DIY Wooden Lantern

Staci Marie
by Staci Marie
8 Materials
20 Minutes

This DIY project has a special meaning to's a trial run for our oldest sons wedding this summer!! My hubby and I will be making the centerpieces for the tables!

Along with wooden lantern centerpieces, my hubby and I will also be making the wedding arch. A different style than the one we previously made. Come back in a few months and we will be sharing that style arch as well.

FYI- I have the building details from my niece's hexagon wedding arch in my saved projects >>> HERE

Material List:

  • 1"x 8"x 4' board
  • 3 - 3/4" x 3' square dowels
  • Pneumatic nail gun
  • 1 1/2" nails
  • Saw (Table or Miter)
  • Sandpaper
  • Quick clamp
  • Combination square
  • Paint or Stain to finish


The cost of this project is for the wood board and dowels only. All other materials I had on hand.

We cut some of our wood using a table saw but all pieces can be cut on a miter saw.

We cut the square dowel rods first.

We cut 4 pieces at 9 inches long using the table saw. These will become the corner posts of the lantern.

Then we decided the miter saw would work better and finished our project using this saw for the rest of our cuts.

We cut 8 pieces at 5 inches long. These will become cross supports.

Then we measured our board for the base and cut it into 7 1/4" square.

Our kids want to use Mason jars in their table centerpieces so here are all the material sizes we used...

  • 1 Mason jar
  • 1 base piece cut at 7 1/4" x 7 1/4"
  • 4 pieces cut at 9" (corner posts)
  • 8 pieces cut at 5" (cross supports)

We started to assemble the lantern by creating 2 of the large rectangle sides. We placed our pieces on a flat table top and nailed the pieces together on the ends.

Once the 2 large rectangle sides were assembled, we used the quick clamp to hold the frame to the table and nailed the small 5" pieces together on the ends.

Once we had all the pieces together we measured 3/8" from all edges using a combination square. This allows us to make sure the frame structure is placed on the square base perfectly.


You could also use a tape measure if you don't have a combination square...but the square helps place the frame exactly were you want it, in my opinion.

Once the lantern frame is centered its time to nail it into place. We added 2 nails to each 5" cross support piece that sits on the base board.

That's it! Now you have your lantern and it is ready to be finished and decorated. My soon to be daughter will adorn this with flowers and a candle. (I'll update with a finished photo after the big day 8.21.21)

Left photo is a side view and right photo is the top view.

It also looks cute with a battery operated candle! The decor options are endless and would be great for a wedding centerpiece or home decor!


I did not finish this lantern, but it can be painted or stained.

Resources for this project:
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  • Terri Terri on May 10, 2022

    Very nice! Would be great path lights, porch lights…thanks for the directions!

  • Maxine Maxine on May 08, 2023

    Aren't flameless candles pretty pricey?

    • Staci Marie Staci Marie on May 08, 2023

      Not really if you buy in bulk. My daughter in law did that and after the wedding sold them so another bride could enjoy them. 😊