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DIY Halloween Lanterns



Using free printable pumpkin carving patterns and your scroll saw or jigsaw, you can create your own custom Halloween lanterns. Finish them with paint, stain or leave them as is. Go beyond Halloween and make some for fall or Christmas!

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  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large 334e9e4e c7aa 4980 8a41 4a7363de3020

      To build these, I used scrap 1/2" plywood I had in my shop. To build your own, rip a 2' x 4' sheet of plywood in half lengthwise. This will yield 2 - 12" wide pieces. Using either a table saw or a 12" sliding miter saw, cut 6 - 7" wide pieces for the fronts and backs of the lanterns. Cut 6 - 4" wide pieces for the sides of the lanterns. The bottoms are approximately 6 1/8" x 4"; however it is always best to measure and cut to size for pieces like this.

    2. Step: 2

      Large 4e5042ad e1e1 44c7 8ed0 15e05a1d33b6

      Choose the images you would like to use for the lanterns. I found free printable pumpkin carving images online. Size them to fit onto your 7" x 12" piece of wood, making sure to leave at least 1/2" of space on each side of the wood. Firmly trace over the image with a pen or pencil to make an indentation in the wood.

    3. Step: 3

      Large 800e8e0b 4b87 47a0 b864 0928522eb9ce

      Use a pencil to trace the indentation of the image. Drill holes to allow for the scroll saw or jigsaw blade to fit through when making cuts.

    4. Step: 4

      Large 73f6a3ff 3bcd 400a b270 5250cc37225f

      Carefully cut the image out using a scroll saw or a jigsaw. For more intricate images, a scroll saw is a better choice. Always make sure to have additional blades on hand in case one breaks while cutting the designs.

    5. Step: 5

      Large d9c8efbb fd48 4ee4 ae73 1b41c91d0387

      Carefully sand down the pieces for the lanterns to prep for assembly.

    6. Step: 6

      Large 9025f9c2 bb1b 4e13 9e26 12a9616a3993

      For each lantern, grab two 12"x4" pieces of plywood for the sides. Squeeze a thin bead of wood glue along the edges of each side piece.

    7. Step: 7

      Large 19481607 b27c 456f 87b8 6fdd832d7aa0

      Line up the front of the lantern over each side piece and nail into place with 1" brad nails. Repeat this same step for the back of the lantern.

    8. Step: 8

      Large 43af1b43 9764 47e4 906a 12bcbde12a14

      Place the bottom piece flush with the inside, bottom edge of the lantern box and nail into place around all sides with 1" brad nails.

    9. Step: 9

      Large 2a8043fe 1a7a 44ff 905b ac6a94b9ee7e

      Finish the lanterns however you like. I painted each of mine inside and out with spray paint in purple, green and orange.

    10. Step: 10

      Large b4447681 6e4d 449a 848a 50b96b9765f3

      I used a piece of scrap wood to block off the cutouts on the front of the lantern and then spray painted them in flat black spray paint.

    11. Step: 11

      Large 12e7e6c3 e7d2 4fb0 917e cb85c01d6f0c

      Once the paint dries, they can be left as is. I chose to distress mine a bit with sandpaper to add some dimension.

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DIY Halloween Lanterns

by Addicted 2 DIY
Sep 18, 2016
Medium 2cbf241f 4804 40dd b505 92bc56767243

Using free printable pumpkin carving patterns and your scroll saw or jigsaw, you can create your own custom Halloween lanterns. Finish them with paint, stain or leave them as is. Go beyond Halloween and make some for fall or Christmas!

Project Steps

  1. Step: 1
    Huge 334e9e4e c7aa 4980 8a41 4a7363de3020

    To build these, I used scrap 1/2" plywood I had in my shop. To build your own, rip a 2' x 4' sheet of plywood in half lengthwise. This will yield 2 - 12" wide pieces. Using either a table saw or a 12" sliding miter saw, cut 6 - 7" wide pieces for the fronts and backs of the lanterns. Cut 6 - 4" wide pieces for the sides of the lanterns. The bottoms are approximately 6 1/8" x 4"; however it is always best to measure and cut to size for pieces like this.

  2. Step: 2
    Huge 4e5042ad e1e1 44c7 8ed0 15e05a1d33b6

    Choose the images you would like to use for the lanterns. I found free printable pumpkin carving images online. Size them to fit onto your 7" x 12" piece of wood, making sure to leave at least 1/2" of space on each side of the wood. Firmly trace over the image with a pen or pencil to make an indentation in the wood.

  3. Step: 3
    Huge 800e8e0b 4b87 47a0 b864 0928522eb9ce

    Use a pencil to trace the indentation of the image. Drill holes to allow for the scroll saw or jigsaw blade to fit through when making cuts.

  4. Step: 4
    Huge 73f6a3ff 3bcd 400a b270 5250cc37225f

    Carefully cut the image out using a scroll saw or a jigsaw. For more intricate images, a scroll saw is a better choice. Always make sure to have additional blades on hand in case one breaks while cutting the designs.

  5. Step: 5
    Huge d9c8efbb fd48 4ee4 ae73 1b41c91d0387

    Carefully sand down the pieces for the lanterns to prep for assembly.

  6. Step: 6
    Huge 9025f9c2 bb1b 4e13 9e26 12a9616a3993

    For each lantern, grab two 12"x4" pieces of plywood for the sides. Squeeze a thin bead of wood glue along the edges of each side piece.

  7. Step: 7
    Huge 19481607 b27c 456f 87b8 6fdd832d7aa0

    Line up the front of the lantern over each side piece and nail into place with 1" brad nails. Repeat this same step for the back of the lantern.

  8. Step: 8
    Huge 43af1b43 9764 47e4 906a 12bcbde12a14

    Place the bottom piece flush with the inside, bottom edge of the lantern box and nail into place around all sides with 1" brad nails.

  9. Step: 9
    Huge 2a8043fe 1a7a 44ff 905b ac6a94b9ee7e

    Finish the lanterns however you like. I painted each of mine inside and out with spray paint in purple, green and orange.

  10. Step: 10
    Huge b4447681 6e4d 449a 848a 50b96b9765f3

    I used a piece of scrap wood to block off the cutouts on the front of the lantern and then spray painted them in flat black spray paint.

  11. Step: 11
    Huge 12e7e6c3 e7d2 4fb0 917e cb85c01d6f0c

    Once the paint dries, they can be left as is. I chose to distress mine a bit with sandpaper to add some dimension.