I don’t know if you call it upcycling, recycling, repurposing or just reusing…that is what these shutters have done… Twice!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For 2 of the shutters, nail and glue the deck balusters to both sides of the 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.
Also added a coat of dark wax while it was still sitting flat.
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.
Secure the glass in place with the turn buttons.
Nail and glue three sides of the lantern together, leaving off one of the shutters that does not have the balusters attached.
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.
The base was now nailed and glued into place.
The final side of the lantern was attached with hinges.
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.
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?
The final section was cut from one of the deck balusters, again mitering, nailing and gluing.
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. 😀
All of the big gaps were filled with a paintable caulk. Nail holes were filled with wood putty and sanded.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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″.
Hope I’ve inspired you to make one for yourself. Now inspire me…what should I do with this thing.
Update: Find out what this thing became here and a recap of all my other birthday junk.
I was featured at