Saturday, May 27, 2023

DIY Wooden Patio Lantern

Welcome to this month's "Do It Over" Designers! In case you didn't know, the "Do It Over Designers" is a group of talented bloggers who love to recycle/upcycle/ DIY, hosted by Anne @The Apple Street Cottage. It happens the 4th Saturday of every other month and it's all about taking something old and/or unused and 'doing it over' into something new. Anything from fabric, old dishes, and decor, to dressers and hutches. Items found in closets, cabinets, barns, garages, yard sales, thrift stores, you name it! 

Usually there is no theme and we're on our own to choose whatever we want to "do over!" But this month Anne decided to switch it up and wanted us to do over anything wood! Oh boy! You don't know how I agonized about doing over something wood. My resolution for 2023 was to use items already in my stash for projects! I rarely use wood. And if I did, it was something very simple!  I don't have any carpentry skills and I don't have space or tools to take on a woodworking project, either. So please forgive me for picking something you've probably seen lots of on Pinterest, YouTube, and online! I decided to make a patio lantern! But I think you'll be surprise at how I "do over" something to make it work for this wood theme! So let's get started with what I did!

Materials Used:
  • Harvest wood picture frames (2 - DT 5.75"x5.75")
  • Square dowels (2 - 1/2"x36")
  • Screw driver (flat head) or staple remover
  • Acrylic or chalk paint/brush
  • Ruler
  • Hand saw
  • Sanding block
  • RapidFuse All Purpose Adhesive
  • Craft wood square (5.5"x5.5")
  • Wood hoop (5")
  • Wood stain and sealer (all in one)
  • LED candle

Disclosure I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, this post may contain links. I may receive a very small commission at no cost to you! The affiliate money I earn helps pay my crafting expenses. Thanks so much for your support!

For this project, I'm taking two harvest decorative picture wood frames that I got from the Dollar Tree last fall and two square wood dowels that I found in my garage to "do over" into a lantern for my patio. 

But first, the decorative wood beads on top need to be removed using a flat head screw driver.
Then use a sanding block to smooth out the holes from the staples.
Next, paint over the wording on both pieces using acrylic paint or chalk paint and let dry. I had to do several coats of acrylic paint to cover up the wording. I was out of white chalk paint.

While the paint is drying, cut two 15" pieces from each of the 36" long square dowels using a hand saw, for a total of four, 15" square dowels. I didn't want to cut the dowels in half, which would have made the lantern over eighteen inches tall. I thought that would have made the lantern too tall for the LED candle I planned to use. Use a sanding block to smooth the cut edges. Sorry, I didn't take pictures of this - I was too involved with cutting straight lines on the dowel, lol! 

To attach the dowels to the frame, add RapidFuse adhesive in one corner bottom and corner sides of the wood frame and .  .  . 
insert the square dowel in the corner, pressing down and making sure the dowel is touching the corner sides of the frame and is straight. Hold in place until the adhesive sets - which is thirty seconds (according to the label). I love how the glue sets in no time!

Repeat previous process for the remaining three dowels.
Once all four dowels are set in place .  .  .

add adhesive to the top of the dowels and in the corners of the frame, as before, and place the other frame on top. Hold in place until the adhesive sets. 
Next, take the flat wood square piece and add adhesive along the edges and in the center  and .  .  .
place down in the center of the top frame - making sure it's centered on the frame.

For a decorative look, take a 5" wood hoop and cut about an inch of it out to open it. Add adhesive along the left center side and on top of the frame edge. Then set one end of the hoop on top of the frame on the left, placing additional adhesive on the side.
Gently stretch the hoop across the wood to the opposite side .  .  .
 adding adhesive first and then to the side of the hoop, as before.

Make sure the hoop is centered and straight on top. Let adhesive dry.
Once dry, I actually lifted the lantern up by the wood hoop.
Gee, I'm really loving the simple lines of this lantern!
Now, it's time to stain the lantern. Staining should be done in a well ventilated area so I took the lantern outside. But shortly after I started staining the lantern, the wind picked up and then it started raining. 
So I had to finish staining the lantern indoors. 
Looking at this now, would you believe it all started with two picture frames and square dowels?
Just perfect for the patio!

Be sure to visit all of this month's creative wood projects by the 
"Do It Over Designers" listed below:


  1. What a fabulous way to makeover some Dollar Tree decor, Gail. I often buy those pretty framed pieces and then after one season, I'm bored with them. You've turned them into a high end looking outdoor accent, I know you'll use for years to come. Enjoy the weekend on your lovely patio!

    1. Thanks so much, Kim! I am quite pleased with how it turned out!

  2. I have a box of yard sale frames in my closet that would be perfect for this project, Gail. That hoop as a handle gives it that little 'extra'. Clever idea!

    1. Thanks, Ann! I know you will enjoy making lanterns out of your frames!

  3. You just proved that you don't need carpentry skills to make something out of wood. Your lantern turned out amazing Gail! You should work with wood more often :)

    1. Thanks so much, Sara! Oh, I don't know about that! Lol! You are the queen of woodworking and have some serious techniques. No way can I compete!

  4. You always come up with clever projects, Gail!! I love this idea and it certainly looks high end!

  5. Wow Gail, that lantern looks like a high end lantern from one of those online stores. Great vision and creativity. Happy Memorial Day weekend.

    1. Thanks, Linda! How sweet of you to say that! The lantern turned out better than I expected!

  6. What a classy looking lantern, you would honestly never guess how it started life! Your outside space looks just lovely and the lantern fits in perfectly.

    1. Thanks so much, Julie! I truly appreciate your sweet words. You're a dear!

  7. That looks so great Gail! I think it's good that you participated and pushed your creativity with something you're not as confident with. The results are awesome, I like yours better than many I've seen.

    1. Thanks so much, Tania! It's very kind of you to say and that means a lot to me!

  8. Well done Gail, you really don't need woodworking skills to do many projects made using wood. It is just a matter of having a go and the more you try the better you get. Your lamp is perfect😍

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet comment and words of encouragement, Anita!

  9. Gail you did an amazing job on this wood challenge makeover! I would have never thought of making something like this out of old frames. Love it and definitely pinned it.

  10. Your lantern looks great on your pretty patio and I can't believe it was so inexpensive to make! Well done!

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  12. So beautifully done. I think I need to show this to my daughter and then we can make it for to use outside.
    I visited you via Crafty Creators Link Party #68
    If interested feel free to visit my entries for this week: #51+52 as I would love to invite you to come and share your posts and you will have an opportunity to get featured.
    You will find the linkup information (1) In the Top bar under Blogging: Weekly Senior Salon Pit Stop OR 2nd image In the sidebar
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  13. This is so lovely Gail! I will be featuring it on tomorrow's Crafty Creators & sharing on FB & IG over the next several days. Pinned! Thanks for sharing!
    Niki | Life as a LEO Wife

  14. No lie. I was just in a big box store and gasped at the prices of wooden lanterns similar to yours. NOW I can make my own! Thanks for the amazing inspiration! Love yours.


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