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DIY - Outdoor Rustic Lanterns

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.
SHOU SUGI BAN - wood burnt lanterns
Hello there!

I was MIA this past week, we had visitors and together we had lots of Summer outings which kept me away from blog land.

However, it's always good to get back in the shop to create something big, or in this case, something quick like this set of small lanterns.

As we were spending long hours on our deck, the need for more lights was evident as the days turned into night. These lanterns provide the perfect amount of light and charm to brighten those dark corners in your outdoor space.

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Did I tell you they're easy to make and very inexpensive? Well, it all depends on what type of finish you wish to give them, what type of light and even, the tools which you want to use to create them.

Let me show you how you can do it!

All the materials you'll need are one wooden board (1" x 10" x 8') - glue, nails, and a hammer.  Oh, and your choice of lights.

Cut List for both planters:
4 - Squares 9-1/4" x 9-1/4"
2 - Squares 6" x 6"
2 - Squares 3" x 3"
20 - mitered pieces 1-1/2" x 3/4" x 9-1/4" (frames)
16 - Pieces 3/4" x 3/4" x 3-1/2" -One side cut at 45-degree angle (feet)
4 - Square dowels - 3/4" x 3/4" x 15" (tall lantern support)
4 - Square dowels - 3/4" x 3/4" x 11" (small lantern support)

Tools and materials:
You can build these lanterns with two simple hand tools: A saw and a hammer. But, power tools will make the job more bearable. I used:
Miter saw
Table Saw
Brad nailer
Bernzomatic Torch
wood glue
Gaffers tape

You can find the plans to build these lanterns right HERE.

Follow the list above and the plans to cut your material.
cut list

Assemble Top
Glue and center the 6" square on top of the 9-1/4" square. Secure with 1-1/4" brad nails on each corner.
Repeat the same process with the 3" square on the top.
how to build rustic lanterns - the top

Assemble Base
First assemble the legs by putting together two pieces of 3/4" x 3-1/2 dowels, mitering the corner.
How to build rustic lanterns - the legs
 Then, position one leg on each corner of a 9-1/4 square piece. Add glue and secure with brad nails.
How to build rustic lanterns - the base

Assemble the middle section frames
Make a line of four of the mitered pieces, add gaffer's tape to hold them in place.
Add glue on each mitered cut.
Form the frames, securing each corner firmly with tape.

I'm usually too impatient to wait for the glue to dry. That's why I drive two 1-1/4" brad nails on each corner.
How to build rustic lanterns - the frames

Finish the wood as desired

At this point, it's easier for you to paint or stain the pieces before assembling the lanterns.
I skipped the painting/staining and went for a fire-burning technique.
Have you heard about Shou-sugi-ban? That's an ancient Japanese exterior siding technique that preserves wood by charring it with fire.
Ha, I wanted to give it a try, and guess what? I'm loving it!!
wood burning with Bernzomatic torch
Well, my teenage son had to do it. He didn't accept no for an answer when he asked if he could burn those pieces of pine! :D
I was right there beside him, keeping a close eye on everything he did. And let me tell you, he was having the time of his life. Wood burning is lots of fun!

Caution: Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area with no flammable materials nearby. Keep a fire extinguisher near you.
how to SHOU SUGI BAN technique

Using the Bernzomatic MAP-Pro hose torch was very easy, it has auto start and stop ignition and it comes with a belt holster for carrying the cylinder with you, which is great for maneuverability.
wood burning technique
DEWALT 33 in. Folding Portable Workbench
The swirling flame provides a hot, efficient flame for large diameter soldering, brazing, or like in this case, heat-treating.
wood burning with Bernzomatic torch
 Look at the beautiful color and texture!!
Wood burning

Assemble the entire lantern
Place two of the square dowels inside three of the frames (for the big lantern) spacing them evenly. Secure the dowels to each of the frames. Do the same with the two remaining dowels on the opposite side.
Secure the base to the body by driving two 1-1/2" brad nails from the bottom of the base onto each of the four dowels.
I didn't secure the top, it's only placed on top of the dowels.
Assembling the lanterns
Here's how they look:
diy outdoor lanterns
I love how the wood grain pops!
 I used a couple of LED lights I already had on hand. You can use something similar or even install a light bulb there on the base of the lantern and make a regular electric connection.
Deck with rustic lantern set
 Their rustic feel is another reason why I love them so much.
Deck with fairy lights and rustic lantern set
 And here you can see how they light this spot when the night arrives.
Deck with fairy lights and rustic lantern set

Have you given the Shou Sugi Ban a try? I know you're gonna love it! I need to start my next project. But, I gotta keep it a secret, otherwise, someone else might want to come and help. 🙄

For more DIY outdoor projects check these out:

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  1. Your sister’s home is gorgeous. I love the clean sleek design.

  2. Wood after charring looks amazing! What a great idea.

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