This simple yet stylish wood lantern DIY project can be done in a day!
Hey everyone, so our friend Ashley is getting married and we wanted to gift a wood lantern to her. This is a small and easy project that you can easily build using very limited tools.
Full video of the build
Here's the full video of the build. Hope you like it!
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Drawing for the build
How to build the wedding lantern centerpiece
Step 1: To begin with take 1-1/2 inch by ¾ inch lumber and cut it down to the required length. You need 8 pieces of 5 inch length for the horizontal members and 4 pieces of 12 inch length for the vertical members.
Step 2: The next step is resawing the lumber to ¾ inch x ¾ inch square dowels using a circular saw. Actually, ¾ inch square dowels are available at home-depot, we didn’t have it at hand, so we had to resaw the lumber to make it into a square dowel. So mark the ¾ inch on the lumber and resaw the pieces using a circular saw if you need to do it too.
Tip: If you have a Table saw/Band Saw, it is better and safer to do the resawing with it.
Of course, the easiest option is to just buy the right-sized wood!
Step 3: After the resawing run the pieces through the planer for making the sizes uniform for all the pieces. Actually a circular saw isn’t highly precise, so planing is usually necessary afterwards.
Step 4: So once the ¾ inch square dowels are ready, cut out 4 vertical members and 8 horizontal members using a miter saw. It’s always best to use the first piece as reference for cutting the other pieces rather than measuring each time using a measuring tape.
Step 5: So at this point, after all the lumber pieces are ready, it is time to do some sanding. So since we are planning for an oil finish, start the sanding with a 120 grit sandpaper and then to 180 and then all the way to 220 grit.
Step 6: So After sanding, you've to do the joining/gluing. It's best to use a combination of brad nails and Titebond premium glue to fix the frame together. The nails we used were only 1 ¼ in length. Using a longer length will risk the nail coming out from the side of the frame. It is a bit of a task holding the piece straight with one hand and doing the nailing. If you can get someone to help hold the piece, that would be best.
Step 7: After the frame is ready, move on to the base of the lantern. Take a ¾ inch board and mark an 8 inch by 8 inch square piece for the base. Then cut the piece out using a circular saw and a wooden fence (any fence would be alright, though). First cut it out by length and then by width.
Step 8: Then mark the outline for fixing the frame on to the base. Mark a square outline, 1.5 inches from the edge of the base.MellowPine
Step 9: Now it's time for another round of sanding. Sand the base piece all the way from 120 grit to 220 grit until it is really smooth.
Step 10: Now it is time to fix the frame to the base. Apply glue on all the bottom edges and fix it at the centre of the base. Then clamp it tight using handi clamps (or any small clamp that you have with you) and use a brad nailer to put nails for a stronger connection.
Step 11: Once the piece is ready, it is time to finish it. We used WATCO danish oil for finishing the piece. Use a piece of cloth to apply danish oil liberally all over the piece. Leave it to dry for 15 minutes and apply a second coat. After another 15 minutes, wipe away the excess oil from the lantern using a rag.
Alrighty! There you have the scrap wood lanterns for use as a wedding centerpiece.
The tricky part in this project is to get everything straight and aligned while nailing/gluing. Once you make one of these, you'll want to make many more.
If you liked this project, you'll love other scrap wood projects of ours,
- ¾ inch square dowels - 8 ft. long
- Danish Oil
- 1 inch Brad Nails
- Wood Glue
- Circular Saw
- Random Orbital Sander
- Planer (only if you didn't get the square dowels)
- Wood Clamps
- Measuring Tape
- If you don't have square dowels, take the lumber piece and resaw it to 3/4 inch square dowel.
- Take the 3/4 inch square dowel and cut out 8 pieces of 5 inch length and 4 pieces of 12 inch length
- Sand the pieces from step 2 down to 220 grit
- Fix the frame pieces together using wood glue and brad nails.
- Cut out a 8 inch x 8 inch piece from a 3/4 inch thick board to make the base piece.
- Then mark the outline for fixing the frame on to the base. Mark a square outline, 1.5 inches from the edge of the base.
- Apply glue on all the bottom edges and fix it at the centre of the base using clamps.
- Finish using danish oil
This is a medium size lantern.