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A lamp to light your path

Project ideas and inspiration from Good magazine

Guide visitors to your doorstep on gloomy winter nights using colourful handmade lanterns.

These lanterns are easy to make using upcycled jars and tins and their high sides help them stay alight on the stormiest of evenings.

Homemade lanterns

Upcycling jars into lanterns

You will need

For the jars

Use your scissors to cut the clear acetate into stars or other simple shapes and stick these firmly to the inside of the jars. Pour a small amount of metallic paint into each jar and swirl it around. I used Resene Stun. The paint will naturally run off the sides to the bottom of the jar so you may need to swirl it around the inside of the jar a number of times before it dries. For extra streaks, turn the jar upside down onto a sheet of newspaper to drain. Once the paint is fully dry, carefully remove the acetate sticker. To hang your jars bend wire around the rim of the jar and twist together. Add a handle by looping a second short wire through and twisting each end to secure. Drop a tea light into the bottom of the jar and light it using a long candle.

Upcycled jar lanterns

Upcycled jar lanterns 2

Supplies needed to make jar lanterns

For the tins

Fill a tin with firmly packed sand. Tape over the top using gaffer tape. Mark a pattern on the outside of the tin using your felt pen. Lay the tin on its side and while holding the tin secure (I used my feet to do this!) punch or drill a series of holes. Drill two holes at the top of the tin where you want to attach a wire handle. Empty out the sand and wash the tin. Add the handle by looping the wire through the two top holes and twisting the ends to secure. Coat with Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat. Once the paint is fully dry, top coat with a Resene metallic paint in a shade of your choice. I used Resene Gold Dust. When dry, drop a tea light into the bottom of the tin and light it using a long candle.

Upcycled tin lanterns

Homemade jar lanterns

Styling and photography by Sarah Heeringa.

Download this article as a PDF

Good magazine projects
Wanting to tackle a project at your place but only have a weekend to spare? Get inspired with these projects from Good magazine. Reclaim and upcycle with paint.

View Good projects | View all projects


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