Large Festive Scrap Wood Red Lanterns

Do you love the look of lanterns mixed in with outdoor Christmas decor on a front porch? These large DIY scrap wood Red Lanterns are a budget-friendly alternative for outdoor lanterns. Built with salvaged scrap wood, they cost a fraction of the price of readymade lanterns this size.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

Large Outdoor Christmas Red Lanterns

Painted red and standing 24-inches and 28-inches tall, they make a big impact displayed on front steps, a front porch, or flanking a front door. I love the farmhouse style of the wooden lanterns and the festive pop of red is such a pretty contrast with the dark gray door and Christmas planters.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

Here are the red lanterns lit up at night.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

But the outdoor lanterns didn't always look this way.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

Designed to fit inside the large outdoor planters flanking our front door as an alternative to fresh holiday greens. We displayed them this way for a few years but I was never 100% satisfied with the look. Both with the acrylic panels, having them on top of the planters, and both lanterns being the same height.



They look so much better now, wouldn't you agree?



What We Did Differently

We completely modified the lanterns to display on the ground instead and filled the planters with faux holiday greens. We also shortened one of the lanterns so they would stand at varying heights which is more pleasing to the eye. But the biggest impact was removing the acrylic panels and installing wooden crossbars instead.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.



Why Didn't You Use Candles Inside The Lanterns?

You may be wondering why we didn't put candles inside the lanterns. Believe me, I would have loved tall outdoor flameless candles on timers but battery-operated candles cannot withstand our brutally cold winter climate.



Instead, we echoed the look of candles with 14 and 18-inch glass cylinder vases filled with warm lights. But if you live in a warmer climate, flameless candles would be beautiful inside the Christmas lanterns.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

These are most of the scrap wood items used to make the lanterns.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to make the large outdoor lanterns, almost all of the DIY projects shared here at Interior Frugalista have step-by-step tutorials so why not get your budget DIY on and subscribe. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.



How To Make Scrap Wood Lanterns

You can find the supply list and detailed step-by-step instructions for building the lanterns in our DIY Holiday Lantern Tutorial. While the instructions are for the original lantern design they still apply for building these modified lanterns.



You'll also need 1" x 1" nailing strips and 3/4-inch rounded mullion trim. I've outlined the modifications from the original tutorial below.



Step 1 - Lantern Upright Modifications

  • Eliminate the Dado cuts in the uprights as we will not be using acrylic panels for the new lanterns.
  • Cut four 2" x 2" uprights 20-inches long and another four 24-inches long.


Step 2 - Lantern Base

Follow step two in the original tutorial as this step has not changed.



Step 3 - Hinged Lantern Lid

To make the hinged lids for the lanterns follow step three in the original tutorial but eliminate the last two points. We'll discuss those later in step 5.



Eliminate steps 4 - 10 from the original tutorial and follow the steps outlined below instead.



Step 4 - Crossbar Installation

Now that the acrylic panels have been removed the lanterns need spacers installed between each upright both for stability but also for the crossbars to be attached to.

  • Cut 1" x 1" wood nailing strips into 16 (eight per lantern) 5-inch long blocks.
  • Install them both on the top and bottom of each lantern between the uprights. 
  • Because there was nothing to nail them to at the top, they were attached with wood glue, clamped with tape, and left to cure overnight.


How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

The crossbars are made with 3/4-inch rounded mullion trim. We used this trim profile because we liked the rounded edges, however, trim with a straight profile is just fine too.

  • Cut eight pieces 20-inches long and another eight 24-inches long.
  • The top and bottom of the trim pieces are cut at 15° angles (pictured below).
  • Predrill small pilot holes at the top and bottom of each crossbar to help prevent the trim from splitting during installation.
  • Attach the crossbars to the back of the spacers with #4 3/4-inch wood screws.


How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

Step 5 - Attach The Lid

Now we're ready to attach the hinged lid to the lanterns.

  • Drill holes into the piano hinge to line up with uprights and spacers.
  • Attach the piano hinge to the bottom of the lid first and then to the uprights (pictured in Step 3 of the original tutorial).


Step 6 - Painting The Lanterns

The original lanterns were spray-painted black hammered metal but unfortunately, the paint didn't hold up very well. After sanding the wood, this time they were painted with Rustoleum Chalked in Farmhouse Red.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

Once the last coat was completely dry the paint was protected with two coats of Varathane Premium Diamond Outdoor Satin Clear Coat.



Step 7 - Lighting Installation

As mentioned earlier, instead of candles we echoed the look of candles with two 4-inch diameter glass cylinder vases filled with lights. We found them at Michaels and with a 30% coupon for each the total came to just over $40.



They are the biggest splurge of this project but still kept the budget much lower than readymade options. One vase stands 14-inches tall and the other 18-inches tall.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

Light Strand Faux Candle Holder

We could have stuffed multiple strands of white lights into each glass cylinder but we decided to save on lights by making a light holder, to echo a candle.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

  • Draw a circle on a piece of scrap wood slightly smaller than the diameter of the glass cylinder.
  • Cut it with a scroll saw or jigsaw.
  • Cut a 1-inch wooden dowel about four inches shorter than each cylinder and attach with a wood screw to the bottom of each round.
  • Attach screws randomly around the dowel but make sure they don't protrude further than the diameter of the glass vase. These will hold the light strand in an upright position. 
  • Paint the bases red to match the bottom of the lanterns.
  • Paint the stems white to blend in with the white light strand cord.


