Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Garden Lanterns

The recent beautiful weather has given us some perfect evenings to enjoy our garden & catch up with friends, while the children enjoy playing in the early evening sun.


These little recycled glass lanterns are perfect for evenings like this & can be used inside or out. The handle means they can be used as a hanging decoration outside too, great for parties or just adding some magical little lights to the garden.


To create each lantern we used:
Small food jars (empty & clean)
Around half a metre of steel wire (not too thick for little hands to bend)
A Selection of beads
Heavy duty scissors
Tealights

I have to add that obviously young children shouldn't be left alone with wire, beads, candles or glass.

I started by wrapping the wire around the top of the jar & secured by tying a knot. Minnie then wound the wire around the top of the jar another four times. (We had to wind this around as tightly as possible as it would hold the wire handle later.) To secure the 'rings' of wire we had just made at the top of the jar, we looped the wire under the top two rings, & wound it around several times to secure.

To decorate the jar Minnie threaded her chosen beads onto the end of the wire.


When she had finished threading her beads, we wrapped the decorated wire around the jar (as we had done before with the 'rings') & secured it by looping the wire through & tying a knot.



To make the handle we used the remaining wire which Minnie threaded more beads onto. We looped the wire over to create the handle shape, making sure the beads stayed at the base of the wire so they didn't fly off!

The wire handle just before we secured it to the top of the jar.


To secure the wire handle we looped it under the top 2 wire 'rings' at the top of the jar, & bent the wire round them to secure. This needs to be really tight for the handle to hold the weight of the jar.
Any excess wire can be cut using heavy duty scissors.

And your jar is ready to use!

We added tea lights to the lanterns, but small citronella candles would work well especially for barbecues.


This is a great activity to do as a family, & great to share & enjoy the results together.

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