Wooden Jack O Lantern DIY

3 Materials
4 Hours

I’ve been wanting to make a wooden Jack O Lantern for some time. This was a fun project and only requires a few tools. There are so many design possibilities. And it’s a wonderful scrap-wood project.

Obtain Scrap Boards

Just about any scrap boards will work for this project. I had some pine boards lying around and so I went with those.

Cut Out Side Boards

Cut out the 4 sides. I used a stop block to get the boards cut to identical widths.

To get plans and the face template for the Jack O Lantern, please visit my blog post.

Starting Assembly

Beginning to assemble the wooden Jack O Lantern. Photos above show me assembling sides with glue and nail gun.

Draw On The Face

I used my imagination and freehanded the face on the Jack O Lantern. You can find plenty of ideas and templates on the internet. Feel free to use my design. You can get my Face template on my blog post.

Cut Out the Face

Drilling some starter holes for the jigsaw. See next step.

Next, I will cut out the face with the jigsaw. I used scroll-type blades for the jigsaw to help cutting curves.

Shape and Sand the Face

After cutting out the face, I used a rasp and detail sander to clean up the cut edges. I think it looks better if the edges are rounded over.

Sizing Top and Bottom Boards

Measuring and sizing the top and bottom pieces. See plans for dimensions.

Using my miter saw to cut out the top and bottom of the Jack O Lantern.

Attaching the top with electric nail gun and glue.

Attaching the bottom with electric nail gun and glue.

Finish Sanding

I used the orbital sander to go over the whole wooden Jack O Lantern. I used 120 grit sandpaper.

Attach Stem

Every Jack O Lantern needs some kind of stem. I simply cut off a piece of oak dowel and glued it to the top.

Apply a Stain Finish

The Minwax stain worked great. It’s called Gunstock and happens to have an orange tint.

Antique the Jack O Lantern

After the stained dried, I took some sandpaper and sanded around the edges of the eyes, nose, and mouth. This gives the Jack O Lantern more of an antique look.

Apply Spar Urethane

Since the wooden Jack O Lantern will probably be spending a lot of time outdoors, I put 3 coats of spar urethane over the stain.

Add LED Candles

I got these LED candles from Hobby Lobby. Fortunately, I made the mouth wide enough to slip the battery-powered candles inside the Jack O Lantern.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments. If you like the content you see here, please consider subscribing to my blog through the sign up on the side bar. Also, check out my Four Oaks Crafts Youtube site.

For full plans on the Jack O Lantern and Face Template, check out my blog post.

If you like videos, check out my YouTube video.

Resources for this project:

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Mary Mary on Oct 22, 2021

    Awesome! But, since it is completely nailed together, how do you get a candle in?

  • Leslie Leslie on Oct 23, 2021

    Wonderful!! Thank you for sharing your process. I have one question please. I researched Skroll Saw blades for a jigsaw but still not sure which to use. Could you please give me the product name and the ones you used and why did you use them instead of regular blades? Do the scroll saw blades cut smoother and better for this type of work when you don't have a scroll saw?? Thank you for taking the time to answer :)


Join the conversation

4 of 10 comments
  • Doc's Mom Doc's Mom on Oct 22, 2021

    I really like that the face isn't the standard jack-o-lantern look. The eyes and nose are adorable; they look like flames. And the mouth - WOW! It looks like a bat flying!!! Great job!

    • Stephen Scott Johnson Stephen Scott Johnson on Oct 22, 2021

      Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you like the face design. There's so many possibilities on designing the face.

  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on Oct 23, 2021

    Such a nifty, creative idea and your work is lovely too.💕