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Don’t pay on upwards of $30 on the decorative lanterns that are so hot right now when you can pay less than $5 to make one of these Dollar Tree DIY lanterns. These beautiful lanterns are easy to make. And to beat it all, they’re made from real woodblocks. No saw needed!
What you will need:
If you can’t find some of these items at your local Dollar Tree you can order them online and pick them up in-store.
Get ready to assemble your lantern
Before you start on the Dollar Tree DIY lantern, dump out both boxes of the Tumbling Tower blocks. Go through each of the blocks and look for chips, cracks or any imperfections. These can throw off the look and balance of the lantern.
**Note** There are a couple of blocks with writing on them in each box. You can put them to the side for later use or you can glue them with the words side down. This is the bottom of the lantern.
Let’s start building the base and the top
Count out thirty-two of the good blocks. You will be making two of these. One for the base and one for the top of the lantern. That’s sixteen total blocks each piece. We are going to layout the design of the base before we start gluing the blocks. Use the carpenter’s square to keep the blocks inline. Line two blocks vertically.
Line up the next row of six blocks horizontally up against the first two.
Repeat the process one more time, but reverse it. You should have two horizontal rows of six in the middle with 2 two vertical blocks on each side for a total of sixteen blocks.
Glue the pieces together. I’m using popsicle sticks to “butter” the glue to each of the pieces even though my wood glue has a narrow tip for the glue to come out. You have to be careful not to add too much glue to each block or it will squish out from under the block. It will need to be sanded down if it dries because it shows through paint and stain. Nobody has time for that! Check to make sure you aren’t gluing the base to your work surface. Ask me how I know that can happen. Lol! Make sure to wipe any excess glue from the base after you are finished gluing it together. Repeat this process one more time to make the top.
Build the sides
Layout the lantern pieces first as we did above. All of the side pieces are going to be put together vertically. You need thirty-two blocks for this step. You will be gluing four blocks vertically together. There will be eight rows of four all together.
Once the eight rows are dry lay a row flat and glue another row on its side. It will resemble a corner. Put them all together to make four corners.
Glue the four corners to the corners of the base and the top. Start by gluing two at a time on one side. Let them dry completely before you flip it over to glue the other side. Once all four corners are dry glue them to the top.
Choose what embellishment to put on top of the lantern
I have chosen to make a rectangle out of the blocks for the top of my lantern. You can use a mason jar lid, a knob or whatever you like on yours.
Glue four of the blocks together to create a rectangle. Make two.
Glue a block to each side of the rectangle.
Now you are going to put two blocks in the center of the rectangle. They should be the same height as the sides. Do not glue them down. They are going to be used to hold up the second rectangle while the glue dries. Glue the second rectangle on top. Let dry completely.
Remove the center blocks.
I suggest going ahead and painting, staining or whitewashing the top of your lantern before gluing the rectangle embellishment so you won’t have trouble getting the final finish in the little space. Let it dry completely. Glue the embellishment in the middle of the top of the lantern.
The lantern looks nice without paint or stain. The Apothecary jar candles from the Dollar Tree look really cute on these lanterns.
I’m in the process of renovating our living room. I’m getting rid of all the dark wood and dark colors that I can. So I will be whitewashing my lantern. Chalk paint would work really well on these lanterns also.
If you aren’t familiar with how to whitewash wood click here for the tutorial.
Once you have finished whitewashing your lantern give it a “handle”. I used the twisted rope from the Dollar Tree for mine. Tie a knot at the end of the rope. Measure how long you want it to be. Tie a knot before you cut the rope. Then cut the rope off. Find the middle of the rectangle piece on top of the lantern. Hot glue one of the knots on the inside in the middle of the rectangle. Find the middle on the other side. Glue the other knot in the middle on the inside.
Save this Dollar Tree DIY Lantern project for later! Pin it on Pinterest!