Winter Mason Jar Lanterns

In you case you missed my first craft contributor post on Or So She Says, here it is in full for your d.i.y. pleasure!

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

So, I’m eager to share with you all my newest d.i.y. creation: Winter Mason Jar Lanterns.  This project combines three of my loves: mason jars, candlelight, and SNOW!

Mark and I moved to Florida this past summer, so this is my first “tropical” winter.  Although I’m loving the warmer weather, I do miss that childlike awe that comes with waking up to the world blanketed in fresh, white snow.  So, I thought that I could bring the “snow” down south while making our backyard more welcoming to guests with some winter mason jar lanterns.

Here’s the how-to, so you can whip up your own lanterns this season:

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

Where to find these items?  The wire can be picked up at your local hardware store; I found the votive candles in a 12-pack at Hobby Lobby – – it worked out to about 50 cents each; the mason jars were on sale for $1.40 each at Hobby Lobby; glitter came from my craft bin, but you can find it at any craft store; the Epsom salts were a dollar store find!  This project is inexpensive – – just the way I like it.

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

Don’t let the sight of tools intimidate you!  I don’t consider myself super handy when it comes to tools, but this project was very do-able for me.  The hubster helped me with the wire wrangling, and I’ll break it down for you in such a way that I KNOW it will be do-able for you, too.  Here we go.

Step 1.  Cut the wire into two pieces, 14″ each.  TIP: with a wire bender, sometimes you have to crimp the wire, then bend it to break it.  Take one piece that will become our “handle.”  Round it into a horseshoe by wrapping it around the jar.  Set it aside.

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

Step 2.  Take the second piece of wire that we’ll call the “circle” and wrap it around the jar in between the bottom ridge and the middle thread.  Chevron the two ends (criss cross them).  Use your vise grips to clamp the wires where they cross and give a single twist.  You should still be able to remove the “circle” from the jar.

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

Step 3.  Take your “handle” piece and using your vise grips, clamp the wire 1″ from one of the ends; bend that portion of the wire inward, 180 degrees.  Release.  Pinch the bended portion, so that you end up with a tight u-turn.  Repeat this on the other end.

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

Step 4.  Hook the u-turns on the “handle” piece over the “circle” piece.  Twist the ends on the handle around themselves so the sharp part is facing inside toward the jar.  Trim any excess pieces now.

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

Step 5.  Put the now-combined wire pieces on the jar and rest the “circle” part in the same spot as you did in step 2; line up the twisted ends of the circle on the “back” of your jar.  Line up your handle so the two ends are across from each other.  Grab the two ends of the circle with your vice grips and twist again and again and again, until it sufficiently tightens up.  (Here’s where you might invite a second set of hands to come and help steady the wire while you twist.)  Trim any excess pieces of wire on the ends.

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

Step 6.  Take a thick cloth and use it as a buffer between your thumb and the wire as you press the twisted ends flat against the jar.

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

And your jar is ready to be winterized!

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

Step 7.  Mix up a concoction of Epsom salts and disco glitter to create the impression of glistening snow.  Nestle your votive candle into the “snow” and light your candle.

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

I don’t know about you, but to me, there’s something magical about the glittering snow inside these quaint mason jars…and they sure do make this season a bit more “wintry” for those of us in warmer climes.

Winter Mason Jar Lanterns by The Thinking Closet

Until next time,

This is Lauren, signing off.

 

 

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Lovely comments so far...

    • says

      Aw, thanks, Kenley! I’m oft in need of reminders, too! And it seems that the projects that I forget to pin are the ones that I most want to create down the line, and I’m like, “Blast! Why didn’t I pin that idea when I saw it?” So glad this one inspired you and made it to your Pinterest boards. :-)

      • staci says

        I’m new to Pintrest & oh so addicted. I too have made the Mason jar lights. I used any wide mouth glass jars, pickle jars, salsa jars, you name it glass wide mouth jars. The colored Mason or Ball jars work great, too. I used heavy jewelry wire to make longer hangers as I hang them from our tree branches. I change out the “filling” in the jars with the seasons, sand in the summer, seed corn for Fall, etc. Whatever I have or trips my trigger. I use tealights I buy cheapo at Big Lots. Gives me 4hours of burn time, in case I forget to blow them out. They look magical at night. Looks great for Trick-or-Trick. We have lots of ” mood” fires in our fire ring in the evenings.

        • says

          Oh wow! Your mason jar lanterns sound delightful! I’ve been toying with creating ones for all seasons…and now your comment has revived that fire in me! Just in time for Halloween. Thanks, Staci!

  1. lilmrstori says

    So cute! I love the picture of the mason jar hanging on the tree behind the lake! I had no idea you were from FL:) I’m from there too and went to UCF. :)

    • says

      How true (that you can do anything with mason jars)! One of my greatest “craft” regrets is giving away the group of 10 or so blue mason jars I had painstakingly collected for our wedding. Why did I do that? We were downsizing, and at the time, I was so knee deep in teaching, I didn’t think I’d ever have the time to do anything with them. Oh how I am kicking myself about that now!

