Recycled Pallet Block Lanterns

By: Michelle Leslie from
Recycled Pallet Block Laterns
Recycled Pallet Block Lanterns
This image courtesy of

From the blogger: "Pallets come in all shapes and sizes and can be used for so many different things. We were given some block pallets by a friend of ours and the blocks (those square pieces of wood that separate the top and bottom boards) make the perfect base for a shabby-chic lantern. All you need is some an old oil lantern burner, some pallet blocks, sandpaper and wood sealer."

Note from the designer: "Interesting pallet fact – you get two types of wooden pallets “stringer” pallets and “block” pallets. Block pallets are common in Europe, Central and South America and Africa, while stringer pallets dominate in the States. Some of the larger retailers like Walmart and Costco are moving towards block pallets as they are stronger and can be lifted from any side. Silly me, I thought all pallets were created equal."

Estimated CostUnder $10

Time to CompleteWeekend project

Primary TechniqueRepurposing



Materials List

  • Block Pallets
  • Wood Sealer
  • Oil Lantern
  • Sand paper
  • Rubber Stamp (optional)


Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Our blocks are made from chip board so we had to sand them down quite a bit to get a smooth finish. We started with 60 grit and finished off with 120 grit sandpaper. The blocks came out beautifully smooth.

  2. Measure the diameter of the base of the oil burner and use a hole saw to drill a hole in the block so that the burner would fit nicely. To get a shabby-chic look we used GripSeal wood stain. We applied two coats of Protea Brown and then two coats of Antique White.

  3. Once the last coat is dry to the touch we used 100 grit sandpaper to distress the block. Sand lightly in some areas and apply some elbow grease in others to get a naturally worn look. When you’re happy with the look, glue the oil burner in the hole at the top.

  4. Add a candle, a handle and the chimney and you’re done.

  5. As an optional extra you can rubber stamp a cute label on the front of the block.

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This is a cute project, but having had a bad experience with a long candle in a glass enclosure like that, I dont recommend using a candle of that size. I have had the glass burst from the heat of the candle when the candle was too long and close to the glass. I think a shorter candle would be fine, or even a tea light candle though. The shape of the glass will spread the light better that way too.

I built a time machine, but if I'm ever going to fit in when I travel back to the past, I need a lantern that looks more "yesterday." Lo and behold, THIS is IT! I must have it.

What a beautiful Recycled Pallet Block Lantern.I must make it.

These lanterns are so classic looking! I love everything vintage.


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