Make Your Own Lanterns

For my wife and I’s wedding last year we got into a pinch where we couldn’t rent lanterns like we thought we were going to be able to. So I built some. . . 17 to be exact. It only took a Saturday to get done. Seeing how it’s getting wedding season, I figured I would show how I did it.

What I did was bought some 1″x10″ boards and then some 2″x4″s. I was going to plain the 2×4’s but realized I could trim them, up just using the table saw. After I got the 2×4 trimmed, I started making 1″x1″ strips at 16″ long to be used as the legs.

To make the base and top, I used the 1×10 boards. For the base and the top, I made a 8″x8″ square for each, then I made another square at 6″x6″ to be a second layer on the top. I chose to router the edges on the second layer (6″x6) and the 8″x8″ square for the top to give it a little more decoration.

To start putting the lantern together, I placed a dab of Titebond III glue on the end of one side of each of the 4 legs. Then attach them to the corners of one of the 8″x8″ boards. Then place a dab of glue on the top of the legs and place another 8″x8″ board on top. Then I clamped them for about an hour. After an hour, I put a nail into each of the legs to hold it better. You probably don’t need to do that, as the Titebond III holds really well.

Then I took a 6″x6″ square that I had cut and put some glue on it. I placed and centered the 6″x6″ square on top of the 8″x8″ top. I let that sit for an hour and then put in a couple of nails, but once again the nails are not necessary.

I took some of the 1×1 strips I had left from the legs and used them to put on the top and bottom between the legs. I just cut those to length to fit between the legs and glued them in.

Add a little paint and use a drawer knob/handle for the top of the lantern to add some flair. After the painting they were distressed a little. I didn’t do the painting or the flowery stuff, my mother-in-law did that. Here’s the finished product. I think they look better than what we could have bought and were much cheaper.

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