The Shady Porch: Do-It-Yourself Seasonal Lantern


Do-It-Yourself Seasonal Lantern

Finished Snaggletooth Face Lantern
It is so easy to find inspiration in blogger-ville; there are so many wonderfully creative ideas floating around out there. One of the first crafty ideas that inspired me was lanterns made out of picture frames. 

There are dozens of lantern versions to be found, but I blended two of my favorites to create my own. So, thanks Whiff of Joy Stamps and The Country Chic Cottage for your inspiration. 

I began with wooden Dollar Tree trays I had on hand.  Many projects start with picture frames; maybe I'll try the picture frame method next time (I'm sure it would be easier)

I removed the bottom from the Dollar Tree trays
to get to the frame.

Supplies Needed
4 - wood frames (all the same size)
Square dowels - enough to connect the frames/creating 4 corners
Wood glue & Clamps
Decorative knob
2 -pieces of wood large enough to cover 
the top of the lantern (preferably one slightly smaller than the other to get the pyramid effect)

I actually made this a much harder project by using the Dollar Tree trays because I had to  remove the wood bottoms on the trays to get to the frames I needed.  When using picture frames you simply remove the glass until you get the frames attached and reinsert the glass when your lantern is finished. My design is more luminary than lantern since I do not have the glass sides.
Adding dowels to create corners...connecting the frames

I measured one of my wood frames to determine what length to cut each dowel. The square dowels I purchased at Lowes were about 24 inches long and, once cut to size, one 24 in. dowel will  create 2 corners of the lantern.  When measuring to cut the dowel, I discovered that I had a little excess  so rather than creating scrap wood, I added it to my length calculation and created a little leg to the lantern. Therefore, I had no excess dowel. Yeah, no waste! You can see the little extra "leg" in the picture to the right.

Next, I used wood glue and attached the square dowels to the frames thereby creating corners. Repeat this process until you have created the body of your lantern (all 4 sides).

Now I cobbled together the top of my lantern using items I had on hand in my various crafting bins. I used a square picture frame painted black as the roof (the glass is still in the frame), stacked on a remnant piece of decorative wood with routed edges, and, finally, a wooden knob. I glued them all together and had a roof for my lantern. I think the decorative knob or handle on the top is the main piece that ultimately makes this a lantern. Otherwise, it just looks like an odd box. I opted to not put a floor/bottom on my lantern, but I might add one later.

Spray painted the frame and the unattached top black.
Now the entire lantern should be painted. I chose black so it will fit in with any future decorations I create or use. Also, if I decide to re-paint, black makes a great primer.

For the sides, I used printable vellum. I found an image on a website for free Power Point backgrounds.  I liked this picture of an ornery snaggletooth since it fit the seasonal decorations I already had (remember my scare folks?). It took a few test prints on regular paper to get the image the size I needed to fill the lantern panes on each side.

Finally, I printed the image in black and white on the vellum and cut it to the size I needed to attach it to the lantern. I am going with a temporary method (tape) of attaching the velum panes since I hope to re-use the lantern when decorating for other seasons and holidays.

Ornery Ol' Snaggletooth... his bark
 is worse than his bite.