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.

Table Project

Building this really wasn’t that hard, it is all constructed of 2×4’s. To build the top part, I planed down some of the 2×4’s and then used the chop saw to cut the 2×4 every two inches. After doing that, you glue the blocks together with Titebond III (that’s my preferred glue). After you get a bunch those blocks glued in strips, you plane them and then glue the strips together and clamp them together. I usually give it 24 hours. I then run those through the planer. Then you just start adding pieces together until you have the table as big as you want. Nothing fancy on the table bottom, just have to make it sturdy enough to hold that top, which has some weight to it.

I actually built this without drawing up any plans, so I was glad it turned out as well as it did. I like building without plans, yeah it doesn’t go well all the time, but sometimes you end up making something more unique than if you had plans.
Proverbs 16:3 – Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established