I made these for table decor for a show that a friend produced over the weekend. The design was inspired by a Moroccan screen that I saw and fell in love with. I made a first version that is 8" tall, but decided that it’s probably too large for restaurant tables. I cut that down to a 6" tall lantern that ended up being perfect. I made a keyed holder for the candles, though it could be left out and a pillar candle used instead. I have a pile of LED tea lights that I used for the show, though most likely a real tea light would work in it. I didn’t have time to test that theory to see if my glue would hold up to the heat of a tea light. Something to play with this week I suppose.
I didn’t have time to order materials, so had to use what I could find locally. I wanted 1/8" mdf, but could not find any plain. What I did end up with was marker board/chalk board on mdf. It cuts beautifully, but man does it make a mess. I had to clean the machine several times in order to keep the cuts from not going all the way through the material. Cleaning for the most part isn’t too bad, but dang it’s hard to get to the fan in the back. At one point, the fan was so dirty that the smoke started curling up thru the lid. Eventually I found that using a 1" chip brush to get into the fan grill with the vacuum hose right next to it was a pretty good fix. I even took a duster to the inside of the exhaust hose just to be safe. The cable track gizmo on the fan side is quite filthy and I can’t get to it to clean it properly. Sigh. That’s next on my figure out how to clean list.
Several people were very interested in these at the show, and I have even gotten an order from the restaurant to make enough for all his tables. Bonus!!
These are proofgrade mdf. I put actual glass votive holders in them to see how it would look. Something I might do again when I know that live fire is ok.
The collection of assembled lanterns.
I finally got to put my logo on a finished product.
Glowing happily on a table. I was afraid the LED light would be too dim. It was perfect.