pottery barn inspired capiz lantern.

Have you seen the new Lilly Pulitzer for Pottery Barn yet?



Well.  It pretty much screams Palm Beach.

And lately I’ve been thinking about purchasing a beach house.  Thanks to my college retirement course.  Especially the part where I’m now worrying if I’m saving enough for my retirement.  But also for the fact that it’s teaching me the benefit of owning a rental property – something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember.

Basically I’m dreaming of home décor for a beach house I won’t own in the next decade.

So, it pretty much wouldn’t come as any surprise when I saw a few fashion bloggers showing off their favorites from the line and needed to immediately check it out myself.

And that’s when I saw them.

These mermaid-tail inspired lanterns. So simple, and yet so stinking pretty.

I just had to have them.

And while my beach-house hunting won’t be occurring any time soon, I do have a niece that has an “under the sea”-themed room.  And I thought this would work perfectly with the rest of her room décor.  But as much as I couldn’t even justify spending $120 on home décor for myself,  I sure as heck wasn’t going to spending it on an eleven-year-old.

Which is why I wanted to make my own.

Needed to make my own.


For this project, I knew I wanted to keep the gold + glass lantern.  I searched just about everywhere.  Amazon. Wayfair. Ebay.  But absolutely no one had exactly what I was looking for.  So then I decided to just do a google search and see what my options would be.  And wouldn’t you know.  Wal-Mart had the exact lanterns I was looking for, for $15. Sold.

The original lanterns looked a little frosted, so I stopped by the local hardware store to see if they had some frosted glass spray paint, because I forgot to check Wal-Mart when I was there.  Luckily they did, but it was probably a bit more expensive than I would have spent elsewhere.  However, the extra money I spent would have been spent in gas had I decided to drive back out to Wal-Mart.

Also, when I first decided to paint the inside of the lantern, I put the lantern in a Ziploc bag, and put painters tape all around the edges.  I also put painters tape at the bottom of the inside, over the gold base.  This made it so difficult to actually see what I was doing that my paint job ended up very splotchy.  I had to take paint remover to the entire thing and start again.  The second time, I removed all coverings except for the painters tape at the bottom of the lantern – it was way easier to see.  And no paint got on the outside.  Win.

I then printed off a mermaid tail design, and utilized the pencil transfer method to get the print all over the outside of the glass.

[My original idea was to use puffy paint because I thought it would look nicer – which is why it is in the original photo – unfortunately, the bottle kept getting air bubbles in it, and when they would release, the paint would splatter, making it difficult to trace the lines.]

I decided to paint the mermaid tail design with a gold acrylic paint – doing two coats to ensure it had the darkness I wanted.

The end result was way better than I had expected, and my niece absolutely loved it.


What you’ll need: 

How to:

  1. Tape off the inside base of the lantern.
  2. Spray the inside of the lantern with the frosted glass spray.  Allow to dry for 30 minutes and apply a second coat.  Let dry completely.
  3. Print out selected mermaid tail design.
  4. Scribble on the back of the printed paper with pencil, until completely covered in scribbles.
  5. Tape to the outside of lantern, and trace the tail design, pressing slightly hard with writing utensil, until pencil has been transferred to glass.
  6. Repeat until the glass is covered with the mermaid tail design.
  7. Trace the design with gold paint.  Allow to dry and apply one more coat of paint.
  8. Insert candle (or battery operated candle).



I totally knocked $100 of that Pottery Barn price and I’m not even upset about it.

Posted in: DIY

3 thoughts on “pottery barn inspired capiz lantern.

  1. Little Swan says:

    I love this!!! Yeah, I am not sure I could ever justify spending over $50 on something decorative unless it also had a practical purpose for use. I also happen to think yours looks better. The non-manufactured look is always a trump for me :)


    • thelovelylife says:

      Thank you! I completely agree with something having a practical purpose warranting a consideration of a price point above $50, but this was for an eleven-year-old and I just couldn’t fathom!


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