DIY Photo Frame Lantern

Lori Craig shows how you can easily glue together four small frames from the dollar store to form a lantern. If you're a DIY enthusiast who is looking to create a unique and inexpensive decorative accessory, this is the project for you.

Photo Frame Lantern Idea with Better Glue

I’m always trying to change up the household decor without breaking the bank, and I love the satisfaction of creating even the simplest of projects on my own. Make our quick and easy four frame lantern with, well, four dollar store frames and Better Ultimate Adhesive. 

Better glue and other supplies for photo frame latern


  • Better Ultimate Adhesive - Fast Dry 
  • Tommy Art Smoke Mineral Paint 
  • FOUR 4” x 6” photo frames from the dollar store 
  • Scrap square of MDF 
  • Paintbrush

Step one: The base

I started with a scrap square of MDF and gave it one rich coat of Tommy Art Smoke Mineral Paint, allow to dry. 

Painting the base of the lantern with Tommy DIY Paint

Step two: Preparing the frames

Remove backing inserts from photo frames. Pull the tension tabs from back edges of frames. My experience is that the tabs are barely attached on inexpensive frames, and they remove easily with a light pull using a pair of pliers. 


Step three: Gluing the glass

Remove panes of glass from each lantern and apply a small dab of Better Ultimate Adhesive - Fast Dry formula in each corner inside the frame. Repeat for each frame. Better Fast Dry allows for about 2 minutes of flexible work time. After the initial set, continue to the next step.

Better Glue DIY Frame Lantern Project
Better Glue DIY Frame Lantern Project

Tip: Better Ultimate Adhesive is also available in an Extended Dry formula that allows for about 10 minutes of work time. Perfect for projects that might require a little shifting before “setting” for detailed placement.

Using one frame as your guide, mark a set line on each side of your base with pencil. 

BETTER Glue DIY Frame Lantern Project

Step four: Marking your base

Using one frame as your guide, mark a set line on each side of your base with pencil.

Step five: Gluing the base and frames

Apply Better to both edges that are to be adhered and smooth the glue flat with a wood stick, edge of tube, etc. Allow the glue to rest for approximately 30 seconds and press together. Adhesive will “set” in approximately 2 minutes.

IMG_3975lantern copy.jpg

Repeat process for each of the four sides. At this point, I placed a solid weight book on top of the lantern and allowed the adhesive to cure for 24 hours. 


Completed Better DIY Frame Lantern

Why Better? Better is a non-toxic, multi-surface Ultimate Adhesive.  Crafters and DIY enthusiasts alike appreciate this adhesive for the no odor, strong/durable and multiple uses all with one glue. Finally a glue that is BETTER for everyone!