Two DIY Lanterns from Only One Board

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Since my husband and I recently just wrapped up our patio makeover with our tutorial for a faux fireplace, we thought it would be fun to jump in on the action for the One Board Challenge being sponsored by a wonderful group of 17 bloggers and Ryobi Tools. Deal is, you have to take a 1″ x 8″ x 8′ board of any species and create your own project for a chance to win $1,000 in tools. Yeah baby!

Ryobi One Board Challange for $1000 in tools!

Here’s what we came up with…

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

…two rustic lanterns made from an $8 pine board with minimal waste. Whatcha think?

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

We thought instead of just entering and sharing our project on social media (which we’re supposed to do using #oneboardchallenge – come support us!), it would be great to show you how we built them too.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

So head to the nearest lumber store and grab your board and get ready to build!!

Take a look at the layout of your cut list: (note: this is the layout for ONE lantern – you will be making two, so double these pieces)

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

*this post does contain affiliate links so you can find the products to create this project.

What you’ll need for one lantern: (cut two sets of this layout)

  1. 4 – 6 ¼” x 2 ¼” mitred and beveled pieces
  2. 1 – 7 ¼” square
  3. 1 – 3″ square
  4. 2 – 6 ¼” squares
  5. 4 – ¾” x 12″ posts (this is where you can adjust the cut for varied heights)
  6. 8 – 4 ¼” x ¾” x 1 11/16″

Tools and other materials:

  1. table saw
  2. miter saw
  3. wood glue
  4. nail gun
  5. 5/8″  and 1 ¼” nails
  6. drill
  7. ¼” and 3/32″ drill bits
  8. tin snips
  9. wire hanger – or similar gauge wire
  10. Dremel or wire cutters
  11. needlenose pliers
  12. safety goggles
  13. ear plugs
  14. scrap of flashing or pliable metal sheeting
  15. sandpaper
  16. paint of choice
  17. 2 – 1 ¾” x 3/8″ hinges
  18. 8 – 4 ½” x 9″ 1 ply glass panels cut by a hardware store (this is enough for both lanterns – DO NOT DOUBLE)

The finished dimensions of our lantern shown are 7 ¼” W x 18″ H with wiggles room to make these shorter as well so you can create an arrangement of varied heights. Have fun with it!

As with any project with power tools, please use caution and practice safety. To get started, cut all your pieces and lay them out as shown above. Here are some tips on getting those #1 pieces accurate:

  1. For 8 pieces (enough for two lantern tops), you should cut a 24″ long piece off of the 1″ x 8″, then rip that piece to a width of 6 ¼”.
  2. The next step is to set the blade angle on your table saw to 45° for the long-edge miter cuts. (You may or may not be able to do this on a miter saw. Our saw would not allow a cut wider than 5″). Each piece will have a mitered edge facing each other, similar to a V-shape, i.e., not parallel. The width of the wider face will be 2 ¼”- this is the outside face of the “peak”. Run the piece through the table saw making a cut on one side, and then rotate your board to cut 2 ¼” from the outer edge to make a “V”. Do this until you have 8 identical pieces, 6 ¼” long by 2 ¼” wide (at the wider edge).You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesYou can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
  3. The last step is tricky and will be easiest using a compound miter saw. Set the “bevel angle” of the blade (the tilt of the blade from vertical) to 30 degrees, and the “miter angle” (the horizontal angle of the blade compared to a 90 degree cross-cut) to 35.3°. Cut one end off each of your 8 pieces, then re-set your miter angle to 35.3° on the other end of the saw, and cut the opposite ends. Be sure not to take any extra material off when you cut – the bottom edge of your “peak” should still be as close to 6 ¼” as possible.

After cutting your #5 and #6 pieces, you will need to set your table saw at 1/8″ depth and run a groove down two adjacent faces of the #5 pieces and on one outer edge of the #6 pieces. Let me show you what it should look like (see below):

First we add glue to all joining surface as we assemble.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

With your nail gun and 1 ¼” nails, you’re going to assemble the #5 rails to the #6 cross-pieces. Do you see how the two posts have grooves run on two of the faces and the cross-piece has a groove on one side? These are for our glass panes to slide into.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Also note that you want to only assemble one end of the side pieces because you want to be able to get the glass in.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Assemble two of the sides and they should look like these:

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Next, lay one of your sides with grooved posts facing up. Glue and place two more cross-pieces as shown:

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Lay the second side set on top of the glued pieces with grooves facing down and nail.

