Wooden Lantern From Scraps of Wood From Other Projects

Bammaw's House
by Bammaw's House
6 Materials
2 Hours
I needed a housewarming gift. So, I did what I always do. I went through my scrap wood. I just stare at the pile of scraps until a project pops into my head. Once I have the basic project, I can tweak it until its something I love.
Here's what I pulled out of the pile; some plywood, a piece of a 4x4 post, some left over deck railing pickets (or balusters) and I had some red spray paint. I decided on a lantern to put by the fireplace.  It’s about 30” tall. The only thing I had to buy was the $3 knob for the top.  I have totaled the project here as if I had to buy everything but I always try to use what I have first.  So this project only cost me about $3. 

I cut 4 balusters to 27" each using a chop saw.  Then I cut 2 more  balusters into 8 - 7" pieces.  Then I assembled them to  look like this diagram using 2 - 27" and 2 - 7" pieces and made 2 of these frames.  Note that the screws are off center. Sorry I didn't think to take pictures. I hope the diagram helps.
Next, I connected these two frames with the remaining 4 - 7" pieces. I had to make sure the screws would pass each other without hitting so they are both off center. Then, I cut three pieces of plywood into squares. I measured the bottom and added 2" to allow for a hangover.  The top was cut to fit and then a smaller square for the lid.  I attached the top and then the bottom.  Next, I attached the lid to the top.  I spray painted the whole thing red.  Once it was dry, I turned it upside down and attached the 4x4 post.  It was about 14" tall.  I screwed two 3" screws through the bottom plywood and into the post.   I distressed the whole thing with coarse sandpaper.  Then I attached the cast iron knob to the lid. The knob had no stem so it sat flush on the top.  It was attached with two screws through holes in the knob frame. 
I added a LED candle from the dollar store.  All finished!
I think it looks perfect by the fireplace.  I liked the lantern so much that I made more. (See below)
After I made the red one.  I made several for my daughter's wedding.  Obviously, I used the same basic pattern but added a few more details.  They are also a bit taller.  They are about 36" tall.
I raised the lid by making this frame to add on the top.  It also allowed for the stem on the knob. 
I added a second cross bar to the top and the bottom.  I framed some metal ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby.  I spray painted them hammered nickel to give them an industrial look.  I added a cup hook under the top to hold the chain that holds the lantern.  I attached the chain to the lantern with a small "s" hook.  The lantern is a LED glass lantern.
They looked so pretty on either side of the aisle. 
Suggested materials:
  • Brown Pine Deck Baluster (2"x2"x36")   (.97 each at Lowes (need 6 for this))
  • 4"x4"x6' post   (about $7 at Lowes)
  • 2'x2' plywood   (about $5 at Lowes)
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Kathryn Mills Kathryn Mills on Jul 18, 2020

    The LED looks like it is in something?? We had different lanterns on on each dining table with roses inside them for my grandson’s wedding They were beautiful💜

Join the conversation
2 of 4 comments