Light the way to beautiful design by crafting a striking wooden lantern

If you’re searching for a fun DIY project that looks fabulous indoors or out, this lantern accessory is the way to go. The finished piece will give your space a simple and serene Asian vibe. Isn’t a bit of hard-earned peace what everyone really needs?
Don’t let the materials list intimidate you. Once you have the wood together and a few other essentials, you’re good to go. The lantern-making process itself might even feel a bit Zen-like, because you methodically layer wood pieces to create a pretty pattern. The result is a stunning accessory that can enhance an entryway, coffee table or outdoor dining area.
It’s also OK to be creative with what you put in the lantern. Stick with several tealights or a pillar candle, or select a small potted succulent. You could also adorn the lantern with a few pretty polished rocks or shells. Whatever you choose, this Eastern-inspired décor will add a touch of beauty wherever you place it.
- 1 piece of plywood 8-by 8-inch square, about ½-inch thick
- 4 long, thin, rectangular wooden pieces with squared ends, each about 9 inches long
- T-square
- 10 thin rectangular wooden pieces with squared ends that are about 6 inches long
- Pencil
- Small handsaw or electric saw
- Titebond wood glue
- Tissue
- Cardboard or poster board square, about 12-by-12 inches, to cover the work surface
- 1 pair of thin rubber gloves
- Jar of chalk paint
- Fine art paintbrush
- Cordless drill
- 2 eye hook screws
- Spool of jute twine
- Scissors
DIY Everywhere
1. Put the wooden square on your work surface.
2. Place one of the 9-inch-long squared ends of the thin, wooden rectangular pieces upright at one of the corners of the square base.
3. Trace the small square end's shape onto the square's corner with the pencil.
4. Repeat step 3 three more times on the other corners of the base.
5. With the aid of a T-square, place one of the 9-inch pieces of wood between two traced squares in the corners of the base. Mark a line with a pencil on the wood that indicates where to cut it, so it will fit snugly between the marked corners. Line up the other three pieces of wood, and mark them in the same place.
6. Saw at each of the lines, so you end up with eight wooden pieces: four that are about 6 inches long and four that are about 2-3/4 inches long.
7. Apply Titebond wood glue to each of the small squares marked in the corners of the wooden base.
8. Affix the square end of one of the thin, longer, freshly cut pieces of wood upright to one of the traced corner’s squares. Repeat this three times so every corner on the square has a wood piece glued upright.
9. Apply a line of glue to each space on the base between the corners.
10. Nestle the four shorter wooden cut pieces into each of these spaces, placing them horizontally.
11. Wipe away any excess glue with the tissue.
12. Gather the 10 pieces of 8-inch-long wood.
13. Place a dot of glue on the tops of each of the four vertically oriented pieces of wood.
14. Place two of the 8-inch pieces of wood horizontally on top of two of the vertically oriented pieces. The ends of the horizontal pieces will extend a bit beyond the points at which they’re glued.
15. Apply a drop of glue on the horizontal pieces above each of the four vertically placed pieces.
16. Place two more of the longer pieces of wood on top of the glue, but orient them to form a square as you look down on the lantern.
17. Repeat steps 15 and 16, except lay a row of three evenly spaced, horizontally oriented pieces of wood instead of two. Top that with a row of three pieces placed perpendicular to the previous layer.
18. Allow the glue to dry.
19. Place the lantern on the cardboard square before you start painting it.
20. Put on the rubber gloves.
21. Paint the entire lantern with the chalk paint. Allow the paint to dry.
22. Drill a tiny hole for the eye hook screw into the center sections of the two outside lengths of wood that form the top of the lantern.
23. Screw each eye hook screw tightly and securely into the holes, aligning them vertically with the pieces of wood they’re attached to.
24. Cut about 12 inches of jute twine.
25. Tie a knot with a loop in the center of the twine for hanging.
26. Loop each end of the twine through each of the eye hook screws, and affix the twine by knotting it to the hooks. Trim any excess twine with the scissors.