Table Crafts: Easy Homemade Lanterns

I love glass in all forms from marbles to Murano sculptures to Victorian medicine bottles. Even glass that is used for everyday objects counts like jam jars, bottles, ramekins and anything with branding set into glass such as the cursive writing on Bon Maman jars. I’m a good recycler but I can also be a terrible hoarder. Every slightly unusual jar will be kept because, of course, one day I will use it for something really useful…like putting pens or dried thistles in it…or painting them to make homemade lanterns! These are so easy to do, you just need to allow a bit of time for drying. They will add a personal touch to your table and look great anywhere in the house. Mine look good in the bathroom next to the succulents and Penhaligon’s bath oil bottles.

What you need:

Jam/ chutney/ pesto/ any jars

Paint – I used sample pots of wall paint

A paintbrush

Mug of water


Paper towel or an old towel to dry the paintbrush on

Tea light candles

What you need to do:

1. Wash and dry the jam jars thoroughly.

2. Lay the newspaper out,  turn the jars upside down and start painting the bottoms. If you want to have the drip effect, pour paint onto the bottom, pick the jar up at the other end (but don’t turn it over) and swirl it around a bit so the paint slides over the edges, then put the jar down again and let the paint drip.

3. For the spotted chutney jar lantern I dipped the paintbrush into the paint then let it drip onto each side. But you have to let each side dry before dripping the spots onto the others.

4. Allow to dry for at least 2 hours.

Putting the candles in can be a delicate affair. I managed to light the candles first, hold them directly over the jar necks and drop them straight in without the flame going out.

It’s fun to paint various patterns on them as when the lit candles are inside the light will play against the surrounding surfaces in different patterns.

If you like this you will probably like Paint Dipped Picnic Cutlery:


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