Easy Outdoor Decor: Make Wood Lanterns With Scrap Wood

Are you a wood hoarder like I am? If there is a scrap of wood bigger than 1x1 it gets put in the scrap wood tub just waiting to become a fabulous project. Recently I was part of a 2x4 challenge and I made a lantern with the 2x4s from pallets. I loved the way they turned out and my little brain went right to that scrap wood tub.
I made these lanterns with outside decor in mind but I can see them working their way into my home decor as well. These are super easy! Once you decide the size that will work for you you are half way there. The lantern on the left was made out of pallet 2x4 scraps, you can see that tutorial here:
Rustic Lantern: Easy and Affordable with 2x4s
2 scrap pieces wood for your top and bottom
100 total inches of scrap wood for the sides
baling wire
Wood Glue
Ryobi 2.5 in. x 16-Gauge Straight Finish Nailer
Ryobi Mitre Saw (this one is my favorite)
Drill (optional)
drill bit (optional)
For cut list with full diagram and complete tutorial follow the link below
Start by cutting you scraps to size. Then attach the 4 sides to each corner of the bottom board. Feet are optional but if you chose to have feet attach them to the bottom at this time.
Now it's time to attach the side pieces to the bottom. Once those pieces are in place you will attach the top board and then the side pieces to the top as well.
The next step is to attach the 4 short boards to the top to form a square. At this time if you would like to add wire to your lantern you will drill two holes to put the wire through. Thread the bailing wire through and attach the ends by wrapping it around itself.
I always apply a small amount of wood glue between any wood pieces I am putting together. And I must say using my small Ryobi air nailer makes this project super quick and easy! If you haven't tried using one of these suckers you need too! It's a huge time saver, not to mention smashed finger saver as well.
Make sure you head over to the blog for the complete tutorial, including cut list and diagram. And as always

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Diva of DIY

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • C. Bousquet
    on Mar 13, 2016

    I was using 2x4 leftover from the deck-I have tried nailing and screwing , even predrilling----keep splitting wood, suggestions?

  • Don4915291
    on Mar 22, 2016

    Is there not any sizes for the wood pieces?

  • Linda Ruizeveld
    on Mar 23, 2016

    Love the lanterns, like the color of the small lantern. What color and brand stain did you use? Thank you!

    • Diva of DIY
      on Mar 23, 2016

      I used MinWax stain in espresso. Thank you for pointing that out, I am putting it in the post right now! I would love to see you finished lantern when you are done!

Join the conversation

4 of 29 comments
  • Jkendall
    on Feb 7, 2017

    I wanted these so desperately, that I watched your tutorial and with your inspiration, I got up the nerve to actually make these and use some power tools. First time ever!!!

    • Diva of DIY
      on Feb 8, 2017

      You just made my night! This is why I love to share projects! Thank you for taking the time to let me know! I would love to see a photo! Congratulations on your first of many to come!

  • Jkendall
    on Feb 8, 2017

    It was a labor of love. Not perfection by any means! I will always love them though. Thank you for inspiring me. I still have apprehension with power tools, but I wanted these soooo bad. We had scrap wood and everything I needed on hand. I plan on swapping out candles for larger one in near future. Thank you for your how to.

    • Diva of DIY
      on Feb 13, 2017

      Thank you for sharing! I love them! Keep working with those power tools!

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