed lampposts. Luckily we already have a large supply of tubes on stands (tubes are cardboard carpet rolls and our stands are a little different) that we use for everything (ship posts, trees, dock posts, and more). Just needed to figure out the top!!

  14. Great idea! Found this while looking for ideas for theming an ice skating end of year show, will be trying this out! How did you attach the post (made of mailing tubes) to the x-stand base? Did you use glue?