It is coming up to the summer solstice / midsummer / Litha, it's celebrated on the 21st June and is the longest day of the year, so we thought we would make some Tea light holders from old, recycled jars to use in the garden. In the lovely summer evenings these lanterns look very pretty hanging from branches, and give the garden a magical touch.
This craft can very easily be done by children, but it does require that an adult first makes the handle from wire if the children are very small. The wire handles above were twisted by my husband and he has used various methods and wires to do this.
This one is the simplest one, the wire has been wound round the top of the jar, twisted together and then the handle has been looped through and bent up.
This one has had a loop incorporated into wire each side of the jar and then wound round and fastened off. The handle has then been added as shown above.
This handle on this jar has been made by twisting the thin copper wire salvaged from a coil in the back of an old computer power supply. So choose your method of fixing and type of wire and once this part has been done anyone can decorate the lanterns, even small children or they can be left plain.
The blue jar has been sprayed with glass paint to give it this wonderfully deep colour and it is quite possible to use stencils to get a design on the jar but we have chosen to add star shaped sequins. We call this one 'the starry night lantern'.
Next we tried to make a lantern look like it was surrounded by fireflies, some have been stuck on the jar and some have been suspended on wire to give the illusion that they are flying around the flame. So this is 'the firefly lantern'.
We decided to leave the little hexagonal jar plain as the light reflects nicely and the last jar was decorated with leaf skeletons as you can see below. The photograph enlarges if you click on it, in case you need a closer look.
The decorations are purely personal choice and you could really go to town with this and be as ornate as you like,my daughter was considering jewels. This is a lovely way to recycle jars and they make a nice touch to the garden.
This is the starry night lantern hanging in my willow tree in the grotto, looks lovely all lit up but my photographs after dark did not come out too well. If you are hanging the lanterns please be sure you do it safely, make sure they can't be knocked down and smashed, or that pieces of the tree will not catch fire.
The lanterns after dark look really quite beautiful and definitely add a touch of magic and a hint of romance.