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Candle Lantern Surrounds

Give outdoor lighting a lantern look by framing candle stands within these wooden surrounds. Paint them with a Halloween or holiday theme, or choose a color for year-round indoor decorating or outdoor curb appeal.

Lantern-look candles on pedestals decorating a porch.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter saw
  • Random-orbit sander
  • 120-grit and 180-grit sandpaper
  • Tape measure
  • Clamps


  • 5 - 3/4 x 36 square dowels, #27835
  • .75 x 96 vinyl tapered cove moulding
  • Rust-Oleum spray paint, Vintage Copper

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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The instructions and project diagram are for an open-sided candle lantern surround 36 inches tall, but you can size it to the height you like by varying the lengths of the stiles (vertical parts). However, avoid having the tops of any burning wax candles flush with or near the tops of the lantern frames or moulding.

Step 1

From the 3/4-inch dowels, cut four stiles (A) to the height you want the lantern frame or use them at full length (36 inches). Then cut eight rails (B) 8 inches long (Candle Lantern Project Diagram).

Good to Know

For easy assembly of the frames, make certain all the pieces in a group of parts are cut to equal length.

Step 2

Glue and clamp the lantern frame sides to the top.

Glue and clamp two stiles to two rails, forming a frame. Repeat to make a second frame.

Good to Know

If you have a pneumatic brad nailer, use it to reinforce the joints in this and the next step after the glue dries. However, nailing the thin stock by hand may break the glue joints.

Step 3

Join the two lantern sides with rails at the top and bottom.

After the glue dries, rest the frames on edge on a flat surface. Glue and clamp rails at the corners of the two frames, using the work surface to help keep them aligned. Let dry and repeat for the other two rails.

Step 4

Clamp the first piece of moulding to the lantern framework.

Cut the cove moulding into eight slightly oversize pieces about 12 inches long. On one piece, cut a 45-degree miter without significantly shortening the length. Place the mitered end with the inside edge against the outside corner of a stile. Mark the moulding length at the other stile corner, and cut the moulding to size. Glue and clamp the moulding to the rail and stiles with the flat edge flush with the top of the lantern (Candle Lantern Project Diagram).

Good to Know

Because vinyl moulding will not absorb wood glue, consider switching to a construction adhesive or using a pneumatic nailer to fasten the trim in place.

Step 5

Measure and mark the second piece of lantern trim.

Miter-cut one end of another oversize moulding piece and fit it against the corner of the installed moulding. Mark and cut the moulding to length, then glue and clamp that piece in place. Repeat for the remaining two moulding pieces. Duplicate this and the previous steps at the other end of the lantern frame.

Step 6

Sand the frame as needed and wipe clean. Spray on at least two coats of the finish of your choice (Vintage Copper shown).

Step 7

Open frames surround candle pedestals for the look of an oversize lantern with a light, airy style. --Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Cut wood turnings of your choice—we used turned posts and deck spindles—to use as candle pillars. Apply the finish of your choice. Insert a candle pillar in the frame and add a wax or LED candle.