The wait is over. A huge thank you to all the readers for your continued support for my wood lantern centerpieces project post. It’s been one year since my friend’s wedding when I made the lanterns and I am finally sharing the free plans for all four sizes of wood lanterns.
A DIY tutorial to build wood lantern centerpieces. Free plans for four sizes of wood lanterns perfect for your party table decor and reusable too!
These wood lanterns make the perfect centerpiece for a wedding, bridal shower, anniversary or any party. In addition they are beautiful lanterns to use as home decor especially around the holidays. The open wood frame concept allows you to use a real candle with a glass hurricane and gives space to add floral or other decor items around the base.
I made 48 lanterns last winter in four sizes for my friend’s wedding table centerpieces using both 3/4″ square dowels and 1″ dowels. The plans down below are for 3/4″ square wood dowels as they are a bit less expensive. However, I highly recommend making a variety of sizes using both dowel sizes because it feels more natural once they are all grouped together but of course that’s totally up to you. The beauty of DIY is you get to make the design decisions!
In regards to cost, because I know a lot of readers want to plan a budget for their centerpieces, I hesitate to give a set price due to lots of variables. First of all the cost of lumber varies greatly so please check your sources. Secondly, the glass hurricanes and candles are priced better in bulk so base your centerpieces in increments of 12.
On average 12 medium lanterns will cost about $270 which comes out to $22.50 per lantern:
- lumber & hardware: $130
- 12 – 4″ x 10″ glass hurricanes: $70
- 12 – 3″ x 6″ pillar candles: $70
Depending on your table size you may be able to get away with just one large lantern in the center. My friend’s wedding reception tables were for 12 people so we did three lanterns. Also we had oodles of guests taking the wood lanterns home with them so they are extremely reusable and look lovely on your mantle.
I have the plans below for four sizes however you really can make the wood lanterns any size you like following these basic rules:
- Cross supports no shorter than 5″ long. This gives space for the 4″ diameter glass hurricane which fits the 3″ diameter pillar candles (sources down below).
- Base: use 1x boards (1×8, 1×10, etc) and cut into square pieces. Example: A 1×8 cut at 7 1/4″ long makes a perfect 7 1/4″ x 7 1/4″ square. From one 1x8x8 pine board you can get 12 bases.
If you want to see the construction process in action check out this video:
In the plans you will see the cut list for four lantern sizes. The construction process is the exact same regardless of size.
Be sure to work on a hard flat surface when assembling the pieces.
To finish I used Minwax early american stain. Good luck with your wood lantern centerpieces and be sure to share and tag me on social media.
GLASS HURRICANES (recommend 4″ diameter):
CANDLES IN BULK (recommend 3″ diameter pillar):
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