These easy DIY Wood Lanterns make fabulous decorations for the interior or exterior of your home and make great use of scrap wood.
These DIY Wood Lanterns will make great use of your scrap wood pile. I love scrap wood projects!If you have been working with wood for any length of time you have probably built up a good pile of scraps. There are so many amazing projects that can be made from scrap wood like this Kitchen Conversion Plaque, Easy Custom Made Cabinet Shelves, DIY Garage Wood Holders and these DIY Christmas Ornaments…I could go on and on and on.
So protect those scraps from anyone at all costs and stick with me through this post and I will show you how to make your own scrap wood lanterns.
How to Decorate with Lanterns
Lanterns are very versatile for decorating and they add ambience to a space. They fit well for several decorating styles, different themes, parties and the changing seasons and holidays. Here are several ideas for decorating with lanterns both inside and outside your home:
- Decorate a shelf, dresser, mantle, console or hang it from the wall. Use one or a few together. Add visual interest by utilizing varying sizes.
- Place one or two lanterns on the ground next to the front door on the porch. Use some in the back yard on a patio side table or the centerpiece for a dining patio table holding a lit candle to add ambience. Hang a few lanterns from a tree.
- Use for a beach theme and add some sea shells and sand, or a farmhouse theme with a chippy painted look. Fill a lantern with some different colored leaves, pumpkins or acorns around fall. Add pinecones, some ribbon or ornaments for Christmas and colorful flowers in a pot or vase for spring.
- Use lanterns at a wedding for table decorations or fill one with small string lights for decorations at a party.
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*Before you get started make sure you have your Safety Gear. For this project I recommend safety goggles, ear protection and optional N95 mask to prevent breathing wood particles during sawing and sanding.
TOOLS FOR DIY WOOD LANTERNS
- Measuring tape
- Saw – I use a Rigid Table Saw
- Miter saw
- Carpenter square
- Nail gun – I use a Ryobi Nail gun
- Small paint brush
SUPPLIES FOR DIY WOOD LANTERNS
- Scrap wood – I used scrap 1 x 4, 1 x 6, 1 x 10 (I used anything I had on hand that would work)
- 18 G brad nails in 1 1/4 inch
- Wood glue
- Wood filler – I use Elmer’s Wood Filler in Natural
- Sander or sand paper
- Paint – I used a white flat paint and Sherwin Williams in Rainwashed satin
- Spar urethane – I used this one
- Decorative drawer knobs
CUTS FOR DIY WOOD LANTERNS
Not including the drawer knobs my lanterns measured 17 inches for the small lantern and almost 21 inches for the larger lantern.
- 1 x 4s ripped cut down to 1 inch x 14 inches (side supports)
- 5 3/8 inches square (bottom and larger top)
- 3 1/4 inches square (small top)
- 4 – 1 inch x 1 inch (feet)
- 1 x 4 ripped cut down to 1 inch x 17 1/2 (side supports)
- 7 inches square (bottom and larger top)
- 5 3/8 inches square (small top)
- 4 – 1 inch x 1 inch (feet)
To make the side supports I ripped cut 1 x 4s, 1 inch wide. For the feet I cut four 1 inch pieces off of the ripped cut 1 x 4 supports.These are the pieces that made up each lantern.
STEPS FOR DIY WOOD LANTERNS
Step 1) Once my cuts were done I glued and nailed (1 1/4 inch 18G brad nails) the supports to the bottom piece. I used a square to help with placement. Step 2) Next I glued and nailed (1 1/4 inch 18G brad nails) the two top pieces together and then glued and nailed the top to the four support pieces. Step 3) I glued and nailed the four feet to the bottom piece. Step 4) I filled any gaps or nail holes with wood filler and sanded the entire piece. Oops I forgot to take a pic before starting to paint. Then I painted the lanterns with paint I had on hand. The small lantern was painted with Sherwin Williams Rainwashed and the large lantern with a flat white paint. After the paint dried, I sanded all the edges again. Then I mixed 4:1 water to gray paint, painted it on the lanterns and wiped it off. This gave it an aged/rustic/worn look. I painted one of the drawer knobs and sanded the paint in spots and finished it with a sprayed exterior waterproof sealer. The other drawer knob I left as is. I drilled a hole in the top to attach the knobs.
You could definitely add an LED candle or vase with some vase filler to spruce it up even more.
I love how they turned out and I plan to go through my scrap pile and make more. What amazing stuff have you made with scraps? Would love for you to share in the comments below.