Scrap Wood Porch Lanterns

5 Materials
1 Hour

I bet that if you went into your garage and found a few pieces of wood, you could make yourself a wooden lantern! These make great decor pieces for the porch or inside the home and can be made into whatever style or size you want!

Materials & Tools

Materials for this project:

  • 2x2 lumber cut @ 18" (x4)
  • 1x4 lumber cut @ 10.5" (x6)
  • 1x4 lumber cut @ 7" (x2)
  • 1x2 lumber cut @ 3" (x8)
  • 1x2 lumber cut @ 5" (x4)
  • 1/4" jute rope
  • Paint or stain

Tools for this project:

  • Mitre saw or skill saw
  • Brad nailer
  • Drill bit
  • Kreg jig

Lay out your lantern design & nail together

Lay out your lantern design to see that you want each side to look like.

The 2x2's are used as the corners and the 1x2's are used for the inside design. I put a piece of wood along the top to make sure they were straight, then nailed it all together using my brad nailer.

Repeat X 4

Repeat the previous step to make the 4 sides and nail them all together!

Lantern base & top

The base and top are made of the 1x4's to make a square.

Put these together by making a few pocket holes with your Kreg jig and screw together. You can also use wood glue here too if you'd like.

Attach base & top

Attach the base and top to the 2x2's with a brad nailer.

Making the top decorative

My plan was to add a few extra pieces of wood on the top and to make a spot to put the rope for a handle. As you can see in the next photo, it doesn't look proportionate.

Lantern top

Not loving this look! The block looks too small on top of this big lantern, so I had to come up with another idea.

Lantern top

I cut 4 pieces of 1x3's to make a square on top top of the lantern. I'm hoping this will look a bit better.

Drill holes for the rope handles

Drill 2 holes of either side of the top square to thread the rope handles through.

Assemble the top

Much better! Brad nail together the top pieces to the lantern.

Almost done!

Here's what my lanterns look like before paint or stain. I also made a smaller lantern for this one to have a buddy out on the porch.

Paint/stain & enjoy!

Paint or stain in a colour of your choice, add the rope handle, and set out on your porch to enjoy!




For more ideas and ongoing projects, follow along on Instagram and Facebook!

Insta: @farmhouse.ongunnshill

Facebook: Lauren Ann Design

~Lauren icon

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 7 questions
  • Robin Nichols Austin Robin Nichols Austin on Jan 13, 2021

    What are the detentions?

  • Cinstol Cinstol on Jun 14, 2022


    You need to get your facts correct, $700 for Kreg jig? They can be found anywhere beginning at around $30 (Amazon, Rockler, Home Depot) and a mini kit is available at Home Depot for $23 for the pocket hole jig. As for the compressor? Battery operated Brad nailers are available anywhere as well. Mitre saw, well those are available as a plastic box mitre saw for around $12 (Harbor Freight). So, if you don't have these tools on hand, it certainly wouldn't cost anywhere near your exaggerated $700 just for the Kreg jig! My husband made me 2 of these with scrap lumber and the only cost was buying wooden finials for the top because that's what I wanted. There was no baiting people. It absolutely can be done, real life!

  • Lauren Lauren on Jun 19, 2022

    At the risk of sounding really dumb, what makes it a lantern? There are no instructions/suggestions stating how or what to put into it that makes it light up. I apologize if I missed that part. Thank you!

Join the conversation
3 of 16 comments
  • Elly Elly on Jun 13, 2022

    honestly, it’s cute however your tool list — a Kreg jig, really — totals more than $700. most people don’t have a compressor or those tools. maybe publish a “real life” list when you bait people with “five dollar” projects. smh

    • Sandra Sandra on Jun 14, 2022

      Your point is well taken. Most people don’t have these tools on hand. However, the project could be done with wood glue-it would just take more time to allow the glue to dry at each step.

  • Ron39784895 Ron39784895 on Jun 15, 2022

    This is the perfect type of project cull wood. I am always looking over the cull pile at my local HD. Lots of great wood for 70% off! Love the idea! Beach theme, Christmas time, even a nice bottle of wine in one for a gift and they get to keep the lantern! Awesome!