DIY Snowman Lantern (Fun, Festive, Winter Project)

This easy-to-make snowman lantern is a wonderful way to light up your home with some holiday cheer. FREE printable plan and pattern included!

DIY snowman lantern on a table with a pair of doors in the background

If you’re looking for a fun, festive project, look no further than this DIY snowman lantern! It’s perfect as a holiday table centerpiece, on a mantel, or anywhere you want to add a cheerful touch to your winter decor. Best of all, it can be completed in just a few simple steps with supplies you may already have around your workshop. Let’s get started!

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Table of Contents

Inspiration for This DIY Wooden Snowman Lantern

For Halloween, I shared plans for these wooden pumpkin lanterns. They were a big hit, so I thought it would be fun to make a holiday version. This snowman lantern was inspired by those easy-to-make pumpkin lanterns, but with one key difference. Instead of a spooky jack-o-lantern face, this project has an adorable, smiling snowman face topped with a black hat!

Looking down from the top of a DIY snowman lantern towards the floor

What Tools Do You Need?

A miter saw and a scroll saw are all you’ll need to build this simple project. A brad nailer and pin nailer were used to speed up the construction process, but they’re not necessary.

The printable plan calls for pine boards, but I used plywood instead. Because of this change, I also needed a circular saw and jigsaw. I’ll explain why I used plywood in more detail below in the wood section.

Miter Saw

All of the parts for this project were cut to length using a miter saw.

Scroll Saw

The snowman’s face was cut using a scroll saw. However, if you don’t have one, a jigsaw might work. If you are considering a jigsaw, be aware that these parts are small, so go slowly, and be mindful of your fingers!

Nailers (optional)

To assemble the lantern, I used a brad nailer. And to attach the snowman’s face, I used a pin nailer. However, If you don’t have either of these tools, a hammer and nails will do the trick.

Related: Pin Nailer vs Brad Nailer (Differences + Which to Use)


What Wood Should You Use?

As I mentioned earlier, the printed plan calls for pine boards. Pine is relatively inexpensive and easy to find at most home improvement stores. This lantern doesn’t require much wood, so you might even be able to make it with scrap wood.

Related: 71 Scrap Wood Projects (Clever Ways to Reuse Old Wood)

Front view of DIY wooden snowman lantern

Instead of buying boards, I used T1-11 siding (a type of plywood) that I had left over from renovating my garage. I used my circular saw and a Kreg Rip-Cut to rip the siding into strips the same width as the pine boards.

Related: 4 Ways to Make Straight Cuts with a Circular Saw

The T1-11 I used is about a ¼” thinner than pine boards, so your lantern might look slightly different, but it will still be adorable!

The downloadable plan uses several boards for the lantern’s back, but I only needed one piece because I used plywood instead. I used a jigsaw to cut an opening in the back for the flameless candle.

I made my snowman’s face out of 3mm plywood, which I had left over from making these picture frame ornaments.

Don’t worry if you don’t have 3mm plywood or if you don’t want to buy any. You can use nearly any thin plywood-like material instead. For instance, I used old pieces of ⅛” beadboard paneling to create these mitten ornaments, but almost any thin material, like luan, hardboard, etc., could work.


How Do You Draw the Snowman’s Face?

The snowman’s face could be tricky to draw, especially if you’re like me and don’t have a knack for drawing. Fortunately, the free printable plan includes a template that takes the guesswork of drawing his eyes, mouth, and carrot nose!

Grab your free plan, print the pattern, trace it, and then use a saw to cut the parts.

Close up of a DIY snowman lantern's face

What Candles Should You Use?

For your safety, please use flameless LED candles in this wooden lantern. Real candles are a fire hazard and should not be used.

Sliding a flameless LED candle into a DIY snowman lantern

How Do You Finish the DIY Wooden Snowman Lantern?

You can paint the lantern a solid color or leave it unfinished, but if you want your snowman to look weathered like mine, follow these steps.

Wooden DIY snowman lantern on a table with a shiplap wall in the background

I started by applying a coat of charcoal chalk-type paint. Because I made my project with plywood strips, I figured applying the paint with a roller would be easier before assembling the project.

After the lantern was finished, I applied a few thin coats of white craft paint. I let some of the charcoal color show through, which I feel adds character to the project.

Using a brush to apply white paint to a DIY snowman lantern

How to Make a DIY Snowman Lantern

Printed Plan

  • Get the FREE plan here (includes detailed instructions, measurements, and bonus tips).

Supplies

Tools

  • Tape Measure
  • Miter Saw
  • Scroll Saw
  • Brad Nailer (optional)
  • Pin Nailer (optional)

Step 1. Make the Box

Cut four pieces of wood to length for the top, bottom and sides.

Apply glue to the ends of the top and bottom, position the sides, and attach using brad nails.

Using a brad nailer to assemble the box for a DIY snowman lantern

Step 2. Attach the Slats

Cut five pieces of wood to length for the slats.

Use the diagram in the printed plan to position the slats on the box and attach them using brad nails.

💡 TIP: I used MDF pieces between the slats to help position them, but you could use any similar material, like plywood.

Attaching the slats to a DIY snowman lantern with a brad nailer

Step 3. Attach the Back

Cut three pieces of wood to length for the back.

Position the pieces on the back and attach using brad nails.

📝 NOTE: The bottom of the back is open, so you can easily slide in the flameless LED candle.

The printed plan uses multiple boards for the back, but I only needed one piece because I used plywood instead. I used a jigsaw to make an opening for the flameless candle.

Using a brad nailer to attach the back to a wood DIY snowman lantern

Step 4. Paint the Snowman Lantern

See How Do You Finish the DIY Wooden Snowman Lantern for more information.


Step 5. Attach the Face

Print the face pattern at the end of the printed plan.

💡 TIP: Make sure the scale is set to 100% when printing the PDF pattern.

I like to make my patterns rigid, so the pencil has a guide to follow. So I sprayed adhesive on a manila folder, placed the snowman face on top, and cut out the design with scissors.

Using scissors to cut out the template for a DIY snowman lantern

I positioned the pattern on the plywood and drew around it with a pencil. I used 3mm plywood for my snowman, but you can use whatever thin material you have, such as hardboard, paneling, luan, etc.

After I traced the face shapes onto the wood, I used my scroll saw to cut them out.

Next, I smoothed any rough edges with 120-grit sandpaper.

After that, I painted the shapes with the same charcoal paint I used for the lantern.

Once the paint dried, I placed the shapes on the lantern and attached them using glue and pin nails.


Step 6. Attach the Hat

Cut one piece of wood to length for the bottom of the hat.

Use the diagram in the printed plan to position the bottom of the hat on the face and attach using brad nails.

Cut one piece of wood to length for the top of the hat.

Use the diagram in the printed plan to position the top on the hat’s bottom and attach using brad nails.



Final Thoughts

This fun and festive snowman is sure to add some holiday cheer to your winter decor. It’s a quick and easy project to make with supplies you might already have on hand in your workshop.

Get your free plan (including the detailed instructions and measurements) now!

Thank you for stopping by. If you enjoyed this tutorial, would you please take a moment and pin it to Pinterest? I’d really appreciate it!


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