Now you’re going to attach one of the #4 squares to the bottom of your lantern. Glue and nail around the perimeter, making sure to aim for the center of the cross-pieces.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

For added dimension, you are going to attach another square to the base. Grab your #2 square, add glue and nail on. Here is what you lantern should look like now.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now for the top. Grab your #3 and your other #4 square. Using your drill and the 3/32″ bit, make four holes in each around center. These are to allow a candle to vent. Set aside your #4 square for now.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Next, you’ll need your #1 pieces and your #3 square. Using your 5/8″ nails, attach the #1 pieces to look like this. I found it easier to attach one side, then head to the opposing side and attach. Nail at the top edges and corners.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now you’ll need the other #4 square because you’re going to attach it to the top you just built. Add glue and nail around the perimeter using your 1 ¼” nails.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

For this next step I used a scrap piece of flashing I had lying around, but you can use whatever you like, as long as it is a flexible sheet of metal.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Cut 2 pieces measuring 3″ x 6″ using tin snips.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You want to create a domed top, so in order to do that, you will need some sort of cylinder to wrap the metal around, like a tube of caulk, a jar, or a rolling pin. Squeeze it until it holds its shape.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Next is to create tabs on either end that will allow you to attach it to the top of the lantern. Using a hard edge of a board or table, bend the ends of the metal about a half-inch until it forms a 90 (ish) degree angle.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now you will nail the metal to the top of the lantern you just made using the 5/8″ nails.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Using your old wire hanger and a Dremel (one of my favorite tools) or wire cutters, cut two pieces of wire measuring 6″ long.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Take your wire and bend it over a tube of caulk (or whatever you used earlier) to get a domed effect. Then, take your needlenose pliers and bend the ends of the wire like this:

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now you have your handle for the top of the lantern. In order to attach it, you will need your drill with the ¼” bit. Drill holes on opposing sides centers, making sure to resist your pressure with your hand – be careful! (Sorry for the fuzzy pic, it’s hard to demonstrate and snap!)

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Insert your hook, and give your lantern a light sanding, removing and burrs and rough edges. Now it’s time to paint. Yay!! I set my pieces up on scrap wood to get a better coat and prevent it from sticking to the cardboard.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

One of my favorite metallic paints for a rustic feel is Rust-Oleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze. I really debated on using my Modern Master’s Metal Effects Copper like I did on this vanity here, but went with the dark to match my decor. I may decided to do that in the future. If you’ll notice, I have already painted our overhead light, mailbox, and door handle with this paint on our front door entry. I told you I love it! You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces You can use any paint you choose, so feel free to go light and bright!

Apple two coats on both sides, letting them cure in between, and then you’re ready to assemble.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Same as before you will be adding your #6 pieces to the upright, but this time, insert your glass panel and then nail to the #5 posts to the last four #6 cross-pieces. You can touch up the nail heads with a bit of paint if you’d like.

To attach the hinges to the lantern base, just pre-drill the holes to prevent splitting. Then using a bit of chalk, place the lantern top on the base and mark where the hinges would lie. Pre-drill the lantern top and attach to base.

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Now you’re ready to decorate! I’ve used LED flameless candles in mine, but am planning on filling with whatever suits the season – gourds for Thanksgiving, bulbs for Christmas, etc. (note: I do not recommend using a lit candle taller than 6″ for safety reasons.) You could also glue in a candlestick holder into the bottom for tapered candles too. Have fun with it!

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I made more of these without glass panes too for my interior, so really, this is a very versatile plan. I’d love to see what you do with it!

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

If you’ve enjoyed our contribution to this competition, I’d love it if you’d show us some love by pinning, and visiting us on Instagram or Facebook.

