Round lanterns are a nice break and contrast from the typical DIY lanterns you find online. Today I’m showing off how I made these cuties with a scrollsaw and some scrap wood.
I saw these gorgeous lanterns on Instagram the other week and I thought they’d make an amazing gift for my SIL… unfortunately, I don’t live in Norway (this image is from a beautiful Norwegian IG feed) and I don’t know how to work with metal (yet).
Clearly the only solution was to figure out some way to create a version of these myself.
First things first – I needed a glass vase for inside my DIY round lantern and I found these tall ones at the dollar store.
Once you know the diameter of your vase, just add ½” to determine the inside cut of your circular top piece. Based on my 10″ tall by 3 ¼” (diameter) vase – these are the measurements I used:
(2) pieces ¾” select pine at 5″ in diameter
(3) pieces ¾” select pine at 8 ½” long
I drew my 5″ circles with a compass then moved the compass inwards by ½” and drew a second circle on one piece of wood.
I started by drilling a hole in the piece of wood that had two circles drawn on, and then threading my scrollsaw blade through the circle to cut the interior section out.
I followed up by cutting the outside circle for the ring and then the second circle (the base) on the scrollsaw as well.
I’m not sure if I’m wording this correctly, but what you’re going for is a 5″ circle for the base of your DIY round lantern and then a 5″ circle – with a 4″ circle cut out of it – as the top.
I ripped down the extra select pine to ½” thick, and then cut three pieces at 8 ½” long. You want your side ‘bars’ to be the same thickness as the ring of your upper circle.
I’m going to need writing classes – based on this article, I really would NOT be chosen as the “caller” in Survivor. I’d have my blindfolded teammates running in circles. Ha! That was kind of funny.
Back to our round lantern, I used Gorilla Glue clear and 1 ¼” finishing nails to hold everything in place.
I did a bit of extra sanding with 150 grit and 220 grit to even out any lumps and bumps in my circles, and to round the side pieces slightly so that they lined up smoothly with the top and bottom boards.
The inspiration photo shows round candle holders with 2 vertical sections – one on either side – but I thought I’d throw in a third vertical just to be different. Perhaps I should have thrown in a fourth for symmetry?
I painted my little DIY round lantern with black paint to replicate the look of metalwork.
Okay, it’s not much to look at yet, but once the candle and vase are inserted and it’s styled a bit:
it’s cute right?
I made two for my SIL, because really, what good is just one? If I could have found a smaller vase, I would have made a third at a different height to give it some interest, and so they could be bundled together in a grouping.
Don’t worry, those are my candles – I wouldn’t burn candles that I was giving as a gift… although the thought did give me pause. lol
Between the vase and the wood lantern frame is ¼” of space (all the way around) – perfect for tucking a few sprigs of pine or cedar. You could even weave a ribbon back and forth around the three verticals to create a colourful background?
I love these DIY round lanterns so much I’m going to have to make a set for myself as well. I’m thinking that I might cut two more rings for mine and space them evenly up the vase height. That could be cute too eh? Or maybe add 8 verticals all the way around to create more of a peek-a-boo effect.
You could probably make these with a jigsaw (in lieu of a scrollsaw), but please count all of your digits before and after cutting.
My Step-Dad and I worked on two candle holder gifts and both projects were cut and sanded and ready for paint in less than 2 hours – so you’ve still got time!
If you can’t go to Norway for awesome decor, then bring a touch of Norway into your home with this easy DIY!
As always, if you try this project, I’d love to see your take on it – paint, stain, more verticals, less, and any other variations – I love to see the evolution of an idea! Share your photos in the comments below.
Have a great one!