January 7, 2016

DIY Rustic Wood Lanterns

We have a bunch of scrap wood and this was a great project and a great way to use some of it up. These rustic wood lanterns were also a lot of fun to make.
Scrap Wood Lanterns

It all started when I wanted something new for the mantel. I dragged Hubby all over town shopping for lanterns. We looked everywhere and couldn’t find anything we really loved. And we weren’t going to spend an arm and a leg for one either. Most of them were running around $30 each. Ugh! So, we came home empty handed.

I started googling and looking at Pinterest. I found some inspiration. Hubby and I put our heads together and this is what we came up with. And... It was all FREE!!
Side of Wood Lantern

We were so happy with the way they came out! We decided to make 4 more as gifts for Christmas. That’s where we honed our lantern making skills! Omg... I just love them with those adorable red bows!! :)
Christmas Lantern Gifts

Like I said earlier, all of the wood we used was scrap we had on hand. Some of it was old shelving, some was pallet wood and some of it was from the scrap bucket we have.
Scrap Pallet Wood

Hubby ripped old pallet wood into 3/4” lengths and we used some 1x6’s and some 2x8’s. Hubby cut the bases and tops into a square 5 1/2" X 5 1/2" and gave the edge a 45 degree angle with the table saw.
Making Bases and Tops

Then he cut the 2x8 into squares, I believe it was 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" and he also beveled that edge. Here are the pieces that make up the top. The little square block was from the scrap bucket.
Lantern Top Pieces

He was a miter/table saw maniac. He went out to the garage to get started and a little while later I came out to help and he had all of THIS done!! He cut out all the frame pieces, 4 – 10" lengths then 8 – 3 1/4" lengths for each lantern.  Do you see all of them stacked so neatly at the back of the photo? That equals to 16 - 10" frame pieces and 32 - 3 1/4" pieces, PLUS 4 bases and 4 complete tops! Whew! He busted those babies out!!
Materials for Lanterns

It was a cinch to assemble the frames! We glued, clamped, made sure it was pretty square then nailed it together with the nail gun.
Building Frame for Lanterns

The stack is done! It was like an assembly line!
Assembly Line of Lantern Frames

Next we made the lantern “cube” part. Working together, we banged those out quick! Glue, clamp and nail again!
Building Lantern Frame

We also nailed the top pieces together.  Some of the wood was a bit warped, so I caulked around the seams.
Assembling Lantern Tops

After everything was dry, I started nailing the frame to each base.
Attaching Base to Lantern Frame

While I started painting, Hubby drilled a hole in the top square for the hook.
Drilling Tops for Lantern HooksI didn’t want to sand, prime and paint. It was just a bit more than I was up for, but I heard you could make your own “chalky style paint” and that it’s supposed to stick like glue.

I thought I’d give it a try. I had some Plaster of Paris, which is one way you can make it. I just dumped some in a container and added some flat paint I had on hand. I didn't know what the ratio was supposed to be. The paint was very thick, kinda “foamy”. It was weird, but it worked great! The wood soaked it up.  Here’s a close up of the paint. I gave it two good coats.

Hubby had some of this thick wire on hand. He bent it into a half circle and fit it into the top piece where he had drilled the holes.

Side of Wood Lantern



I gave it a good sanding to smooth it out and distress it a bit. Then I sprayed them with a satin clear coat. Finished!

Omg! Again... that red bow!! :) Don’t they look adorable? We added an LED candle to them and attached a note describing how we are handcrafted by God.
Christmas Wood Lantern

We loved the way they came out! I think the recipients liked them too!

This is what 'our set' looked like on the mantel for Christmas.  They were our first samples and I didn't paint them the same. You could even leave them natural for a different look.
Our Own Wood Lanterns Aged

And this is now... :)
Scrap Wood Lanterns

Blessings!!
Lori -thestonybrookhouse
Lori -thestonybrookhouse

I have been blogging for about 4 years and I enjoy sharing all the things that go on here at The Stonybrook House. From building to decorating, crafting and cooking, and so much more. I enjoy gardening and a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly I love The Lord Jesus my Savior and my wonderful hubby of 28 years!

22 comments:

  1. These are ahhhh - mazing, Lori! I have pinned and want to steal this idea to use next Christmas at our churches ladies' craft night! So cool!

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    1. Thanks, Doreen!! That would be a fun craft! I'm thinking of making some bigger ones for the porch next year... :)

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  2. Beautiful job and what lucky friends you have!

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    1. Awww.... We're the lucky ones! Thanks so much! I can't believe how much fun they were to make!

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  3. Those are adorable!! The ones I see at the stores are always too expensive. I would love to make my own! :)

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    1. I know what you mean, Jamie! I'm too cheap to spend that kind of $$. Now you can make some!! :) Thanks for stopping by!!

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  4. Thanks so much for the in depth tute. I've been wanting to make these for years and hadn't quite figured it out. I'm wanting some on a much larger scale for the corners of deck this summer. Would love to see the larger ones if you get around to making them ;). Nice blog btw ;). Happy New Year! Thanks again

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    1. Yes! I'm thinking of making some for the front porch! I think when the weather gets nicer in the spring/summer I'm going to make some! Happy New Year to you too! Thanks so much for commenting and stopping by! Blessings!

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  5. I love these... thanks for the tutorial. I have been eyeing them in all the stores but they are so expensive! Pinning it!

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    1. I know they are way too expensive! These were so much fun to make, too! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I love those! What a great project. Thanks for your fun comment on my homemade bread post today. LOL

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    1. Thanks! You bet!! Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Lovely project Lori. A great way to use those scrap pieces. They would make lovely gifts.

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  8. Abbigale ShumakerMay 25, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    I stumbled across this on Pinterest and I love it! I will definitely be trying this soon. I really like the two sizes you had on your mantel. Was the size of the base/top increased as well as the height?

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    1. Thanks, Abbigale!! It really is pretty easy! We made the the base/top slightly bigger for the larger size.

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  9. Terrific lanterns. I echo the sentiments of our friends above. This is on the absolutely must do list. Wondering about an LED candle/light for the coming BIG porch lanterns. Any ideas? Thanks much! xo

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  10. Can I ask what the note said please?

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  11. Would you please send me a summary of each part and their dimensions. As I live in South Africa and we work in metric measurements it is confusing to work from the dimensions in the article. Thanks Malcolm

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    1. I would love to, but I need your email address... :/

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  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE. This is a silly question but the pieces for the top i know you said he used a miter saw on it but what thickness is that wood? it looks thicker then a 2 inch. TIA

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    1. Thanks!! I tried to find an email to get back to you... but really they are only 2 inches! :)

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