DIY Outdoor Porch Lanterns


DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Welcome back.  I have a great project for you today, outdoor porch lanterns. I love the tall lanterns that you find in the the home decor stores but have always found them rather pricey, often $100 or more.  Well, I’m here to show you that you can make your own lanterns for a fraction of that price.

 

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

These are the supplies that I thought I would need for this project.  I had a good idea how I was going to construct this thing but you never know when something doesn’t go as planned.

Because I wanted these lanterns to sit on my porch I wanted to use mostly treated wood.  That’s a 2×10 cut into 4 square pieces, 8 deck spindles 24 1/4″ long…just a bit taller than the 24″ glass cylinder  (my cylinders were from Michaels, make sure you use a coupon!) and of course, pallet wood. I did use a few more items but these will get you started.

 

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Of course the deck spindles I actually used for this project are a bit taller than those pictured above (these are just my leftovers), they are just acting as stand-ins while I measure and cut my pallet wood around the glass vase.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

To make 2 porch lanterns I needed 16 pieces of pallet wood, mitered at the ends then nailed together to form 4 frames.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

With a nail gun attach your frames to the 24″ deck spindles.  For a little added interest I left a 1 1/2 inch gap at the top and the bottom.

 I did all my nailing without the vase inserted, it’s only inserted here to make sure it still fits.  

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

I didn’t give myself a whole lot of room for error.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Now is a good time to paint, before the whole thing is assembled. I used an exterior semigloss black paint.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Mark where the spindles hit the  2×10″ base and screw together.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

For the top, I used 4, 6 1/2″ spindle pieces mitered in the corners.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

With a jigsaw I cut out a hole in the top 2×10″s, slightly larger than the holes created by the spindles.  This hole is for heat and smoke to escape if you’re using a regular candle.  If you are going to use electric candles you could skip this step.

 

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Finished painting the tops and sanded all the edges.  The sanding gets rid of any hardened wood fibers, softens the edges and I love the worn look.

The top does not get screwed onto the base.  I thought that it would be easier to light candles and insert stuff if I left it unattached.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Those freshly sanded edges were a little too white so out came the vintage stain to darken them up a bit.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Can you guess what household item I used for feet?  Those are some of my kids old building blocks screwed into the corners of the base.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Every good candle burning lantern needs a vented top. I tried three ideas before finally settling on a piece of pallet wood.

First up was a piece of rusty corrugated metal.  When I tried to bend the metal it cracked…I’m supposing it was a bit too rusty. I have used corrugated metal before for a vented top, you can find that project here.

Second try was a baked bean can.  I even made a pot of baked beans so I could use the can.  That’s the can in the picture above. You can see where I poked holes to screw it onto my lantern. It would actually work great but I wasn’t loving it.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Moving on, I also tried 4 pieces of spindles with another piece of wood on top.  I thought it looked too busy.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

My fourth try was just a plain old square of pallet wood hinged to the top.  I loved the simplicity and I was running out of options.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

To get the pallet wood top to vent I screwed in this piece of a drawer handle.  The screw is just loose enough to allow the piece to move easily. When a candle is lit, the top is easily propped open.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

When the candle is unlit (which is probably the majority of the time), the piece easily moves out of the way.

I also finished the top with a dark walnut stain and varnish combo.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

I purchased  the handles from Hobby Lobby.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

And the blue block feet were painted black to match the rest of the lantern.

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

DIY Exterior Porch/ Floor Lantern

Hope you enjoyed.  I’m already thinking about how I’m going to decorate my new lanterns for upcoming holidays.

Have a fantastic week.  Stay inspired.

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11 Comments

  • Keith says:

    Gorgeous, but I needed those blocks

  • dodie says:

    love it – thanks for the idea. always wanted one of those lantens but could not see myself spending $$. making it is another story ! awesome – always love your projects. thanks for sharing how-to !

  • Becky says:

    This is awesome!!

  • Gorgeous !!! .) I wish i had a nail gun, maybe i will have to ask Santa for one .) Lately I’m seeing more and more projects that use wood pallets and i have inherited a whole stack of them when we purchased our new home, well it’s not new, 111 years old .) Thanks for sharing, i might have to give this a try, i love, love, love lanterns and I’m loving yours. Happy holidays !

    • Joan says:

      You have to do what I did… Buy a nail gun for your husband,for Christmas and you just borrow it. I’m sure you would find a million uses for it in an old home.

  • i love this idea! the height on them is great, and they seem a lot sturdier than most lanterns.
    great job!
    b

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  • JaneEllen says:

    Now this I love, you made such great lanterns for whole lot less than big money stores.Wanted couple big lanterns for porch but don’t have that kind of money. .Do have “few pallets” however. Now to get hubs to make them for me. Due to physical limitations can’t make on my own. Just to get hubs to make way you show, he has tendency to go off on his own as he knows better way to do anything and whatever it is turns out way different than I had in mind. groan
    Have shown him wonderful projects women bloggers make but guess that threatens his male ego.
    Anyway your lanterns are wonderful, love how they look. Think will paint dark green like trim on our house. Sure glad you shared how to make.
    Have great rest of week.

    • Andrea Braden says:

      I think the black lanterns would look awesome with the green paint on your house to kinda off set the colors a bit, that way they won’t blend in with the green on the house and they will stand out much better so you can show them off. LOL Just a thought. Hope it helps you out.