      And thanks for your kind words about the lanterns. They make me happy!

    • says

      That’s funny that you wrote that (about the lanterns looking cute on a side table) because that’s where ours are right now! I’ve been putting them out for special occasions and when we have visitors and then, they’re resting on our coffee table, so we can enjoy them in the day to day. It’s working out great!

    • says

      Thanks! I guess I make tutorials the way I love them – – though it’s probably T.M.I. to some, but I figure, I’d rather people have too much info rather than too little. ;-) Thanks for the pin and sweet comment, Kristen!

  2. says

    Very sweet jars. I’m in the southern, coastal part of Maine so we struggle with Keeping our snow…it just went from 0 to 50degrees this week. I love these and can picture them hanging on my deck on these still so short days. Lisa

    • says

      Wow, that’s quite a temperature shift! Guess that’s the coast for ya. It’s finally getting cool enough here to where I can wear a three-quarter-sleeved sweater, but still, we’re FAR from snow. These little lanterns help bring the spirit of winter, even if we don’t have the weather for it. Hope you enjoy “these still so short days,” as you so beautifully put it.

  3. says

    Winter (if you can call it that) in Florida is very different than most parts of the country. We had friends who lived in Homestead and were so proud to say that every Christmas Eve they’d go swimming in their pool! Wherever you are, I hope you enjoy this “winter” season! :)

    • says

      Yes, I’m still getting used to FL winter. We probably could have gone swimming on Christmas Eve, except that we were in NY visiting my family…and there was actually SNOW! Was really thankful to get that dose of real snow before heading back south. Now, I have my lanterns to remind me what season it is!

    • says

      Thanks, Christina! I knew you’d appreciate this being a fellow Orlando-nian. :-) I hear this winter has been unseasonably warm compared to most. I’m just glad to have the cold front come through…so it feels more like “fall.”

  4. says

    This is such a great idea! Josh and I almost did something similar to this for our wedding! Love it! I might have to make some for the house one of these days with all the mason jars I have squirreled away!

    • says

      Love that verb: “squirreled.” It conjures up such a vivid image, doesn’t it? I can’t wait to see some pics of your DIY wedding. Do you plan to post them retroactively? I’m actually planning to do that this summer (4 years after our wedding). Thanks for stopping by, Audra, and again, so glad that you have entered the blogging world!

  5. Donna says

    Great idea. Thanks for your wonderful tutorial. They will look so nice on the lanai. I too live in sunny Florida.

    • says

      Oooo! A fellow Floridian? Yay! And you have a lanai? We’re hoping to have one in our future home (we’re still renting right now). “Lanais” were a new concept to me before moving to Florida – – but they’re so ideal for this climate – – and I could see the mason jar lanterns really dressing up a lanai nicely.

    • says

      Wow! Way to go on the deck building. That’s ambitious stuff, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy many a good time out there. I’m so glad to meet a fellow fan of intimate lighting. It can really set a sweet mood, can’t it?

  6. says

    This is one of my favorites of your recent projects! I can envision these sweet little lanterns lighting up an evening outdoor wedding or intimate party on a deck. Thank you for sharing them at Monday Makeover. I know my visitors will enjoy them as much as I do!

    On a side note, your hands look so pretty in the pictures. I know that sounds a little strange to say, but I think I noticed because I posted a picture in one of my tutorials with my hands in it and my husband was laughing – for some reason the angle of the picture made my finger look “like a sausage”. He was quick to clarify that they don’t look like sausages in real life, just in that picture. I didn’t know whether to smack him or laugh; but you know I chose laugh! So I guess that’s why I noticed your pretty hand today :)
    Thanks for the great tutorial!

    • says

      That’s not strange to say, at all! I take that as a great compliment. I actually never much liked my hands; my fingers felt TOO long and thin growing up…and I have several crooked fingers from breaking them in my J.V. basketball days…and a runt pointer finger on my left hand, which I suspect was a result of breaking it as a baby and it not healing properly. They’re imperfect, but they’re mine. So, I suppose I’d better appreciate them! (Thanks for your sweet words.)

      And your story about being accused of having a finger “like a sausage” made my smile. I’m glad you chose to laugh! Life’s too short to take comments like that too seriously. And good thing your husband clarified it was just the angle of the photo. Silly guy!

  7. says

    Thanks so much for linking to Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill. You are being featured tomorrow morning!
    I hope you are having a wonderful weekend, and join me tomorrow night for Make the Scene Monday #61!

    • says

      Thanks, sister! I’m glad it turned out. The light was dying on me (and the sky was quite cloudy that day). Yet in some ways, the darker sky makes for more warmth coming from within the jar…that makes for a metaphor for life, doesn’t it?

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