DIY Wood Lantern

3 Materials
2 Hours

Let's build a set of cute, decorative wood lanterns for under $10!Yup, an easy and inexpensive DIY project. If you like this be sure to follow me here on Hometalk for lots more simple DIY projects. Like simple building projects like this one? Let me show you how to easily build stain and stencil any kind of wood sign.

Let's start with supplies

  • 1/2 inch balsa wood strips total of 52 inches in length
  • 4 - 4x4 wood plaques
  • 2 - wood drawer pulls
  • Black spray paint

Plus these tools

  • Craft knife
  • Wood Glue
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Clamp

Use what you have as far as wood squares and knobs. These wood knobs came off an old dresser that I updated.

Start by cutting the wood wood strips down to size, you can use a craft knife for this they are very thin! You will need 4 strips of equal size for each lantern. Add glue to the ends and use a clamp to hold them in place. I did 2 at a time, let them dry, then did the next 2.

Once the lantern is built and dry, glue on a wood knob to the top and let it dry fully.Then head to a well ventilated area and spray the lantern a high gloss black. This will give your lantern a metal like look. Consider using a metal effect spray paint or another color to match you decor.

Once everything is dry you can start styling. A few tips:Do not use open flame in these lanterns, it is not safe.Add small jars and fill them with different items to match your decor and the season. Try corn kernels an LED tea lights. Or fill a jar with twinkle lights!

Resources for this project:
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Sarah Vanderkooy
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 4 questions
  • Barbara Barbara on Jan 22, 2020

    I love this idea! I have never used a clamp, please tell me the size you used. What is a good size to buy so I can use it for other projects as well.

    Thank you

  • Sarge Sarge on Feb 12, 2020

    Where did you find the lights with the black battery pack? Something local or any big box store? I have not seen them anywhere

  • Tara Eason Tara Eason on Apr 07, 2022

    Other then glass or plexiglass can you suggest 🤔 anything else that I might be able to put in there as far as see through for windows?

    I'm just trying to make it look like that lantern feel. I know that this might not make a hold lot of sense but if you can help me I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

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2 of 22 comments
  • Mor14531786 Mor14531786 on Jan 22, 2021

    You can make the cost even less expensive and have glass sides, using 4 small wooden picture frames, 2 plaque squares and a large wooden bead, ALL from the dollar store. Just use a strong adhesive glue to attach sides of frames, making a square. Glue frames to the bottom plaque square, adhere bead to center of other plaque square. Then paint. When dry, add your battery candle and decor, and just put on the lid! Total cost, except for paint, is 6.50. The beads are 2 per pack.

  • Karen Karen on Jan 22, 2021

    Darling! A great project!