Upcycled Twice!? Lantern diy

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters

I don’t know if you call it upcycling, recycling, repurposing or just reusing…that is what these shutters have done… Twice!

Lamp made from old Shutters

Let me backtrack a bit.

Way back in October, I shared with you my lamp made from repurposed shutters. It seems my son and daughter-in-law thought that it would be fun to give me a pile of stuff for my birthday and see what I could make out of it. Besides the shutters, one of the items they gave me was a silver bowl that became one of the layers in a tiered server.  Another gift was a galvanized tin that now has a Farmers Market logo on it.  They also gave me a strange pot that says ‘Everyone Needs Water’ all over it in Braille.  I’m in the middle of working on that project, and I have one other strange looking silver piece left, which I think was part of a fan.

Back to the shutters…  In order to make the lamp, I had to cut the shutters out of their frame because the frame was 2 feet high, kind of high for a table lamp.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

Ever since October, I’ve had these frames sitting in my workshop.  They managed to survive the massive workshop cleanup/cleanout in January, but the trash seemed to be their destiny. I wasn’t feeling guilty; I had already managed to upcycle the shutters into a great lamp.

And so it was their fate until I happened to see this pin from The Country Chic Cottage. In her website, Angie, at The Country Chic cottage, relates how she turned 4 – dollar store frames into a beach lantern. My first thought was, I have 4 cheap frames.  My second thought was, I love lanterns.  Pinned! It was now on my future projects and diy board.

I wasn’t even thinking about my 4 ‘destined for the trashcan’ shutter frames. The neurons finally clicked together at least a  month later. It was definitely a eureka moment.

 Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

For this project, I had to buy only 2 things: the deck balusters for the corners of the lantern and the glass panes.

The glass panes should be cut about 1/2″ wider than the opening on all sides.

First step was to cut the deck balusters to the same length as the shutter frames and take off all the hardware. 

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

All the holes that the pegs of the shutters used had to be filled.  I used joint compound instead of wood filler because it’s a whole lot cheaper and you’re going to use a lot.  Besides, I had a tub left over from when I took down my popcorn ceiling.

Once the holes dry, you’ll have to do it again…the joint compound tends to shrink a bit, then sand.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

For the inside bottom of all 4 shutters…cut some strips of mdf (or any other scrap wood), double the thickness of the glass and glue onto the bottom of the shutter where your pane of glass will sit.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

On top of the strips of mdf, cut another piece of molding, a bit wider, but the same lengths as the mdf strips, and glue on top.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

If that didn’t make sense, here is a side view. You’re making a channel for which the glass can sit.

The glue will probably not be strong enough to hold the weight of the glass for long time use, so use finishing nails to hold the entire stack in place.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

For 2 of the shutters, nail and glue the deck balusters to both sides of the shutters.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

I chose to paint the interior of the lantern while it was still sitting flat rather than trying to get my arm into the lantern when it was done into all the nooks and crannies.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

 Also added a coat of dark wax while it was still sitting flat.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

I already had a bunch of these picture frame turn buttons  from when I made my Pallet Wood and Roofing Shingles Frame;  I knew they would come in handy one day.

They come flat, but are easily bent to bend around the glass pane with needle nose pliers.

If you do not have these turn buttons, a small finishing nail hammered into the side and bent over will do the trick.  Another idea would be to make a channel to hold the glass like you did at the bottom of the frame on both sides of the shutter.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

 Secure the glass in place with the turn buttons.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

 Nail and glue three sides of the lantern together, leaving off one of the shutters that does not have the balusters attached.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

Cut a base about 1/2 inch larger on all sides than your lantern.  This base was cut from a 2×12  board which fit perfectly.

Before attaching, I painted it a charcoal black, which is the same color I’m going to use for the exterior.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

The base was now nailed and glued into place.  

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

 The final side of the lantern was attached with hinges.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

The first level on the top was cut from a 1×4,  overhanging the lantern by about an inch on all sides.  The corners were mitered and the frame was again nailed and glued into place.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

The next level was cut from a 2×4…again mitered the corners and nailed and glued into place.

