Medieval Lantern




About: Well I'm not a pro in any way, but I just love to make things of all kinds. I like rock and epic music, good food, norse mythology, biking, hiking, larping and so on... But there's one nemesis - Math. Yet I ...

Hello friends!

Today I'll show you, how I made this medieval style lantern!

I made it as a cool camping equipment for larp and historical events.

Step 1: What You Will Need?

  • rawhide (I used canvas, but I hope I'll have some rawhide from my friend soon)
  • wood plank
  • wooden sticks
  • wire
  • leather
  • thread and needle
  • hinges
  • nails
  • hook
  • glue
  • drill
  • saw
  • hammer

Step 2: Bases

First step is to make some bases from wooden plank.

Choose your dimensions and shape (I wanted to make two lanterns, so one is a square and second one is an octagon).

Then just cut it on the saw.

After that clean it and champfer the edges with a belt sander (or just use a sand paper or a file)

Step 3: Assembling

As a next step, take sticks and cut them to desired length. Now take your bases and drill holes for the sticks according to the diameter of sticks and then drill some airholes (the bigger the better!). Then try to insert sticks in the holes so you would see, if they fit ( mine came out pretty crooked :D).

After that attach some candle holder. I used a piece of sheet metal and a nail.

Last step is to glue sticks and bases together. I only used 7 of them, because I needed some space for door and spaces between sticks were too small.

Step 4: Wrapping

Now leave a joiner job for a moment because it's time to take a parchment or canvas and needle with thread.

Measure the circumference and height of the lantern and sketch it on canvas. Be sure to add some space for stitching.

Then just cut it out and sew it to the lantern.

It's good to use pins ;)

Step 5: Door

Almost last step is making some door.

Take the square stick and cut it according to the dimensions of the lantern (my door were something about 9cm X 14,5cm). Then nail the sticks together. You can use a glue as I did.

Then put the frame on the fabric. After that draw the shape for covering and cut it. Again I used glue and nail to secure it in the right place.

I also wanted some cool picture which would be seen when the candle is fired, so I painted some bird motif on the door.

Next step is to attach a door handle. I used a scrap piece of stick and a nail.

You can also add some hook and a loop as a lock, but mine door are pretty tough, so I didn't add it.

Last step is adding the hinges. First nail them on the door and after thet attach it to the lantern.

Step 6: Handle

And we got to the final step!

I decided to make the holding strap out of leather.

I think it doesn't require a long comment. Just take a piece of leather belt and nail it to sides of the lantern :)

You could also use some hooks and a wire.

Step 7: Let There Be Light!

And we got to the finish line!

So go get your candle and let there be light!

I'm not sure, how much historically acurate is this octagonal lantern (because of hinges and stuff). But I'll post the square lantern as soon as I'll get the parchment raw hide, so it should be better. But I think that for LARPing it's just fine! :)

I also had to enlarge the ventilation holes because the small ones weren't so efective when it came to the draining the hot air.

But my conclusion: I love it! And I can't wait for an opportunity to use it!

And I hope you like it too!

So be sure to leave a comment ;)



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    21 Discussions

    F. ToddP1

    3 years ago

    Very Nice. I like the versitiliyy of the build, you can interchange the
    fabric patterns for a fresh look every few months. For the fire
    concern people had mentioned in comments; I would take some tin or old
    pop can and put a thin sheet of Al on the underside of the top to help
    disapate heat and act as a fire stop for the wood. Puls it would be
    easyier to clean if any soot build up.

    Victor Does

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great for the atmosphere in my living room. Perfect for these darker days. :)


    Thank you! Well yeah, you must be very careful. You have to make the lantern high enough and make really big ventilations holes. But LEDs are great solution too ;)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    A good alternative to rawhide is really thin horn. Cut the rough shape from the cow horn, boil it for 10 minutes, pull and flatten. Weight it with something really heavy while it cools. Once cooled, it will remain flat. You can then run it through a planer or hand plane as you see fit. Horn was the plastic of pre-plastics.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! Thanks for information! I didn't know that :)

    But I don't have a cow horn as well :D (in fact I'm looking for one for drinking ). Anyway it's so interesting, that I would like to try it sometime.

    Thank you for comment! :)


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Another source is chew toys for dogs. Soak in a sink or bathtub to make pliable, and then cut / reshape to your preference. (I learned this making drum heads for ren faires)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Always nice to see your projects. It would have been more authentic if you hadn't used power tools - try chisel & axe next time, or fire, or a sword, I'm sure you'll love it - but that's just a note in the side. Well done my friend, keep that fire burnin'!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction


    Well, that's an interesting idea! I kinda like carving the wood with my knife, so maybe my next lantern will be made the old way :D


    4 years ago

    Do you think it'd be possible for a small lightbulb to be wired on the inside? It would make a great table lamp.

    2 replies