DIY Hanging Lanterns

Even before I had my framed mirror complete, I knew I would build something to go on either side of it. However, I thought I would do a nice wall mounted planter. I played around with that idea for a week or two and couldn’t come up with anything I loved (everything I would have loved would require me to have a lathe) so instead I got the idea to make some lanterns. Check out how they came out!
You can watch a video of me building them here:

But here is a more detailed written tutorial.

Note: I built these one at a time because I was building it as I went and wanted to get one completed before starting the second…..just in case I hated it. : ) So my tutorial will be for one, but if you want to build two then just double everything.

1) I went to the Dollar Tree and picked out four picture frames. I chose 4×6 ones. Note: Be sure to buy real wood frames! Some are metal and this tutorial won’t work for them. If you want to check, just look at the back of the frame right where two of the mitered sides meet up and if you see staples holding the corners together, that means it’s wood.

2) I opened them all up and took the piece of glass out and set it aside then glued and clamped all four frames together.

3) While that was setting up I started to make a top and bottom. I used 3/8” plywood that I had laying around and cut a top that was 6 3/4″ x 6″ and a bottom that was 5 1/2″ x 6 1/4″. I also used 1/4″ plywood to cut the four pieces I will use to make a chimney. I made these pieces 2 1/2″ x 3″.

4) Then I put a round over bit in my router and went over the edges on the top and bottom. Note: if you don’t have a router then just leave it be or take some sandpaper and round them over that way.

5) With that done I quickly gave both pieces a good sanding then a coat of primer.

With the body still clamped and the top and bottom drying I started to make the chimney.

7) To make it look more like a chimney, I wanted to cut out some ‘vents’ in my four pieces so I came in 5/8” on each sides then made rectangles that are ¼” thick with ½” in between.

8) I used my Dremel Moto-Saw to cut them out. First using my drill to make relief holes. Once they were cut, I took some sandpaper to them until everything was smooth.

9) Next was a quick coat of primer.

10) Then I glued and clamped these together as well.

I got to thinking about how I was going to hang this and realized if I just glued the ¼” bottoms onto the top of the lantern, there was a good chance that it would eventually come off. So instead I…..

11) ….found some ½” scrap (anything smaller than 5/8” will do) (so it doesn’t show through the vents) then I traced the bottom onto the scrap and made the cuts until my chimney could shimmy on. …: ) My chimney shimmys! Haha.

12) Next I attached the bottom. I put on some wood glue then lined it up and clamped it down. I actually just eye balled it, but you’ll have about a 1/4″ hangover.

13) To attach the top I bought some small hinges from Home Depot. I came in 3/4″ from the edge and screwed it in place.

14) Then I set it ontop of the body and lined it up where 1/2″ hangover was on each side, then screwed on the remaining side of the hinges.
15) Now, to keep the lip closed, I bought a package of these small glasp from Hobby Lobby. I first lined up the actual glasp portion where I wanted it, then used my fingers to slightly shove it in. Then I was able to open the lid and use a hammer to tap it in the rest of the way.

16) Then I grabbed the corresponding side and lined it up where it needed to be placed and did the same thing. Pushed it in slightly, then used a hammer to tap it in.

And now I have access to the inside. : )

17) With all the body done, I glued and nailed on the chimney.

18) Next I drilled two holes on opposite chimney walls to give me a place to thread in some wire.

19) I chose to use baling wire, but if you want something nicer then try a coat hanger. I threaded the wire through the holes then made a shape I was happy with.

20) Last thing! was to spray paint. : ) I used Oil Rubbed Bronze by Rustomleoum.

….well, last thing for the lanterns that is. ; ) I had to make a holder to hang the lantern from the wall.
21) I kept it simple. I grabbed some 1x material and first ripped it down to 1 3/8″ wide. Then I cut one piece at 6″, one at 5 1/2″, and one at 4″. On the 5 1/2″ long piece, I also beveled the ends with two 45s. I then glued and nailed it together.
22) I then gave it a coat of primer then drilled a small pilot hole and screwed in a small hook I bought at Home Depot.
23) Then I gave it a coat of spray paint, let it dry, then hung them on the wall with my lanterns.
Total Cost: $10

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