Can you tell I’m using up a lot of my scrap wood?

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

The final section was cut from one of the deck balusters, again mitering, nailing and gluing.

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

A 1×2 was mitered to fit around the base of the lantern. 

The 2×12 base was found laying by the side of the road where someone had dumped it.  Apparently someone did not like the rotten edge of the wood. Hey, it still has one good side!

I’m just cleaning up the world one project at a time.   😀

Lantern diy upcycled for old shutters

All of the big gaps were filled with a paintable caulk. Nail holes were filled with wood putty and sanded.

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters


It’s all about the finishing now.  The entire lantern was painted with black chalk paint.  The edges were then sanded and finished off with a dark wax.

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters

These handles were found in my box of goodies.  They were originally intended for another project, but the color didn’t look quite right, so now I’m happy to pull them out for this project.  If you like this set of handles, they’re not actually old, they’re from Hobby Lobby for about $11 a piece.  Do wait for their sales though, when they discount 50% off.

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters


The knob I used for the handle is actually old, it has genuine dust and rust on it… but I have no idea where I got it.  

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters

I do know where I picked up the corrugated tin…it was from a dump.  Any metal that bends such as roof flashing could be used.

If you are using battery operated candles then the top could be enclosed.

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters


Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters


Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters


Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters

Before I go, I wanted to show you one more picture so you can get a sense for the scale of the lantern.  The white lantern is 11 inches tall, the new shutter lantern is 33″.

Lantern diy, upcycled from old shutters

 Hope I’ve inspired you to make one for yourself.  Now inspire me…what should I do with this thing.

How can this be recycled?

Update: Find out what this thing became here and a recap of all my other birthday junk.

Shared at Think and Make Thursday, Idea Box Thursday, Handmade Hangout, Catch as Catch Can,

Flaunt it Friday, Link Party Palooza, Funky Junk Party Junk,  DIY Sunday Showcase,

Silver Pennies Sundays, That DIY party, Amaze me Monday,Treasure Hunt Thursday,

Metamorphosis Monday, Show and Share, Inspire me Tuesday, Wake up Wednesdays,

Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday, Be Inspired Tuesday, Wow us Wednesdays,

Saturday SharefestBefore and After Wednesdays,and Something to Talk About

Best of the NestMod Mix Monday, Home Matters and Before and After

I was featured at

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Too Much Time On My Hands — Time to get crafty and rock our some fun, unique, upcycled, inspiring, thrifty, and beautiful creations - Google Chrome 5152015 71213 AM.bmp1-Funky_Junks_Party_Junk_link_party.29-AMfeaturedonkk





  • Cheryl says:

    Wow, I love this idea!! Great job!!

  • Tali says:

    I LOVE the way you put it all together. Great CREATIVE idea! I love that you mainly use discarded items! My kind of creative…LOVE IT!

  • Cecilia says:

    I love it! What a great way to get a huge lantern cheap! Thanks for sharing how you made it.

  • Heather C says:

    That is so cool, good job

  • Sharilee says:

    I love, Love, LOVE this!!!

  • Keith says:

    Dangggggg, the gift that keeps on giving

  • Lisa says:

    I love your lantern (and all your upcycled projects). Mostly, I am just amazed at how your brain works, figuring out how to make something beautiful/useful out of a piece of junk.

    I have no idea what you could do with that metal piece in the last photo, but I don’t think it was part of a fan. I think it was a shelf that was attached to a pole, probably in somebody’s bathroom next to the shower. You’d use it to set shampoo, soap, etc. on. There were probably a couple other shelves attached to the pole as well. (My son has a tiny bathroom in his apartment with that kind of shelf in it.)

