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Make A Rustic Candle Lantern: Easy DIY Dollar Tree Project Under 3.00

Do you like using a rustic candle lantern in your decor? Did you know you can easily make a DIY Dollar Tree Lantern that looks similar to one I recently saw in the Ballard Design catalog? By using a Dollar Tree garden fence and wooden box, you can recreate this style for under $3.00, saving over $100.00.

I’m drawn to black wrought iron decor and loved the look of the Amalfi lanterns as soon as I saw them. However, I would never purchase them at that price. Then I remembered seeing the Dollar Tree garden fence with a similar design and decided to give it a try. It is a surprisingly easy project, and I’ll show you exactly how to make your own Dollar Tree Do It Yourself Craft.

Dollar Tree Garden Fence and Wooden craft box.

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Inspiration for DIY Candle Lantern

Every time I receive a new Ballard Design Catalog, I find many items that I’d love to use in my home decor and so much inspiration for DIY projects. When I saw the Amalfi lanterns, I remembered seeing the Dollar Tree Garden Fence on my last visit. It doesn’t have the exact design, but it resembles wrought iron, and I knew it could work. But I’d need something as a base. After searching the store, I found a shallow wooden box that was the perfect size. So with a less than $3.00 purchase, I was ready to get started.

Inspiration from Ballard Designs
Ballard Design Inspiration Candle Lanterns

DIY Dollar Tree Lantern

This is an easy project that only takes about an hour to make, including drying time. However, the drying time will depend upon the type of paint you use for the base.

To make the DIY Dollar Tree Lantern, you need one garden fence and one 6″ x 6″ woodcraft box. You will also need permanent glue, such as E6000, a hot glue gun, black paint and brush, snips, and twist ties.

I decided to make two lanterns and worked on both at the same time. It only took slightly over an hour to make both lanterns.

I painted 3 boxes and disassembled two of the Dollar Tree garden fences.

Supplies needed to make Candle Lanterns like Ballard Designs.

Paint Wooden Box

Protect your workstation with wax paper and begin by painting the wooden box black. Using a small paintbrush, cover the entire area inside and out. You may need to apply two coats to get good coverage. Set aside to dry.

You may decide that you want a different color than black. If so, you will want to paint the box first, and after you assemble the lanterns, you can paint the Dollar Tree garden fence.

Paint the Dollar tree wood box black

Disassemble the Dollar Tree Garden Fence

While the paint is drying, use the small straight snips to cut the Dollar Tree garden fence into sections.

Begin by removing the ground stakes along the bottom. Try to cut them as evenly across as possible. Next, separate each section by cutting between each arch from top to bottom. Once you have all the sections disassembled, remove the hinge ends of the fence.

Trim each piece as evenly as possible so that the corners of the Dollar Tree Garden Fence will align and nestle together easily.

Cut the Dollar Tree Garden Fence into four pieces.

How To Assemble The Candle Lantern

The DIY Dollar Tree lantern is easy to assemble, and it creates a candle lantern similar to the inspiration from Ballard Designs.

Once again, protect your workspace surface with wax paper. Begin by applying a bead of E6000 glue along the outside edges, both sides, and the bottom of the wooden box. Do not apply across the top edge of the open box. Be sure the glue is being applied in the area where the garden fence will attach.

Add permanent glue to the box

Immediately apply hot glue to the same area as the E6000 glue was applied.

Add hot glue to box

Place the bottom of the garden fence section on the box and press until the hot glue sets.

Be sure that the fence is aligned evenly at the sides and along the bottom.

Add pieces of garden fence to Dollar Tree box.

Continue around the sides of the box until you have added all four sections of the fence. As you add each piece, be sure that the corners are aligned. They should nestle together as much as possible. However, if you have some gaps, don’t worry; it will still look great.

Dollar Tree Garden Fence Lanterns.

