Well this weekend was absolutely glorious, as predicted. That was good news for be because I’d been planning a BBQ to celebrate my friend Audrey’s birthday. I wanted to create atmosphere with candles but was worried about the wind blowing them out. The perfect solution? Use old jars to make hanging lantern tea light holders. Hang them in a tree for a particularly whimsical effect.
You will need
Glass jars – jam jars would do, the main thing is that the jars need a rim, and the neck needs to be wide enough to fit a candle in.
Bottle nosed pliers
Step 1 Cut a length of wire about 40cm long. Use the bottle nosed pliers to create a small loop in the wire about a third of the way along its length.
Step 2 Hold the loop against the rim of the jar and wrap the wire around the circumference so that the two ends of the wire cross over directly opposite the loop.
Step 3 Pull the wire tight so that it hugs all the way around the edge of the jar, using the pliers if necessary.
Step 4 Use the pliers to make a hook from one end of the wire around the other length, and then trim the remainder. The long end that is left will become the handle of the lantern.
Step 5 With the long end of wire that is remaining, make a handle for the lantern and insert the end into the loop you made in step 1. It’s up to you how long to make the handle – the longer it is the more the lanterns will sway in the breeze.
Step 6 Use the pliers to hook the loose end of wire around the loop (that you made in step 1), so securing everything in place, then trim off the end of the remainder.
Step 7 Repeat steps 1-6 with all your jars. Put a tea light in each jar. Now it’s time to decide were you want to hang the lanterns. Choose a spot that has something solid at each end on which to attach the line that you’ll hang the lanterns on – I decided to go for two branches of a tree.
Step 8 Measure a length of wire that is long enough to run from the two attachment points (in my case, the tree branches) then add on another meter or so and cut the wire. Using your hands or the pliers (depending on how thick the wire is) make little dents in the wire at equal distances along the length.
Step 9 Attach the wire at one end by creating a loop (say, around the tree branch, or a pole) then string on the lanterns one at a time. The handles should sit nicely in the dents along the length of the wire, holding them in place.
Now all that’s left to do is light the candles, sit back and enjoy the balmy evening by candlelight!