How to Make Lanterns From Scrap Wood

5 Materials
3 Hours

I love scrap wood projects! If you have been working with wood for any length of time you have probably built up an awesome pile of wood. I say awesome because there are so many amazing projects that can be made from scrap wood. 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.

These lanterns will work fabulous
how to make lanterns from scrap wood
These are the pieces that made up each lantern.
how to make lanterns from scrap wood
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.  
how to make lanterns from scrap wood
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. 
how to make lanterns from scrap wood
I glued and nailed the four feet to the bottom piece. 
how to make lanterns from scrap wood
I filled any gaps and nail holes with wood filler.

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/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. 
how to make lanterns from scrap wood
how to make lanterns from scrap wood
how to make lanterns from scrap wood
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.  

If you are looking for other scrap wood project check out these Custom Made Shelves for the Cabinet and these DIY Rustic Christmas Ornaments.

Thank so much for learning to make these lanterns.

Happy building,


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Tiffany from Dream Design DIY

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Kiki
    on Mar 25, 2018

    How did you measure and cut the bottom to fit around the wood side pieces ?

    • Mandy Jane
      on Mar 25, 2018

      To measure the bottom piece that goes around the legs hold the legs in place then draw around them. You could use a hand saw to cut them or a jig saw. Just make two cuts to meet in the middle

  • Margaret Nelson
    on Mar 26, 2018

    Liked the finished product but what is the function of these?

    • Hi Margaret,They are mostly just decorative. If you add some candles they could serve somewhat functional but I would lean on the decorative side mostly.

  • Tina
    on Jul 18, 2018

    I am having a hard time navigating the site. Is there any measurements for this project? Thank so much!

    • Tina
      on Jul 19, 2018

      Thank you so much. Went to your site and found it. ☺

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