DIY Wooden LED Lanterns

wood lanterns

Warmer weather means it’s time for outdoor projects again, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Since I’m an apartment dweller, I love making projects for my parents’ new home – and being that they just got their yard and patio redone, I wanted to surprise them with a pair of outdoor-friendly, wooden LED lanterns. So, I partnered with my friends at T-Rex Tape to make it happen! Did I mention I made each lantern for under $20 (including the LED strips)? Yeah, you’re not going to want to miss this one.

This project is sponsored by T-Rex Tape & includes affiliate linking. For my full disclosure policy, please click here.

How To Make Wooden LED Lanterns For Your Home

diy wooden lanterns

I’ve said it before, but adding curb appeal to your front yard doesn’t have to break the bank. It also doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. I made these lanterns with two power tools and some basic necessities. Let’s get started so I can show you how!

outdoor lanterns led lights

What You’ll Need:

how to make wooden lanterns

Miter Saw
Nail Gun
T-Rex Waterproof Tape
Wood Glue

(8) 2 x 2 x 4′ Pressure Treated Balusters
2″ Brad Nails
(2) Motion Sensor LED Strips
Wood Stain/Paint
Clear Coat

The Steps:

1. First, I cut my pieces into the following lengths (I made two different sized lanterns):

how to cut pressure treated wood

Small Lantern

(8) 5″ Side Pieces
(4) 12″ Tall Legs
(5) 7″ Top Pieces

Large Lantern

(8) 5″ Side Pieces
(4) 16″ Tall Legs
(5) 7″ Top Pieces

2. I began attaching my leg pieces to the side pieces with wood glue and brad nails.

how to attach woodhow to build a lanterndiy wood lantern

3. Once the main portion of the lantern has been built, I added the five 7″ top pieces to the lantern with wood glue and brad nails.

how to make an outdoor lantern

4. I then lightly sanded away any rough spots.

how to sand wood

5. Next, I customized my lanterns with my favorite stain.

how to stain wood

6. Then, I finished them with a clear coat.

how to waterproof outdoor wood

7. Once the lanterns dried, I prepped them for my LED lights by cutting and installing strips of T-Rex Waterproof Tape to the underside of the top pieces. This tape will keep water from seeping through the top pieces and onto the LED remote.

t-rex tape

waterproof tape on woodhow to waterproof wood

8. Once the underside of the lantern was waterproofed, I installed the LED lights by cutting small strips of the T-Rex Waterproof Tape and attaching them over the remote and light strips.

diy led lamp

diy led wood lamp

9. Last step was to install T-Rex Waterproof Tape tape to the bottom of the lantern to help extend the life of the wood.

That’s it!

scrap wood lantern project

Sometimes it’s so much fun to go back to creating simple projects like these wooden LED lanterns!

Interested in a project like this for the Spring and want to save it for later? Make sure to Pin It!

DIY Wooden Lanterns With LED Lights

Until our next project… Happy DIY’ing!

This project is sponsored by T-Rex Tape. All opinions of products and project ideas are my own. For my full disclosure policy, click here.

Sam Raimondi

Sam is a full time psychologist and part time content creator from Long Island, New York.




  • Karolyn Love

    Awesome! They look so cool at night and I like the opening giving an option for a plant or whatever someone had in mind to display!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Trudi

    These are great! I just made a ton of lanterns for our daughter’s wedding. I may have to convert some of the leftovers to your version. Living in sunny southwest FL, The more I think about it, I’m wondering if there’s someway to use a solar lighting insert of some sort?

    • Sam

      That’s so awesome – what a cool parent! I don’t see why you can’t use solar panels as long as the sun can reach the power pack!

  • Mark Jarvis

    Is that okay if I use solar powered motion sensor LED strips? I really appreciate any help you can provide 🙂

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