Thank you!! ♥

You can build these two lanterns with our DIY tutorial and only one board. Come get the details at Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

More DIY goodness:

Build a farmhouse bench for less than $20 using our step-by-step tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesDIY Farmhouse Cotton Branches by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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20 Comments

  • Mary-In the boondocks

    You guys are insanely talented. And here I was expecting a shelf…

    October 8, 2015 at 8:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      ahahahaha…that made me laugh out loud, Mary! 😀 We’re so glad you’re impressed.

      October 9, 2015 at 5:44 am Reply
  • Sherry Fram

    Love the lanterns! They look awesome on your porch!!

    October 8, 2015 at 9:34 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Sherry! Since our little pine trees died, something else had to go there and I’ve always adored lanterns.

      October 9, 2015 at 5:45 am Reply
  • Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    Those are AWESOME lanterns, Larissa! I have no doubt you will be a strong competitor to win those tools! I am so glad you provided this awesome tutorial too because come Christmas, my porch is going to have these filled with mini white lights! Good Luck girl!

    October 8, 2015 at 11:15 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That’s awesome to hear, Marie. Thanks! The competition ends with a random drawing, so it’s anybody’s game. We’re hoping we’re that anybody! 😉

      October 9, 2015 at 5:46 am Reply
  • Keri

    These lanterns are super awesome!!! I’m very impressed with the project!! Hope you win the challenge!!!

    October 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay! Thank you so much, Keri! I’m happy we can enter, but also happy to have some lanterns and can make more too. 🙂

      October 9, 2015 at 5:47 am Reply
  • Debrashoppeno5

    Great idea. And very versatile.

    October 8, 2015 at 6:57 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Debra!

      October 9, 2015 at 5:50 am Reply
  • Christy

    Oh my goodness, girl! Is there anything you can’t do??? You definitely deserve to win! Pinned…good luck!! ?

    October 9, 2015 at 7:15 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Well…I can’t translate Arabic, Hebrew, and Greek like my hubby can. 😉 Just teasing. Thank you so much for your support, Christy!

      October 10, 2015 at 7:23 am Reply
  • Sondra

    Seriously? I thought these were metal when I first saw the Pin! Oh, my goodness… I would’ve done good just to get the pieces cut out, much less assembled to look anything like a lantern! Kudos to you!! And Happy Fall!

    October 11, 2015 at 6:27 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      tee hee hee… 😀 Thank you Sondra! It was a fun challenge and we’re stoked to be able to create something we’ve wanted for ourselves. I’m so glad you stopped by!

      October 12, 2015 at 5:02 am Reply
  • Karen

    Seriously ? Martha would be hard pressed! And two no less… I’m such a Larissa wannabe!

    October 12, 2015 at 9:35 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      hee hee hee. 😉 You made my day, Karen! Thank you.

      October 13, 2015 at 5:04 am Reply
  • Donna Harvey

    Hi Larissa, I am so glad I found you. I am always thankful to find another Christian Blogger. I was so excited to look at some of your Post, you are very talented. I love the Lanterns, that was a great tutorial. I always look at lanterns in the store, and they are very expensive, and only half the size of yours. Love it! I am also a Christian Blogger, I started my Blog because I love Crafting and Repurposing everything too. But, you know what, I find I have so much to say and be thankful for I haven’t even found time to do that, Yet! I love to write, and I love God, who is a big part of my Blog. I would love for you to stop by and check things out I would really value your opinion. Meanwhile, keep up the good work, I will be back for more. God Bless, Donna

    October 14, 2015 at 8:25 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m so happy you’re here! There is much to be thankful for…even having the ability to blog is a blessing. It’s wonderful to hear you are praising our Lord and doing it so as to inspire. Thank you for stopping by and I’m headed your way. 🙂

      October 16, 2015 at 6:38 am Reply
  • Audra @ Renewed Projects

    Impressive! Creative use of one board.

    September 14, 2016 at 10:44 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! When I was laying it all out, I couldn’t believe how easy it was coming to me and that it all fit with little waste. So fun!

      September 15, 2016 at 6:41 am Reply

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