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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

      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

      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

      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

      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

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

    6. Step: 6

      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

      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

      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

      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

      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

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

Comments (1)


  • These are great! Thanks for sharing.
    By artistforhire, on October 23, 2020

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DIY Halloween Lanterns

by Addicted 2 DIY
Sep 18, 2016

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

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

  6. Step: 6

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

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