Here the customary bag is replaced with a sturdy wooden frame. A candle is then placed in a canning jar to protect the wood from scorching.
This material list is for one luminary.
One 3-foot 1" x 6" pine board (actual size 3/4" x 5 1/2")
1 1/2" finishing nails
Waterproof carpenter's glue
Glue stick (optional)
Exterior polyurethane gloss
One large-mouth 1-quart canning jar
Scroll saw or coping saw
Cut all the pieces from a 3-foot 1" x 6" (3/4" x 5 1/2") pine board.
It's best to make these luminaries from 3/8"-thick boards because they look more proportional. (Plane the board down to this thickness before cutting the pieces.)
If making from optional 3/8" stock, cut the sides 4 5/8" wide. However, if you want to use regular 3/4" stock, make the sides 5" wide.
In either case, the base of the lantern is 4 1/4" square.
Select a side free of knotholes for the front of the luminary. Choose one of the patterns provided, or create one of your own. Photocopy the patterns at 200%, or draw them using the grid to help. Then trace or glue (with a glue stick) the design onto the wood. (Position the design about 1/4" to the left of center.)
Cut out the pattern with a scroll or coping saw.
Glue and nail the sides together with 1 1/2" finishing nails. Drill pilot holes so you don't split the boards.
Sand the sides. We suggest rounding off all the edges for a softer look. Apply two or three coats of exterior polyurethane gloss inside and out, lightly sanding between each coat.
Put a candle inside a large-mouth 1-quart canning jar and set the jar inside the box. Now find a nice spot for your luminary and let it warm up your front porch or backyard!
Workshop Wisdom Tip:
Cope With a Hand Saw
If you'd like to try this project but don't have a scroll saw, don't worry. A coping saw will do the job very well. It may take a little more time and patience, but the end result will be just as pleasing. If you don't have a coping saw, they're available at hardware stores for less than $10.