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

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.


  1. Cute! and very pretty too! I'm very impressed at her threading skills. There's no way my 2 year old could do such little beads yet!

  2. Isn't simplicity just adorable!? Love the little beads, they look wonderful and the final picture with them all little up is fabulous!

    Thank you for your faithful linking up to Kids Get Crafty!!!


  3. Thank you Anna:-) Minnie has been interested in threading activities for some time now & has become really skilled at manipulating tiny beads & buttons. She turned 3yrs this week, so I guess those extra few months help a little ;-)

  4. Thanks Maggy! I agree, simple things are always the best! ;-)

  5. These look fantastic! I want some :)

  6. Nice idea! I really like how your lanterns turned out. Will start collecting jars now :)

  7. These scream summer weather and we are ready! I just bookmarked your cute idea to be sure the kids and I make them with our collection of glass baby food jars. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love these hanging lanterns..they are really neat and I love that kids could help out with this one too. I hope it's okay, I couldn't help but feature your pretty hanging lanterns on my mason jar craft and decor round-up. You can see it here:

    Thank you so much for sharing!