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Beautiful Wood Fall Lanterns

Decorate with these fun pumpkin cut out lanterns this fall.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons to decorate for! There is just something cozy about all those pumpkins after a hot summer.

Lanterns also make amazing cosy fall decor. So why not combine wood lanterns with pumpkins?

These simple, but beautiful, fall lanterns are the perfect way to decorate for fall. They are cozy, and warm, and so fun to make.

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DIY fall lanterns made from wood with pumpkins around them.

How to Decorate with Wood Lanterns

These large wooden lanterns will become your new favorite fall decor. They are so versatile!

You can use them on a porch. Perfect to framing a door or creating a vignette on one side.

Pair them with your favorite fall sign (I love this decorative Farmer’s Market sign) for a festive fall look.

Two tapered lanterns with pumpkin shapes surrounded by pumpkins next to a wood sign.

Or you can use these lanterns indoors. Place them next to a console table or TV stand for a sprinkle of fall. They would also make a great display next to a fireplace.

Use all 3 sizes for lanterns together for a large display, or just display your favorite lantern alone.

Large DIY lantern for fall with a small pumpkin next to it.

How to Build Lanterns for Fall

Tools & Materials

Recommended Tools:


  • Wood products
    • (2) 1×12 boards, 8′ long
  • 1 1/4″ brad nails
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain and sealer

Overall Dimensions

There are 3 different sized lanterns. The base of each is ~11 1/4″ wide. The large one is 16″ tall, the medium 12 3/4″ and the short one is 10″ tall.

Three different sized wooden fall lanterns in a display with a fall sign and pumpkins.

STEP 1- Cut the pieces

Each lantern is made from 4 identical pieces to make a pyramid shape.

Using a miter saw, cut (4) of each size piece from the 1×12 board:

  • Large lantern: 16″ long
  • Medium lantern: 12 3/4″ long
  • Small lantern: 10″ long

If you do not have a sliding miter saw, use a stop (something clamped at the edge of the board). Then cut part way through the board, flip it over so the uncut is up against the fence and repeat.

Make sure the board is pressed up against the stop for both cuts and that your saw blade is square, and you will have a straight cut across the longer board.

Cutting 1x12 boards on a miter saw.

STEP 2- Rip the boards at an angle

The angles on the board are cut on the table saw with a miter gauge. I am using the one my table saw came with.

Set the saw blade to 45 degrees to the top of the saw.

Table saw with blade set to 45 degrees with a digital angle finder.

Set the miter gauge to the right degree for the lantern:

  • Large lantern: 8 degrees
  • Medium lantern: 10 degrees
  • Small lantern: 12 degrees

Angle the gauge so it is tilted toward the blade.

With the board up against the miter gauge fence, line the bottom corner of the board up with the center line of your table saw.

Run it through to cut off one side at an angle. Repeat for all 4 boards.

Cutting the board on the table saw at an angle with the miter gauge.

Then adjust the miter saw so it is angled the same degrees but tilted away from the blade.

Line up the front of the board with the edge of the saw. Then mark the line of where the back of the board lines up on the gauge.

Lining up the board with the table saw blade and marking the location on the miter gauge.

Run the board through the saw to cut off the other side at an angle. Repeat for all 4 boards.

Adjust the gauge and cut the boards for the other lanterns the same as above.

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Running the board through the saw to cut the other side.

STEP 3- Cut out the shapes

Print or draw out pumpkin shapes to fit the pieces of the lanterns.

Trace the shape onto all 4 boards on the top face.

Tracing the pumpkin shape onto the front of the board.

Drill a hole, large enough for your jig saw blade, in the design right below the stem.

Drilling a hole to insert the jig saw into the board to cut the pumpkin shape.

Using a jig saw with a scroll blade, cut out the stem.

You want to cut the stem first since cutting the rest of the pumpkin shape can make the board fragile. If the jig saw bounces it too much when cutting the tighter stem area, it can break.

You will have to cut the stem out in pieces.

Cutting the stem out in multiple passes with a jig saw.

Once the stem is removed, cut around the rest of the pumpkin shape to remove it. Start and end at the hole.

Repeat for all lantern pieces.

Cutting a pumpkin shape in the angled board with a jig saw.

STEP 4- Assemble the Lanterns

Add wood glue to the angled side of one lantern piece. Press a second piece up against it.

Make sure to use waterproof outdoor glue if you are planning to use your lanterns on the porch.

Adding glue to the side of the lantern piece.

Secure with brad nails. Be careful to keep the outside edge of your lantern lined up as you secure it.

Also, do not drive nails through the lantern in areas where there is not enough room next to the cut out for the full length of the nail.

Attaching two side pieces together with a brad nailer.

Repeat for the other side.

Then the add the final piece, add wood glue to both sides before lining it up.

Adding glue to the final open sides before attaching the forth piece.

Secure one side first, then the other.

Attach the same way you did the other sides.

Attaching the final piece of the tapered lantern with a nailer.

STEP 5- Sand and finish

Fill the nail holes with wood filler.

Filling nail holes in the fall lanterns before staining.

Sand, then stain/paint/seal your lanterns.

If you are using your lanterns outside, make sure to use outdoor paints, stain and sealers.

I stained mine with Early Americana stain by Minwax.

Staining the wood fall lanterns with early americana stain.

You did it!

Add a flameless candle inside your lantern (or use real candles for look, but light them at your own risk) and enjoy!

These fun tapered lanterns will give any room a perfect fall glow.

Three tapered lanterns with pumpkin shaped cut into the sides.

Happy building!

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

Pam Thomas

Saturday 23rd of September 2023

Where are the pattern templates for the pumpkins?


Tuesday 24th of October 2023

No template, just draw your own.

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