Wanting to try your hand at DIY woodworking? These easy DIY wood lanterns are a simple project for any skill level to master.
Woodworking can be a really intimidating skill to learn. The thought of using power tools like a saw, nail gun or drill might have you ready to make a run for it. But, if I can teach myself how to use power tools, anyone can. And luckily, this DIY wood lantern is an easy wood project to start with.
Before you know it, you'll be the next diva of DIY. Rockin' that circular saw.
Lanterns are a great option for seasonal decor. And while metal or plastic lanterns may be easy to purchase, wood lanterns can be easily customized. It doesn't matter if you prefer rustic wood lanterns or a modern mix. You can create your very own style with this fun project.
Creating a wood lantern can also be pretty thrifty if you have wood scraps around. Use what you have and don't buy extra pieces of wood if you can shop your house or garage.
Supplies Needed for Wood Lantern:
- Miter Saw
- Rapid Fuse - wood glue
- Finish Nailer
- Pine board 1"x 12" (I used pine, but if there is a different type you already have then use it!)
- Dark Walnut Stain
- Clear Finishing Coat
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How to Make a DIY Wood Lantern Project
Step 1: Cut out your individual wood pieces in the sizes you will need. Cut lists below.
- 1 - 8" x 8" square
- 1 - 7" x 7" square (measurement is slightly different in video)
- 1 - 4.5" x 4.5" square (measurement is slightly different in video)
- 8 rectangular strips - 5 ½" long x ¾" thick
- 4 rectangular strips - 14" long x ¾" thick
Step 2: Begin by creating the frame of the lantern.
Take one of your long rectangular strips and short rectangular strips and form them into an L shape. Secure these two pieces together. Use some wood glue to attach one end of the short strip to the inside of one of the long end strips.
Then you will use your finish nailer to insert a nail on the outside end of the long strip. This will give extra support to connect the short and long strips of wood. I am using a pin nailer with pin nails, but any other finish nailer will work.
Attach a second long strip onto the opposite side of the same short strip using wood glue. Nail those two ends together as well. Now it will look like a U shape. The four longer pieces will become your corner posts.
Then you will attach two additional short strips to the same ends of the existing long corner posts on the U frame. The short strips will start to form a square shape. This will be followed by securing the other two long corner posts. Do you see a pattern? Make sure to use the wood glue and the nailer gun.
Glue and nail one last short wood piece to finish off the square base. Then you will flip your lantern over and use your remaining short pieces of wood to assemble the other square end. The whole lantern base will look like a rectangular box.
Step 3: Secure the box frame to the lantern base.
Center the bottom of the lantern frame on the 8" square wood block. Again use the wood glue and nail gun to secure the frame to the base.
Step 4: Attach the 7" square to the top of the frame.
Place the 7" square block on top of the lantern frame. Center it and use the wood glue and nail gun to attach.
Step 5: Put the last square on top of the 7" square.
Take the 4.5" square and glue and nail it to the top of the 7" square. Make sure it is also centered in the middle of your wood blocks.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
The only thing left on this easy project is your finish. Lightly sand with a low grit sandpaper. You can leave this lantern as is in its natural wood finish. But for my own version, I used a walnut stain to really emphasize the distinct wood grains. Follow the directions listed on whatever stain you choose!
For the complete tutorial you can watch my video below! View my YouTube Channel here
Decorating with Your Easy DIY Lanterns
These simple wood lanterns are absolutely lovely by themselves. But a little embellishment really makes these beauties shine. Here are a few decorating options.
- Throw in your favorite faux candle or light source.
- Use as a wedding centerpiece for tables.
- Place a small vase inside with greenery or flowers.
- Fill with holiday trinkets to use as a centerpiece on your table.
- Fill with ornaments or holiday foliage for Christmas decor.
- Use small pumpkins, leaves or autumn foliage for fall decorating.
- Put a mason jar inside with flameless candles or twinkle lights.
- Outdoor use on your front porch decor or placing a plant inside.
- Great fillers for any decorating space in your home!
Loving this DIY woodworking? Try out these easy wood trees for the holidays. Or maybe you want to spruce up that boring old wall without spending a fortune. Take a look at 13 DIY wood wall treatments!
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