DIY Wood Lanterns for Christmas

Today my Power Tool Challenge Team friends are sharing Holiday Inspired projects.  This is a fun challenge because we each make a gift for another team member but we only know the recipient of the gift that we made.  I made DIY Wood Lanterns that can be used decoratively in just about any place in a home.

DIY Wood Lantern for Christmas - Get the step-by-step tutorial to make a lantern like this for your home. virginiasweetpea.com

 

I made three lanterns, two for my mantel, and one to send to my secret partner.  She won’t know who her partner is until this gift arrives in the mail.  I hope she’ll like it!

I’m already enjoying my lanterns in our decorated for Christmas living room.Christmas in the Living Room - Mantel Decorated with DIY Lanterns. Get the step-by step tutorial to make these at virginiasweetpea.com.

 

My living room got a mini makeover this fall with new paint.  I used Benjamin Moore White Dove on the trim and Clay Beige on the walls.  This is the first time my mantel has been decorated since I painted this room.  You can see more of this room’s vintage inspired Christmas decor here.

Christmas Living Room - Mantel decorated with DIY Wood Lanterns - virginiasweetpea.com

I participated in this fun challenge last year and made a DIY Cheese and Crackers Serving Board for Karen at The DIY Bungalow.  I can’t wait to see what everyone made this year and it’s going to be fun to try to guess which gift may be coming to me.  Last year Jeanie from Create and Babble sent me DIY Pallet Wood Wall Art.  You can see it in use this year at the base of the sled on my Christmas porch.

How to Make a Wood Lantern

Supplies

Affiliate links are included in this post.

1” x  6” board cut to 5 1/2” x 5 1/2” – Need Two

1/2” dowel cut to 10” – Need Four

4” x 4” Wood Pyramid Post Cap

1 1/2” Wood Cabinet Knob

Circular Saw or Sliding Compound Miter Saw

Random Orbit Sander

Drill and/or Drill Press

Wood Glue

Clamps

Supplies Needed to Make a DIY Wood Lantern

Procedure

Cut the Lantern Top and Bottom

I used scrap pieces of a 1” x 6” to cut two pieces 5 1/2” x 5 1/2”.  I set up a stop block so that I only had to measure 5 1/2” one time.

DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

Cut the Dowels for the Sides

Cut four dowel pieces 10” long.  (The stop block was moved to 10” for this step.)DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Drill Holes for the Dowels

I decided that the best placement for the dowels was 1/2” in on each side.  I marked the wood so I would know the exact location for each pilot hole.

DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Use a drill press to drill pilot holes for the dowels.

DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

I quickly realized that if I wanted to successfully drill three holes at a time then a clamp was necessary.

DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Then use a 1/2” Forstener bit to drill the holes.DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

I drilled holes all of the way through for the lantern bottom pieces and 1/2” deep for the lantern top pieces.  I made three lanterns, so that’s why there are six pieces shown in this picture.

DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Attach the Knob to the End Cap

First mark the center of the end cap.  I used an aul to make an indentation and then drilled a pilot hole for the screw.

DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Screw the knob into place.

DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Assemble the Lantern

I first did a dry fit of the pieces to make sure that my measurements were correct.  After a successful dry fit, the pieces were then glued together.

I started by gluing the dowels to the lantern bottom.

Tip:  Keep a damp rag nearby to wipe up oozing glue.

DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Then glue the top to the dowels.  Finally, glue the end cap in place.

DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Paint the Lantern

After the glue dries, paint the lantern.  I used Benjamin Moore White Dove in semi-gloss that I had leftover from painting the trim in my living room.  It took three coats to fully cover the raw wood.DIY Wood Lantern - Step-by-step Tutorial - virginiasweetpea.com

 

Add Lights to the Lantern

I used quart sized Mason jars for my lanterns with 50 count copper mini LED lights inside.  I purchased mine at AC Moore but this set from Michael’s is very similar.  The lights use two double A batteries which I hid behind the lanterns on my mantel.

DIY Wood Lantern for Christmas - Get the step-by-step tutorial to make a lantern like this for your home. virginiasweetpea.com

 

The lights are so pretty at night.  Since the lights are LED, I’ve left them on since I decorated the mantel.

DIY Wood Lantern for Christmas - Get the step-by-step tutorial to make a lantern like this for your home. virginiasweetpea.com

 

I would love it if you would pin this post for others to discover on Pinterest.

Don't Forget to Pin It!

DIY Wood Lantern for Christmas - Get the step-by-step tutorial to make a lantern like this for your home. virginiasweetpea.com

Now it’s time to see the holiday projects made by my friends.  You just might see a project or two that you would like to make for yourself or as a gift for a friend or family member.

DIY Holiday Gift Idea Tutorials - Get ideas for Christmas gifts that you can make. virginiasweetpea.com
Designed Decor – Repurposed Wood Serving Tray

Domestically Speaking – Coastal Terra Cotta Christmas Lantern

Virginia Sweet Pea – DIY Wood Lanterns for Christmas

My Repurposed Life – DIY Christmas Lanterns Made from Porch Lights

H2OBungalow – DIY Large Wooden Snowflake

Create and Babble – Oversized Wooden Magnetic Christmas Ornament

Comments

  1. What a great idea!! I had to pin this

  2. Just beautiful!!!

  3. CUTENESS!!! What a great build!

  4. OMG! These are great! I now need a drill press! I love the layers and detail that you put into these lanterns!

  5. These are absolutely gorgeous! Crazy creative too my friend. How fun that you put all the pieces together to make these. They look fabulous on your mantel, especially with your holiday greens. Pinned 🙂

  6. Paula,

    Oh my! I love how you put these lanterns together. I don’t have a drill press. I’ve known for a long time I want one, but now I know I NEED one!
    Great tips, beautiful job! I love that you made some for yourself because when you make something you love, it’s tough to give it away. 😉
    pinned!
    gail

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  2. […] Domestically Speaking – Coastal Terra Cotta Christmas Lantern Virginia Sweet Pea – DIY Wood Lanterns for Christmas My Repurposed Life – DIY Christmas Lanterns Made from Porch Lights H2OBungalow – DIY […]

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