Week 2 – DIY Jar Lanterns

Weekly DIY Idea: Easy DIY Lanterns in 2 Styles

DIY Jar Lantern

DIY Fairy Light

For this week’s DIY, here’s two quick tutorials for how to make your own lanterns using jars and other household items.

Lantern 1: Paper Lantern in a Jar

For this DIY, you’ll need the following supplies: tissue paper, a round jar with a screw top lid, an LED flameless tea light, black paper, scissors, a glue stick, writing utensils, and tape (optional). If you’d like to make your own stencils, grab an optional piece of card stock or blank paper to make your shapes.

Paper Lantern supplies

Reuse an old jar that you have at home like a jam or salsa jar and remove the label (if applicable). We found that a round, pint-size jar worked best. You can also use any colour of tissue paper, but a lighter colour usually works best.

Grab a piece of tissue paper, you can choose to use a fresh sheet or one that’s already been used. A used sheet will add a crinkle texture to your design, but you’ll still want to flatten/smooth it out. After grabbing your sheet of tissue paper, you’ll want to fold it half. Wrap your jar to measure how much tissue paper you’ll need. When wrapping the jar, make sure the folded crease is at the bottom so when you cut the piece out it’ll be one piece.

Wrap the jar in the tissue paper

Mark the side of the jar to determine how much paper you’ll need.

Marking side of jar

And mark the top height of the jar. Give yourself an extra centimetre on the top and the side when measuring.

marking the top of jar

Use a ruler to measure out the length of the top and side and then cut the shape out.

Cutting out the box

Now here comes the fun! Think of a design with custom shapes. I used stars and a space theme to match this year’s Summer Reading Club theme. If you plan to make multiple jars you can make your own stencils on card stock to recreate the design. You can also print off your own shapes and cut them out.

Stencils for jar

Fun tip: when freehanding shapes, use a pencil first and then go over it with a black marker. Also if you don’t have card stock at home, recycle a thin piece of cardboard box like a cereal box. This was a recycled piece of card stock from a folder.

Use a pencil  to draw out your shapes and design onto the black paper. You can use your stencils or freehand simple shapes. You can create a scene or create a random design. Just make sure your design/shapes will fit onto your sheet of tissue paper you cut.

stencil on black paper

Lay out your shapes and your design. Remember to give yourself some space at the edges for design to properly show up.

design laid out

When you’re happy with the placement, begin to glue down your design. Remember to use a glue stick, white/liquid glue will wrinkle the tissue paper and be seen on the other side.

Design laid out.

After gluing down your pieces, carefully wrap your design into a circle.

wrapped design

Now carefully place your sheet into your jar. You will need to adjust it once it’s inside by gentle pushing it up against the glass to even it out. Once you’re happy with the placement you may want to use tape at the top lip to keep it in place. However, it usually stays in place.

design inside the jar

Lastly, turn on your flameless tea light. Please DO NOT USE a tea light that you light. You can find a flameless candle at the dollar store. Or you can use a glow stick that fits as well, except it’ll only be lit while the glow stick glows. After it’s lit, pop the lid back on.

And at last, you have your own DIY paper lantern in a jar!

There are so many possibilities with what you designs you can make with your own DIY paper lanterns. These lights are portable and you can take with them with you when exploring the night sky in your yard. Make a few for friends too!

Create your own jar lanterns and share them with us! We’d love to show off what you make on our Instagram page!

Lantern 2: Mason Jar Fairy Light

For this tutorial, you’ll only need two supplies: a flip top mason jar (a jar with a hinge and latch) and wire fairy string lights. For the fairy lights, you can use one with an electric plug or a battery pack. You should be able to find fairy lights at a dollar store or craft supply store. For the mason jar, remove the gasket (a rubber ring on the lid) before we start the next step.

Supplies for Mason Jar Fairy Light

Fun tip: reuse a flip top mason jar you might have at home.

Carefully untangle your fairy lights and begin to thread them through the hinge of the lid. If you’re using a fairy light with a battery pack, you can ignore this step and begin to fill your jar with the lights.

Up close shot of fairy lights

Threading fairy lights through flip top mason jar lid

As you thread more of the lights into the jar, begin to bunch/scrunch the lights up so they make an abstract shape.

Fairy lights coiled in jar

After putting the string lights through, close your lid towards the end of the exposed part of wire. Make sure you don’t squish a light with the jar. If you were using a battery pack light, you can tuck your battery pack in the centre of your design so it is not as visible or tape it to the inside of the lid.

Back of mason jar when closed

And there you have it! A super cool and fun fairy light or star jar in less than 5 minutes! Use it in your room or make one for your balcony. Or better yet, make one for a friend or family member as a nice gift.

Fairy lights in the dark

Don’t forget to share your fairy lights with us! We’d love to show off what you make on our Instagram page!