    • Joan says:

      I think you may be right. The only thing that’s coming to me is perhaps a suet feeder for the birds. Usually I’m inspired by someone else, but I don’t think anyone has upcycled one of these. Thanks for stopping by. Joan

  • Pamela Smith says:

    Awesome project! I love lanterns and one this big would make a great statement! I have some shutters lying around too…hmmmm! Thanks for sharing!

  • mare says:

    LOVE< LOVE your repurposed LARGE lantern you made from shutters!!!!! It's nice and big, so can light better. About the neat metal thing, you could use it as a photo holder. Just weave the pix in and out between the spokes. I just made one out of a broken leaf rake days ago, and I love it! You could also glue flowers + leaves all over it for a wall hanging, or gift. OR you could paint it in shades of your favorite color, then weave ribbon or burlap ribbon around and around the spokes. I bet it would be interesting no matter what you do with it!! IF you redo it, please email me so I am SURE to see your creation!!!!

    • Joan says:

      You have such creative ideas I should ship it to you. It’s not nearly as cool looking as an old rake, I’ll definitely have to rust it up. Thanks for all the great ideas, I’m still pondering….

  • bj says:

    What awesome talent you have to make these great items. I love them all…

  • Cindy says:

    No that is an amazing transformation! Love it!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  • Ann says:

    Amazing upcycle! Love it!
    Saw this on Amaze Me Monday.

  • Mila says:

    You really are cleaning up the world one project at a time! 😀
    Love it!

    Mila (idea box)

  • […] You’d pay a ton in a store for this huge lantern….this clever gal made her own. Go see what she used to craft this up…Lantern […]

    • darla says:

      jewelry organizer?

      • Joan says:

        Thanks for the suggestion…my son tells me he gave me two of these things. What was he thinking? I do know that whatever they become they will have to become a little rustier.

  • gail says:

    Love the lantern made from repurposed shutters! You know how I love shutters.

    great job Joan!

    catching you.

  • Mindi says:

    This is just awesome! Makes me want to use up my shudders into a huge lantern! Great tutorial too!

  • […] Simplistic beauty wins this race, Joan. The branches are divine! Upcycled shutters hurricane lamp / Scavenger Chic […]

  • Julie M. says:

    Very cool!

    Julie M.

  • Peggy says:

    You are amazing!

  • Suzan says:

    This is absolutely GORGEOUS !
    How brilliant – I would never have thought of that in a million years ( although I do keep fairy lights in jars LOL

  • Love, love, love the lantern. If fact let me just say, I am the first to put my order in for at least 2 , (pretty please ??? ) Just kidding (not) I don’t have any extra shutters laying around and I’m in the middle of moving to another state so my husband would probably shoot me if i bought anything else right now. But i do love them, Thanks for sharing, Joan.

  • Trish says:

    I love the lantern. I thin you should make art out of the old rake.

  • Joan, you totally rock. Featuring this at tonight’s Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday party. 🙂

  • Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Wow, you really made the most of those shutters! And lanterns are so popular now. Happy to feature you at Be Inspired this morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • How great must it feel that you took items destined for the trash and made that beauty?! Lanterns that size are soooo expensive–impressive job!

  • […] Scavenger Chic upcycled shutters into a lamp, and then turned them into a lantern. […]

  • Brooke says:

    Love this idea. So cute and inventive. Have to go find me some shutters. Thanks for sharing.

  • What an awesome upcycle! I can’t get over that you made this lantern from shutters! Wow – I’m impressed. I also think it’s so cool that your son and daughter in law give you weird stuff just to see what you will make out of it. I love that! Clearly you have a gift for rethinking cast off pieces!! Thanks for sharing this project at Best of the Nest!

    • Joan says:

      Actually when they gave me the 5 pieces, I wasn’t really thinking this is cool. It was more like what the heck am I going to do with all this junk. But now, looking back, I really enjoyed the exercise of thinking outside the box with stuff I never would have purchased myself.

  • […] for you is a pile of junk treasure for your projects! That’s what happened to Joan at Scavenger Chic. Part of her birthday gift included an old pair of shutters, which she turned into an awesome beach […]