How to build a simple wood lantern

Here's a step-by-step guide for building a simple wood lantern:


  • 4 pieces of 1x1 inch wood, approximately 12 inches long
  • 4 pieces of 1x1 inch wood, approximately 6 inches long
  • 4 pieces of 1x1 inch wood, approximately 5 inches long
  • 4 pieces of 1x1 inch wood, approximately 3 inches long
  • 4 pieces of 1/4 inch thick plywood, approximately 9 inches square
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain or paint (optional)
  • Glass or plexiglass sheet, cut to size (optional)
  • Handle (optional)


  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Clamps
  • Sanding block or sandpaper

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Step 1

Cut the wood pieces to size. Use a saw to cut the 1x1 inch wood into the lengths specified above. Sand the edges and corners of the pieces to smooth them out.

Step 2

Assemble the frame of the lantern. Use wood glue and clamps to attach the longer pieces of wood to the shorter pieces, forming a rectangular frame. The shorter pieces should be positioned inside the longer ones, so that the corners are flush. Use wood screws to secure the joints.

Step 3

Attach the plywood panels to the frame. Apply a bead of wood glue around the edges of one of the plywood panels, and then position it inside the frame, flush with the edges. Use clamps to hold the panel in place while the glue dries. Repeat with the remaining panels until all four sides of the lantern have a plywood panel.

Step 4

Sand the lantern. Use a sanding block or sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or edges on the lantern. Sand the wood until it is smooth to the touch.

Step 5

Finish the lantern. If you want to stain or paint the lantern, now is the time to do it. Follow the instructions on the stain or paint can to apply the finish. If you want to add a glass or plexiglass sheet to the lantern, cut it to size and attach it to the inside of the lantern using a small bead of clear silicone adhesive.

Step 6

Add a handle (optional). If you want to add a handle to your lantern, drill two holes in the top of the lantern, parallel to each other and approximately 2 inches apart. Thread a length of rope or wire through the holes, and tie it securely.

Your wood lantern is now complete! Add a battery-powered candle or fairy lights inside it for a cozy, rustic touch to your decor.

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