As any of you who use fresh greens know, it isn't easy on the pocketbook if you don't have an abundant supply in your own yard. So this year I decided we needed to take a budget friendly approach to filling our planters but still have high impact.
When the invitation to join the Home For Christmas tour came, I decided this would be the perfect challenge to figure out how we could fill those planters, but with a goal that they cost next to nothing!
That is when I came up with the idea for these Large Outdoor DIY Holiday Lanterns.
$66.50 for both!
If you follow me on Instagram you may remember a couple of weeks ago I posted this picture with the caption, "Hmmmm, what do I want to be transformed into?"
...and the answer was these.
Materials List*Rounded to the nearest dollar
- 2" x 2" x 8' lumber - leftover from our DIY Patio Water Wall
- 2 fence post caps - $6.00
- trim - leftover from our 80's Wall Unit Hack
- wooden pulls - leftover from a furniture makeover
- 1 piano hinge - leftover from the Master Bedroom Built-In Window Seat
- 1 sheet of 2' x 4' Acrylic Clear Prisma Square Lighting Lens Panels - $7.50
- 2 cans Rust-oleum Hammered Metal Black Spray Paint - $24.00
- 2 sets Lighted Branches - already had
- 2 rolls of wired holiday ribbon - salvaged from our Christmas Tree
- 1 strand of faux pine garland - $12.00
- 2 strands of frosted berry garland - $17.00 (we splurged but did get them 50% off)
Glass panels would have cost approximately $60.00. Plexiglass would have cost $80.00 so we needed a more cost effective alternative. That's when we found the next best thing at a cost of $7.50. It's called Acrylic Clear Prisma Square Lighting Lens Panels used for overhead fluorescent light fixtures and comes in 2' x 4' sheets.
How we made them
Step 1 - Dado cuts to accommodate the acrylic panels
- 2" x 2" lumber cut 24" long
- 1/2" deep dado cuts to accommodate 6" wide acrylic panels
- Dados cut 1/2" from the outside edge with a table saw
Step 2 - Attaching the base
- The base is 3/4" plywood cut into an 8" square (we made one for the top as well)
- Uprights attached to the base with wood screws
Step 3 - Building a decorative top
- Salvaged wood pulls screwed from the bottom onto each post cap
- 7" square piece of 3/4" plywood screwed from the bottom onto the post caps
- 8" square piece of 3/4" plywood screwed from the bottom onto the 7" piece of plywood
- Salvaged trim cut at a 45° angle using a mitre saw
- To allow clearance for the top to open we cut away the bottom half of the trim on the back side only
- Trim attached to the 8" base using wood glue and 1 1/2" brad nails
- Gaps filled with wood filler and sanded smooth once dry
- Piano hinge cut with a hack saw approximately 7" long
- We needed to drill new holes into the piano hinge to line up with uprights
- The piano hinge was attached to the bottom of the lid first and then to the uprights
Step 4 - Drilling a hole for Lighted Branches
- Using a 2" hole drill bit, we cut a hole in the centre of each lantern base to accommodate the lighted branches
Step 5 - Painting the lanterns
- Sprayed three coats of Rust-oleum Hammered Metal Black spray paint. The wood was very porous and used more paint than we had anticipated.
Step 6 - Installing the lights
Tip for tall planters/urns
I filled our outdoor planters 2/3 full with pea gravel. I use plastic pots filled with dirt as inserts for the planters. It's so easy and convenient to decorate the inserts indoors in the winter or plant at a potting bench in the spring and simply carry them over to the outdoor planters.
- Branches pushed through the hole and firmly into the dirt
- The electrical cord was pulled underneath the lantern and outside the plastic insert
Step 7 - Adding Acrylic PanelsI have to apologize for having no pictures of this step. I was sure I took some but can't find them on any of my devices.
- Using a straight edge and Exacto knife, the panels were cut to fit inside the dados (6" x 24")
- Then we slid each acrylic panel into the dados
Step 8 - Securing the lantern to the plastic insert
- Using #6, 3/4" wood screws, we secured the base of the lantern under the lip of the plastic insert
- We repeated this step on all four corners to firmly secure the lantern so it doesn't topple over during strong winds
Step 9 - Adding a Bow to the handles
- I made bows for each handle from salvaged wired holiday ribbon that used to wrap around our Christmas Tree
- I'm all thumbs when it comes to making bows so I used an EZ Deluxe Bow Making Tool that I purchased at Michaels
- I found a great bow tutorial on YouTube by Vicki O'Dell from The Creative Goddess that you may find helpful HERE.
Step 10 - Decorating the base with faux evergreens
- We cut a strand of pine garland in half using wire cutters
- Then we wrapped a strand of frosted berry garland onto each half and secured with floral wire
- We simply inserted the lanterns/plastic pot inserts into our outdoor planters
- We wrapped the pine garland around each base and tied two branches together in the back to secure them in place
Close up of a lantern during the day.
Close up of the same lantern at night, after a snowfall.
I'm really pleased with how unique our lanterns look and they've certainly been getting attention in our neighbourhood. I'm tickled pink about the price!
Search the hashtag #HomeForChristmas on Hometalk to conveniently scroll through all the projects on the blog hop.