Sweet Summer Craft: Lanterns to Light Your Way Home

Enjoy a family stroll under the stars this summer—and don't forget to bring along these handmade lanterns to light your way!

Photography by Andrea Tomkins

When our kids were small, we’d occasionally surprise them by taking them out on a post-bedtime walk around the neighborhood (okay, who am I kidding? They still LOVE to do this!). If we were feeling really crazy, we’d even let the kids go out in their pyjamas.

Sometimes we like to stretch out the anticipation of a nighttime walk by making special lanterns like these ones. The beads add a really pretty touch, and personalizes them, too.

What you’ll need:

  • A couple of jars (we used large jam jars we found at Value Village for 69 cents each)
  • 12-gauge aluminum wire (we bought it at Michael’s in a nice copper colour)
  • A selection of beads (make sure you choose ones that have wider holes so they will easily slip through the wire)
  • Wire cutters and needle-nose pliers sand
  • Tea lights or a small battery-powered votives


1. Wrap the wire so it fits snugly around the lip of the jar. Don’t make the handle just yet.

2. String your beads onto the wire, secure the handle and wrap it around the other end of the jar. Twist the wire to tighten. Make sure you leave enough space between the mouth of the jar and where your hand will be because even small candles can let off lots of heat. (And please don’t ever leave your children unattended with candles!)

3. Pour some sand in the bottom of the jar and firmly set your candle down in the middle. The sand will keep your candle from sliding around during your nighttime walk.

That’s it! Now all you have to do is wait until it gets dark to try it out.

Looking for another cute way to light up the night? Check out this light-up firefly craft.

Andrea Tomkins is a mother of two imps, and wife of one. She’s a freelance writer who is often found with camera in hand or scribbling madly in her notebook. She is passionate about arts and culture, travel and healthy living, and gets an extra big thrill out of helping parents and kids discover all the hidden treasures Ottawa has to offer. You can follow her adventures on her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, where she’s been writing about family life since 1999. 

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