How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

  • Once dry, wrap the lights around the light holder with the plug on the bottom with slack so the plug sits outside of the cylinder.
  • Set the light holder inside each lantern and face the plug toward the back of the lantern.
  • Attach the light holder from the bottom of the lantern with a wood screw.
  • Set the glass cylinders over the light holder. You may be wondering why we placed them upside down. This prevents the cylinders from filling with snow.


Step 8 - Adding Festive Touches

To add a festive touch to the lanterns I joined two faux evergreen picks together with florist wire and tied them to the handle of each lantern. Next, I tied a big loopy bow onto the handles with a festive wired ribbon.



Sometimes after living with a DIY that doesn't make your heart go pitter-patter, instead of claiming defeat, change it until it does. I'm so pleased with our Christmas lanterns now and it was so worth the effort to modify the design.



How to build large outdoor festive red lanterns with scrap wood set on timers for budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor with farmhouse style.

Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you were inspired by the DIY Red Lanterns. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!



If you enjoyed this Holiday Lantern idea, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Outdoor Christmas Decor or DIY Christmas Lantern Ideas board on Pinterest.




These large DIY Festive Red Scrap Wood Lanterns with farmhouse style are easy on the pocket book! Made with recycled materials they are gorgeous budget-friendly front porch Christmas decor on convenient set and forget light timers. #christmaslanterns #outdoorlanterns #frontporchchristmasdecor #diyrecycledlanterns

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



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Comments

  1. Marie! Those are gorgeous!! And you know I love that you used #trashure ❤ Sharing!

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    1. So glad you like them, Larissa, I'm so pleased how they turned out. Thank you so much for the trashure share my friend! xo

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  2. Oh my goodness Marie, those look beautiful!! Pinned!

    Tania

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    1. Thank you very much, Tania, both for your sweet comment and the pin. Merry Christmas!

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  3. I love how your lanterns turned out Marie! The red is gorgeous, and it was very clever to create the light holders.They really do mimic the look of real candles. Pinned!

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    1. Thank you very much, Tuula, I'm so glad my faux candle idea turned out as good as it did. Happy Holidays and thanks for the pin!

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  4. What beautiful lanterns! I'm so impressed with these and you did such a great job on them! Thank you for sharing and Merry Christmas!

    Hugs,

    Tee @ Teediddlydee

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    1. Thank you so much, Tee! I'm so pleased with how they turned out and like them so much better than the original version. Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!

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  5. I neeeeeeeed some of these for our porch and maybe a teeny, tiny version for our fairies too ;-) How beautiful and your instructions are super easy to follow too.

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    1. Oh my word, Michelle, teeny tiny red lanterns would look amazing in your Tuscan book diorama!

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  6. These are amazing, Marie! Every detail is so well-thought out; love it! I totally want to make some of these for our steps, cuz I too have never wanted to spend the big $ for the real ones. Love this option. Think Mr. Fix it and I will be doing some bonding in the shop after Christmas;) Thanks for the great idea and tutorial. Pinned!

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    1. Happy bonding! LOL They would look amazing on your farmhouse steps, Lora. Merry Christmas!

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  7. Gorgeous lanterns, I love them. We were going to make some of the large pots you have this year, but without company I skipped decorating the front porch. Your lanterns are gorgeous and I love how large and substantial they are.

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    1. Thanks Leanna, I'm thrilled with how they turned out. We made them more for us to enjoy and if the neighbours or passersby enjoy them too, then bonus. Hopefully next year they'll greet guests during the holidays (finger's crossed). Merry Christmas!

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  8. I certainly love lanterns, especially antique ones, but these are just gorgeous Marie! I love how you displayed them!

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    1. Thank you very much, Maya, I'm glad you like them. I couldn't be happier with how they turned out and get such a kick out of them magically turning on each night. Merry Christmas!

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  9. Those are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing how you made them. Pinned.

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    1. Thank you, Joanne, I'm glad you like them and appreciate the pin. Merry Christmas!

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  10. Marie,
    These look great. It's hard to believe they are a diy project. Look for you feature on Wednesday's Charming Homes & Garden Link Party. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Rachel, you made my day when you said they don't look like a diy project! Thank you so much for the feature and wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

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  11. These are so amazing Marie! Look for your feature at Charming Homes and Gardens this Wednesday.

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    1. Kim, I'm thrilled to hear they'll be featured this week. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas!

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  12. These are gorgeous Marie! I especially love how you used the Christmas lights inside! Genius!

    I see you got some snow! I wish we would get snow in the winter here but we very rarely do, and when we do it never sticks. It would be wonderful to have a white Christmas!

    I hope you and your loved ones have the very best Christmas!

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    1. Hi Michelle, yes we have a bit of snow but not nearly the amount we normally do this time of year. Last year we had to shovel ourselves out! Glad you like our DIY lanterns, I'm so much happier with them now. Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and cheers to bidding 2020 a farewell!

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  13. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
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  14. Thanks for joining in on our Linky Party this week...your Lanterns were chosen as my pick for the week and will be featured in the next Linky Party...be sure to join that one thisWednesday! ~ Ann https://bellacraftspublishing.com

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  15. These are so perfectly cute! I love anything made with scrap wood, and I am going to see if we can make these from our stash! I am featuring these this Friday at our link party!

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    1. I'm glad you like them Jenn and thank you so much for the feature! Happy New Year xo

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