DIY Wood Lanterns

I have been eyeballing lanterns for over a year now – but I haven’t been able to justify the price of them – particularly since I never light candles.  I guess I think the mood and ambiance will be lost somehow….


I am more than willing to make knock-off lanterns so I can have my “fix” and stay out of bankruptcy at the same time.

These lanterns are a Pottery Barn knock-off that I first saw on Amy Krist’s blog.  I’ve taken her concept and changed up the wood and styling a bit to create a model that worked better for my needs (and limited talent).

DIY Wood Lantern
Lanterns - 2

You will need:

  • 2  2x2s at 6 feet long
  • 1  1×4 at 6 feet long  (this will give you extra wood to make a second lantern)
  • 2 1/4″ screws (pocket hole ones if you have a Kreg Jig)
  • wood glue
  • stain/paint
  • mitre saw

I will preface this by saying that filming while working is very new to me.  Showing photographs allows me to screw up without you ever knowing I did…. video is not so forgiving as you’ll see.

With special thanks to Michelle of Londonpreneurs – I give you “How to make a rustic lantern” – as performed by Dorf (aka. Me)

DIY Wood Lantern

DIY Wood Lantern

DIY Wood Lantern

DIY Wood Lantern

Even if you don’t plan on building one, you might get a chuckle from some of the screw ups – so have a watch and let me know what you think.  (Swear words have been bleeped so as to keep a PG rating).

DIY Rustic lantern - tutorial and video how to

Lanterns - 9


Just a side note – after staining the lanterns, I went over it again with a whitewash technique to give it a more weathered look.  The whitewash tutorial can be found here.

Insert a hurricane and fill with pine cones, mini pumpkins or acorns.  (These are not suitable for regular candles – mine are flameless).

If you’d like to see me screw up more video tutorials on crafts and DIY, please ‘like’ the YouTube video to let us know.

DIY Rustic Lanterns - tutorial and video how to. Pottery Barn knock-off

Have a great one!


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2018-06-18T13:41:50-04:00September 12th, 2015|BUILD IT, DECOR, DIY|44 Comments


  1. Emily Marie from A Pop of Red September 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    These look nice, and I love the video touch! I may have laughed a tad then the clamp jumped!

    • Shelly @ September 28, 2015 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Here I was trying to be serious and “Bob-Vila-ish”, but my lantern kept falling apart! And this filmed version was my second attempt! It really is an easy DIY, I was just trying too hard. Next time, first-time effort, with errors and all! P.S. Fucking clamp! lol

  2. Sandra Hunter September 27, 2015 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Loved the video, like you I love lanterns but refuse to pay exorbitant prices. Definitely going to have a go at this. Thanks for sharing.

    • Shelly @ September 28, 2015 at 10:22 am - Reply

      They are actually really easy to make – despite the fact that the video was so long (and my goof-ups). I’m tempted to even try a narrower wood to get a more elegant feel. If you do try this, be sure to send me some photos – it will be inspiration for my next batch! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Sandra Hunter October 11, 2015 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Started to make the lanterns but couldn’t remember everything in the video, is it in one of your books, tried looking on Amazon but couldn’t find one. Please let me know if it is in a book.

    Thank you


    • Shelly @ October 15, 2015 at 11:08 am - Reply

      It is in the book – measurements, cuts etc. The book is only available for pre-order right now, but will be available on Amazon, Kindle etc as an Ebook come mid-November. If you want a print copy, use the paypal link on the blog and I’ll mail it out personally. (You’re going to love the lantern!)

  4. […] from 100 Things 2 Do via plans by Amy […]

  5. How to make a Holiday urn November 13, 2015 at 2:00 am - Reply

    […] I was there I asked if Sarah could help me make my DIY lantern more festive and this is what she came up […]

  6. Alie January 17, 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    is there a printable sheet with the dimensions?

  7. Rustic Wood Lanterns February 12, 2016 at 8:00 am - Reply

    […] Shelly from 100 Things 2 D0 had been eyeing lanterns for years but just couldn’t justify the price. She says, “BUT… I am more than willing to make knock-off lanterns so I can have my “fix” and stay out of bankruptcy at the same time.” Shelly took inspiration from a fellow blogger and then modified the plans to better fit her style. Shelly shares a video tutorial so you can see how she built these lanterns firsthand! […]

  8. DIY Wood Lanterns – June 10, 2016 at 9:38 am - Reply

    […] DIY Wood Lanterns […]

  9. Brandon August 2, 2016 at 2:04 am - Reply

    My wife buys these cheap plastic solar lights that stick in the ground from the dollar store. Im thinking i might tear a few of those things apart and try to incorperate it into a couple lanterns for the front porch. I saw a couple posts of people doing it with mason jars, but i think id rather build something like this.

    • Shelly @ August 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm - Reply

      I tried that myself, but I couldn’t get them to work. The roof on the lantern stops enough sunlight getting in to charge the solar lights. I wish it did work – it would be so pretty (and effortless!) Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  10. Josie December 4, 2016 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Are the supplies listed above enough to make both (2) lanterns or just the one? I’m excited to make some of these for gifts!

    • Shelly @ December 15, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Just enough for the one I’m afraid, but you will probably have leftover wood which will accumulate to be almost enough for the second. Start with the larger and see how it goes.

  11. Lezlie January 18, 2017 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    OMG, this was the funniest DIY Video ever!!! I loved it, because this is so what will be happening to me when I build this. Awesome tutorial, can’t wait to try it. Thanks!!!

    • Shelly @ March 27, 2017 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      I should do more videos – just to make everyone feel better. The only problem is the amount of profanity that usually accompanies my screw-ups. Do they have ratings on YouTube videos? lol

  12. […] DIY rustic lanterns from ‘100 Things 2 Do’ are a Pottery Barn knock off, so you can guess what they might […]

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  14. […] DIY rustic lanterns from ‘100 Things 2 Do’ are a Pottery Barn knock off, so you can guess what they might […]

  15. […] DIY Wood Lantern various sized wood boards + screws  + wood glue + stain/paint + mitre saw […]

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  17. ANDRIA December 8, 2017 at 10:42 am - Reply


    • Shelly @ January 8, 2018 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Scrap wood – regular lumber from the building section of your Home improvement store. I cut some scrap boards down to give me narrower pieces, but you could make these with 1×2 boards as well.

  18. […] These lamps are a fantastic project for a rustic garden, as they are built using repurposed or distressed wood. The box itself is quite simple in design, so it shouldn’t be hard to put together. You can choose to use actual candles, tea lights or even LEDs inside. via 100things2do […]

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  27. […] DIY Timber Light.numerous sized wood boards + screws + wood glue + stain/paint + mitre saw. […]

  28. Teresa December 4, 2018 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Love the realistic video! We’re going to do about 10 of these this weekend and give them to our children (2 each) for Christmas!

  29. […] Make your patio look pretty vintage or country styled by adding these knock-off pottery barn styled candles! here the candles have been showcased in rustic wooden frames that are entirely handmade! So you can easily clone this project using some old wood and your favorite candles! Perfect country light decors for your patio! Want to duplicate these candles along with the wooden frames? Complete project tutorial and step-by-step tutorial here 100things2do […]

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