How-To Projects | October 14, 2020

Bring on the Boos: DIY Jack-O-Lantern Porch Lights

Lighting is everything – and the flicker of a lantern gives us all the fall feelings. A few cuts, some sanding and a little assembly later – these greeters at your door will become the boo(s) you never knew you needed.

Keep reading to see how we built these and download the full project plans and templates to build your own!




Cut down your 1x4, 1x6, and 1x8 boards using the Lumber & Sheet Cut Layout Guide in the plans.

Print out the three Jack-O-Lantern face templates. Make sure you follow the print scaling instructions in the project plans so the templates are the right size for each lantern.

Trace the templates on the 1x6 face panel for each lantern. We placed the template on the board and used a carpenter’s pencil to trace the outline, leaving an imprint in the wood. You can also cut out the face with scissors and trace around it, or use a sharp object to poke holes around the outline and connect the dots.


Use a jigsaw to cut out the faces. Don't worry about getting the cuts perfect–you can smooth down the cuts with sandpaper once you're done cutting. You can also use a rotary tool to add a more dramatic look to the features of the face

PRO-TIP: Create an opening for your jigsaw blade by drilling a small hole in the inside edge of the eyes, nose, and mouth of each face.


Now you can assemble your boxes. To make sure your edges are secured, apply a thin layer of wood glue before drilling the boards in place.

You'll start by securing the carved faces to the side panels followed by the back panels. Then, secure each lantern to the bases. Create the lids using the remaining 1x8 pieces, 4x4 pieces, and 2" knobs. 

Once the lanterns are assembled, sand and smooth all of the surfaces and paint (or stain) to your liking.


Place these lanterns on your front porch and style them with pumpkins and mums for a festive holiday vibe.

Use candles or battery-powered lights to light up your lanterns at night and bring all the boos to your yard.
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