Insider Tip

We are using two types of glue. The E6000 glue is permanent but takes a long time to dry. The hot glue dries very quickly. By applying the hot glue at the same time, you can move to the next section within approximately one minute. The hot glue alone may not hold the pieces together for the long term.

Adhere Sides of Candle Lantern

Once you have all four pieces in place, begin adding both glues to the edges. You don’t need to apply from top to bottom, and you don’t want to overfill. A little will go a long way here. Hold the pieces together until the glue sets.

You may find that they don’t want to hold together easily. If so, have some twist ties on hand, and after you’ve applied the glue, add a twist tie to hold until the glue dries.

Add twist ties to hold the DIY Dollar Tree Lantern together.

Decorate with Candle Lanterns

It’s hard to believe these candle lanterns are made from inexpensive Dollar Tree supplies. I decided to paint an extra wooden box to sit under one of the lanterns. Now, they look like two different heights.

Black DIY Candle Lanterns Ballard Design Look Alike project.

Dining Table Centerpiece

I first styled the lanterns on my dining room table for a rustic centerpiece. I added battery-operated flicker candles to each lantern.

DIY Candle Lanterns a DIY Dollar Tree Lantern Project.

Then, I added a small plant to create a centerpiece on the vintage breadboard.

Rustic Table Centerpiece made from Dollar Tree Garden Fence .

Sofa Table Candle Lantern Decor

Next, I moved them to the sofa table in my living room. They add a rustic charm to the table.

DIY Dollar Tree Garden Fence Projecf

DIY Candle Lanterns on Coffee Table

And then they landed. My final move was to decorate the coffee table with DIY candle lanterns.

DIY Dollar Tree Lantern Craft for under $3.00 each.

I used a wood slice to raise the one lantern even higher and surrounded the wooden box with a eucalyptus candle ring. A small boxwood arrangement completes the front view of the coffee table vignette.

Coffee Table Centerpiece Rustic Lanterns  A DIY Dollar Tree Craft.

The DIY Candle Lanterns look great from all sides and make them a perfect choice for the center of the room. From this view, you see the small wooden bowl filled with decorative moss balls.

These will also look great on porches, sunrooms, outdoor tables, etc. However, the wooden box isn’t waterproof, so I wouldn’t leave it outdoors in the rain.

Easy DIY Candle lanterns - Budget Friendly Dollar Tree Project for Coffee Table Centerpiece

I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial and that it inspired you to get creative when planning your decor. These lanterns are not exactly like the inspiration pieces but still manage to create the same decor aesthetic as the high-dollar version.


Video for Dollar Tree Craft Candle Lanterns

If you liked today’s project, stay tuned for another Dollar Tree idea later this week. Also, check out these similar articles.

Thank you for stopping by today and I look forward to sharing my new adventure with you.

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Easy DIY Candle lanterns - Budget Friendly Dollar Tree Project


Sunday 5th of May 2024

What a great idea! I love how they turned out and yes, they look pretty expensive. Gotta love Dollar Tree! Thank you for sharing such cool ideas!!


Monday 6th of May 2024

Karolyn, I'm so glad you like them. Thanks for your sweet comments.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Saturday 4th of May 2024

This is amazing Rachel! I can't believe you made these lanterns out of $3 fencing!


Sunday 5th of May 2024

Kim, I was very happy with them. Thanks.


Friday 3rd of May 2024

I love how creative you are. The candle lantern is beautiful. I have never done anything like this but you explained how to do it so well that I am going to try. Thank you


Saturday 4th of May 2024

Jackie, Thank you for this sweet compliment. My husband says I'm an over explainer!! LOL. But maybe that pays off in the long run. I hope you'll share your design with me.


Friday 3rd of May 2024

You are so inventive❣️. I think this is the most exquisite Dollar Tree project ever. Just beautiful. I really enjoy your wonderful talent


Friday 3rd of May 2024

Ione, You are so kind. Thank you for this sweet compliment.