DIY Lantern {Shabby Chic Style}

I've been in a lantern mood lately. I don't know why, but it just suddenly hit me. You would think I would be in a lantern mood all summer because they are beautiful for outdoor settings...and well, the outdoors during summer time is pleasant. Unlike now. Well, it's pleasant during the days, but not during the nights when you would actually use a lantern. Anyway. This lantern was for outdoors, but then it found its way onto my of course the whole outdoors argument above is null :)

This project is sooo easy. If you have scrap wood lying around your house, more than likely you'll have enough to through this baby together. And since it's 'shabby chic' aka 'I'm lazy and don't like sanding', you don't have to make this look perfect :) The more beat up the better!

how to make a lantern

Here are the supplies:
  • 2 pieces of wood cut to the same measurements. Mine are 5 1/2" x 5 1/2". I used a 2x6 board and a cedar plank board for this. You can use a cedar plank for both or a 2x6 for both. However you want it to look.
  • One 2x4 cut squared, so about 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"
  • Four 'legs' cut the same height. You can use a 1x2 or a 2x2 for this. I cut mine 8 inches high
  • One 1x2 cut square (not pictured)
  • Wood glue
  • Screws (if you plan to actually hang this)
  • Paint/stain
  • Jute/rope
First step: Place the 'legs' (I know they aren't legs, but it's easier to explain this way lol) on top of one of the 5 1/2x5 1/2 pieces in the corners. Secure with wood glue.
Step two: Place the top 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 piece on top, secure with wood glue.
This would be a great time to screw the legs into both sides if you are deciding to hang the lantern. Counter sink your screws on the top piece, and fill with wood putty so you won't see them.

Step three: Secure the 2x4 piece on top of the piece in step 2, make sure it is centered.
how to build a lantern
Step four: Take your square 1x2 piece, and drill a hole down the middle long ways. Secure to the top of the lantern.
Step five: Make it look nice :) Sand and then paint/stain and distress (if you would like)...I only sanded the little wood spurs off.

diy lantern
Step six: Get some jute, and send it through the top hole, tie it off.
how to make a lantern
And there you have it! Just needs a light :) I used a votive candle holder for mine. Just make sure that if you use a candle that actually burns, you have enough room from the top and all sides of the wood. Just use your own discretion on this, and be safe :)
DIY Lantern

You can probably tackle this project in about an hour if you aren't making dinner or wrestling around with the kiddos :)

Now I'm just warning you that more lanterns are probably in my future, so I hope you like them as much as me :) Fall and Christmas porches just scream the need for lanterns.


  1. Wow, this is very cool! I can't believe you made this! Love the way you finished it too and it looks great with your other decor


  2. Easy & cute. My kind of project! Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is too cool and I love it with your sand dollar! Looks amazing.
    House on the Way

  4. So lovely! I've been remodeling lately, and have wood scraps by the dozens! Now I know what I can do with some of them. :)

  5. Totally love this! And I have tons of scrap wood just begging to be used! Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. Very creative, one of the nicer sites I have seen today. Keep up the great work.

  7. I value the blog article.Really thank you! Great.


happy DIYing! Alicia