No Nail Modern, Rustic Lanterns

4 Materials
2 Hours

I wanted a statement centerpiece for a beachy backyard table. This custom lantern was is the perfect combination of modern and rustic to fit the waterfront vibe.

Start with a 8 foot 1x1. I used framing lumber since I was going for a rustic vibe. If you don’t have a mitre saw, most hardware stores will make cuts for you.

Here are the cuts you will need;

8 pieces at 6”

4 pieces at 12”

No nails are required for this project. I assembled the whole thing with only wood glue. I assembled in stages, allowing the glue to dry before I attached more pieces together.

Start by making two rectangles by gluing two 6” pieces between two of the 12” lengths.

I clamped the pieces to my work bench while they dried to hold them in place and to help ensure that they were square.

After the glue dried (about a half hour) I glued four 6” pieces to the corner of one of the rectangles. This part can be a bit tricky but after some trial and error I found it was the best way to assemble and keep the lantern as square as possible.

Always apply glue on both of the joining edges to help it adhere.

Once the cross pieces are placed onto your rectangle, use your other assembled rectangle to make sure your pieces are square by placing it on top. 

Place something heavy on top to apply pressure. This will also keep everything in place and square while it dries. 

Once the glue attaching the cross pieces is dried, attach the top rectangle. Again, place glue on both sides of the joints, make sure it is square and then use your heavy object (in my case, a tub if joint compound) to help secure it in place while it dries.

I gave the whole thing a quick sand with medium grit paper then brushed on stain for a rustic look. To prevent weathering, you could seal them with an exterior top coat but I’ve left mine as is for now.

I ended up making a larger one using the same method but different cuts;

8 pieces at 9”

4 pieces at 18”

I used flameless candles to complete the look (using a real flame is not a good idea as these are wood). I love how they look modern but also have a rustic, beachy vibe. Perfect for any decor!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Sunny
    on Jul 30, 2020

    Hi, did I miss something or is there no bottom on which to set the candle? Love the look, but confused. Thanks

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