DIY Fairy Lanterns are a wonderful recycling project to make with your kids. Fun for magical summer nights, great for sleepovers too.
My girls love to venture into the backyard to play out their fairytale fantasies, which usually revolve around princesses or fairies (no huge shocker there). They are forever taking items from the house to use as “props” to incorporate into their little skits. And while I know half the fun of make-believe is pretending an item is something different entirely, I thought my little fairies might like real lanterns for their pixie escapades during twilight.
Fortunately, I save a lot of items for recycling or repurposing, so I had two pretty mason jars (old spaghetti sauce jars) already on hand for this makeover — one lantern for each of my fairies. Even better was finding the floral wire, a rainbow selection of glitter, Mod Podge and my newly purchased battery-operated, flickering-flame tea lights from the dollar store to round out this DIY. I may allow my girls to play with glass jars but I have to draw the line at giving them real candles, after all. 😉
Here’s the supply list:
- Mason jars, 2
- Floral wire, 2 (or other bendable wire)
- Various types of glitter (the more, the merrier!)
- Mod Podge
- Paintbrush with long handle
- 1/2″-thick ribbon (in whatever color your fairy requests)
- Small container to mix glitter (optional)
- Wire cutters/pliers (optional, but helpful)
First I mixed up my own “pixie dust” glitter, made from pinks, purples, blues, and clear shimmers. I used green glitter for the base color since I wanted it to look somewhat like moss, with the pixie dust contrasting against the more earthy hue.
I “painted” streaks of Mod Podge on the inside of the jar and then dumped the green glitter into the jar. After some shaking, I had something that remotely resembled moss … or at least my less-discerning fairies thought it looked like moss creeping up the inside of the jar. Once the green glitter dried, I painted more glue streaks inside but above the green, added my pixie glitter, and gave it a good shake.
Side note: Be sure to dump the excess glitter after you’re sure it’s adhered everywhere you need it!
While the glitter was drying, I used the floral wire to make a handle. It proved to be a lot easier than I expected and I was able to make it without cutting the wire until the very end (originally thought I’d need two pieces). All I did was bend the wire around the neck of the jar, but left the excess wire free to make the actual handle. I twisted the short end around the wire circle around the neck of the jar (make sure it won’t slide off!), and then slightly bent the excess wire to the other side and twisted the end enough to secure it to the other side of the wire. It’s not the easiest process to explain, but if you’re the least bit crafty it’ll be a breeze to do. I did use the needle-nose pliers to flatten the twisted wire ends, but you can twist them by hand too. After flattening the twisted ends on the handle, I tied small pieces of ribbon on each side to mask the twisted wire and to keep the ends from catching on clothes or scratching little hands. And it doesn’t hurt that the ribbon just makes the whole project look finished.
Once your glitter and glue are completely dry, place the tealight on the bottom of the jar. And now you have a fairy lantern!