Inside: Make these simple DIY lanterns using only scrap pieces of wood. A great way to clean out your scrap pile and add some beautiful decor to your home.
They say, “Go BIG or go home!”
Well, I went BIG and I have-been-home-a-lot (#covidpandemic). I made one BIG scrap wood lantern and one small.
These Simple DIY Wood Lanterns were part of a challenge (#buildfromscrap) I put out to readers to clear their scrap pile and build only from the wood they have from home while being stuck at home because of the pandemic. These lanterns are one of several projects like this DIY Dog Leash Holder, I challenged myself to complete over a couple of weeks.
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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 LANTERNS
- Measuring tape
- Saw – I use a Rigid Table Saw
- Miter saw
- Wood clamps
- Carpenter square
- Nail gun – I use a Ryobi Nail gun
SUPPLIES FOR DIY LANTERNS (LARGE AND SMALL)
I used scrap 2 x 2s and 1 x 3 for the large lantern and a 1 x 6 for the small lantern. Use anything you have on hand that would work. If you don’t have enough scrap wood then I have included what wood to purchase below.
- 2 – 2 x 2 x 8 (large lantern)
- 1 – 1 x 4 x 6 (large lantern)
- 1 – 1 x 8 x 8 (small lantern)
- 2 inch 18G brad nails
- 1 1/4 inch 18G brad nails
- Wood glue
- Wood filler – I use Elmer’s Wood Filler in Natural
- Sander or sand paper
- Paint – I used a flat black spray paint (large lantern)
- Wood stain – I used Varathane Antique White and Mixwax Dark Walnut (small lantern)
- Sealer – I used this one
CUTS FOR DIY LANTERNS
The large lantern measured app 25 1/2 inches tall by 10 1/2 inches wide. The small lantern is 15 5/8 x 7 3/8 size. Keep in mind that all wood depths aren’t the same. Your measurements may be different from mine due to variations in the thickness of the wood.
- 4 – 2 x 2s cut at 21 1/2 inches (vertical side supports)
- 8 – 2 x 2s cut at 7 1/2 inches (horizontal top and bottom supports)
- 4 – 2 x 2s cut at 1 1/2 inches (feet)
- 3 – 1 x 4s cut at 10 1/2 inches (bottom)
- 2 – 2 x 2s cut at 9 inches (long pieces of crown)
- 2 – 2 x 2s cut at 6 inches (short pieces of crown)
To build the small lantern, I used one 1 x 8 x 8 and ripped cut 1-inch strips, except for the bottom.
- 4 – 1 x 13 inches (side supports)
- 4 – 5 3/8 inches (horizontal top and bottom supports)
- 1 – 7 3/8 inches square (bottom)
- 4 – 1-inch square (feet)
- 2 – 6 5/8 inches (long pieces of crown)
- 2 – 5 1/8 inches (short pieces of crown)
STEPS TO MAKE DIY LANTERNS
Step 1) Start out by assembling the two rectangular sides. Attach two sides to a top and bottom piece. It helps to use wood clamps to hold it in place. This will create a rectangle. Repeat this for the other side.
Step 2) Connect the two rectangular sides together using the eight horizontal top and bottom 2 x 2 pieces. This will create a rectangular box.
Step 4) Add a final few pieces of wood (crown) to taper at the top. Draw an outline on the top where you want your crown to sit. I marked about halfway in from the outer edge of the top and then attached it.
Step 1) Create the sides by attaching two vertical side pieces with a top and bottom horizontal piece. It helps to use wood clamps to hold it in place. Repeat this for the other side to make two rectangles.
Step 2) Attach the two rectangles to the bottom piece.
Step 3) Attach the horizontal bottom and top pieces in between the two rectangles. I attached the bottom horizontal pieces by nailing through the bottom piece. I attached the top horizontal pieces by nailing through the sides. Now you have a rectangular box.
Step 4) Add the feet.
Step 5) Add the crown. For the crown, I marked halfway in from the edge of the top to get my measurements for my cuts.
Step 6) Sand and fill in any holes with wood filler. Apply your chosen paint or stain and protect it with a sealer. I used Varathane Antique White and Mixwax Dark Walnut. To add a rustic worn look, sand your lanterns after you stain or paint them. Then I applied a spar urethane sealer.
As an option add handles. You can either use wire, a chain, or a very long gummy worm. I made rope handles (tutorial to come) and attached them to the crown of the lanterns. Then I placed them by my front door.