Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Simple but Sweet Summer Lanterns

Mom recently made some really cute, simple and inexpensive summer lanterns out of jars, some screen and a little wire!  These lanterns are super sweet and I promptly hung them in my front yard tree.

She combined two craft projects into one.  She has an old Better Homes and Gardens "Celebrate the Season" book from 1998 (!!) and an article she tore out of Woman's Day magazine from 2004.  Just goes to show you how crafty mom really is!

Here's what you'll need to make them:

pliers, scissors, compass (string tied to a pencil, thumbtack)
piece of scrap paper
small jar
heavy rubber band
stiff screening (metal)
18-gauge wire (2 pieces)

Part 1:

To figure out how big the screen should be, multiply the height of the jar by two, then add the diameter of the bottom plus two inches.  This is the diameter of the screen piece you need.  Cut your string to the length of the radius (half the diameter you just figured out), and pin (or hold) the other end to the center of your scrap paper.

Bet you didn't think you'd have to be a math major to do this project!!

Draw a circle on the scrap paper using your homemade compass.  Cut out the circle and use this as your screen template.  Cut out the screen.

Place the jar in the center of the screen and form the screen around it. You may have to use the pliers to crimp it a little to make it stay in place.  Use the rubber band to hold the screen on, right under the lip of the jar.  This helps form the screen to the jar.

Thanks, Better Homes and Gardens!

Now on to Part 2:

Take off your rubber band and the screen.  Wrap a piece of wire around where the rubber band was and twist so it is secure.  Use the second wire to make a handle to hang your lantern by twisting each end around the first wire that is wrapped around the jar.  Also make sure this wire is secure.  Put your screen back on, using the pliers to crimp it a little into place.

Disclaimer so you don't burn down your tree, or your house, or your neighbor's house:

Make sure your wires are secure, and hang the lantern on a leafless, sturdy branch, far enough from the end of the branch so the lantern does not fall off.

Thanks to Woman's Day!!

Easy enough!  Here are more pics for you to enjoy!!

Lantern without the Screen


  1. Cute, cute idea...hooray for moms!

  2. These are adorable! Thanks for sharing!

  3. When I saw the pic, I was trying to guess what that material was... screening?! Love it. Very cute.


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