Welcome, Dixie Belle Paint enthusiasts! I’m Do Dodson, and I’m thrilled to be guest blogging for Dixie Belle Paint today. With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to refresh your outdoor spaces, starting with those charming lanterns that light up your evenings. Outdoor lanterns can add a touch of warmth and elegance to any patio or garden, and with the vibrant, durable products from Dixie Belle Paint, giving them a summertime makeover is a breeze. Let’s dive into a fun and creative project that will transform your lanterns into stunning focal points, perfect for your summer nights. 

(The following is an excerpt from Do Dodson. Read the full article here.) 

First and foremost, you’ll need your leftover pieces of wood. Look for pieces that are sturdy and have a good amount of character. Remember, imperfections can add to the charm of your lanterns, so don’t be afraid to embrace the unique qualities of each piece. 

Next, you’ll need a measuring tape and a pencil. These are tools I use to help ensure that my cuts are exact.  

Once you have your measurements, it’s time to cut your wood. You can use a handsaw, or a table saw, depending on your comfort level and the amount of wood you’re working with. Remember to always wear protective goggles and use caution when operating power tools. Safety should always be a top priority during any DIY project. 



Here’s what you will need to make these DIY outdoor wood lanterns.  

  • Scrap Wood (pine, cedar, whatever you have) 
  • Tape Measure 
  • Carpenter’s Pencil
  • Exterior Wood Glue
  • Sanding Block
  • Nail Gun
  • Pin Nails
  • Miter Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Painter’s Tape


Prepping the Wood 

Here are the measurements that I used, but of course, you can adjust the lengths depending on your lanterns. I used cedar fence pickets, so the measurements are approximate. 

1X8 square top and bottom 

1X2 tall sides – length 16 inches 

1X4 sides walls – 6 inches and 4.5 inches (these will be different if the sides are not square) 

2X2 – squares for the feet 

The top decorative pieces were cut square and stacked. 

Measure and Cut Your Wood

Begin by carefully measuring the dimensions of each section of your lantern and make your cuts. Take your time to measure twice and cut once. Yes. I’m repeating myself.  

Next, fire up your trusty saw. Depending on the thickness of your wood, you may choose a hand saw or a power saw. Whichever you use, make sure it is sharp and in good working condition. The last thing you want is to end up with jagged edges or uneven cuts that will stand out in your finished lantern. 


After your pieces are cut, smooth out any rough edges of each piece with 220 fine-grit sandpaper. This step will not only smooth out any rough spots but also create a seamless transition between the different pieces of wood. 

After sanding, wipe away any dust or debris. If you notice any gaps or blemishes, consider using wood filler to fill them in before moving forward. 

Assemble the Wood Lanterns 

Begin by arranging the cut wooden pieces on a clean work surface, making sure that you have all the necessary pieces laid out in front of you. I like doing this because it allows me to visualize in my head before I begin putting the pieces together, and we all know that creative people are visual thinkers.  

Starting with the bottom piece, carefully align the edges with the corresponding sides and secure them in place using wood glue. Using light pressure is enough to hold the pieces together while the glue dries. If needed, you can also use clamps to ensure a snug fit. 

Once the bottom piece is securely attached, progress to the sides of the lantern. Apply wood glue along the edges and gently press them against the bottom piece, making sure they are perfectly aligned. Remember, patience is key throughout this step because rushing can lead to crooked pieces and a less-than-perfect final product. With the sides securely attached, complete the lantern’s structure by adding the top piece. Apply wood glue along the edges of the sides and gently press the top piece into place. Take a good look to see if the wood pieces are properly aligned before setting them aside to dry.   

Prep for The Outdoors 

If you plan on using your DIY wooden lantern outdoors, you need to choose a protective coating for your wood. While the natural beauty of the wood may be tempting to leave it as is (and you totally can), applying a clear varnish or wood stain will not only enhance the color and grain but also provide protection against the elements. You could also paint the wood or do both. Here’s how I finished mine. 

STEP 1: Apply No Pain Gel Stain by Dixie Belle Paint Co. (oil-based) 

Use painter’s tape to tape off the lower 1/3 of the wooden lanterns. Next, apply the gel stain on the wood below the tape with a disposable paintbrush. After all, I aint got time to clean the brushes. I’d rather be crafting! 

STEP 2: Use A Clean Cloth 

Afterward, wipe away any remaining stain on the surface of the wood with a clean soft cloth, and be sure to wear disposable gloves. It will stick to your skin for days. 

STEP 3: Carefully Remove The Tape 

Lastly, remove the painter’s tape to reveal beautiful, flawless lines between the wood and the stain. I’m so happy right now! 🙂 


As you apply the finishing touches, keep in mind the overall style you envision for your porch or outdoor space. Consider adding decorative touches, such as metal accents or rope handles, to customize your lanterns and make them uniquely yours. I added the rope handles to mine using a staple gun. 

Here’s another idea. I’ve also seen these used as wedding centerpieces. Fill a small vase with greenery and add a faux candle for instant charm or centerpieces for your dining table. Fill them with your favorite holiday or seasonal greenery for a quick and easy design change. The fall is my favorite. Grab some faux leaves, tiny pumpkins, and you are good to go.   


These DIY wooden lanterns were so easy to make, and did I mention fun? Once the pieces were cut and prepped, it took literally minutes to build them. Waiting on the stain to dry was the hardest part.   


So, are you ready to tackle this DIY project? Let me know in the comments, or just say hello so that I’ll know you stopped by. 

As William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” I love this quote! 

Until the next project… xo, Do 


And there you have it! With just a few Dixie Belle Paint products and a bit of creativity, your outdoor lanterns are now ready to shine all summer long. I hope this project has inspired you to explore the endless possibilities of refreshing your outdoor decor. Remember, Dixie Belle Paint makes it easy to achieve beautiful, lasting results. Thanks for joining me on this lantern makeover journey, and happy painting! Until next time, keep creating and enjoying your beautiful outdoor spaces. 

For more outdoor decor ideas, check out our blog, Autumn Oval Door Hanger using Dixie Belle Paint!

About the Author

Do Dodson Designs

Donna, also known as Do, is a decorative furniture artist, photographer, DIYer, author of Do Dodson Designs Blog. Do's true passion is attached to the paint brush and encouraging women. She has a successful online group where she teaches women how to merge their passion for furniture painting with business growth.

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