Six Steps to making Patio Lanterns…


I’m not sure when I stopped doing DIY projects as there was a time that a glue gun and gold spray paint were my very best friends! But…at some point I packed up the craft room and never looked back.

And then yesterday, in the middle of a glorious day of sitting in the sun…I got to thinking how much I enjoyed puttering around and making things and the next thing you know…I was heading to my local craft store to gather up the supplies needed to make a few candle lanterns to hang from my patio umbrella!

In case you’d like to make some…here’s what I did!


Step One: Gather Your Supplies

I picked up three mason jars, a bag of sand, some votive holders and candles, glass rocks and wire jute.

I’d planned on using mason jars I had at home…then using 20 gauge wire to twist and braid into a handle…but then I found these…


And…since the jars were essentially cheaper than the 20 gauge wire…I bought the jars!

So…Step One of my first craft project in forever…I CHEATED!


Step Two: Add Sand and Rocks

OK…so I completely cheated here as well and BOUGHT a bag of sand and a bag of rocks at the craft store. HOWEVER, you could gather sand and beach glass or shells from the beach this summer if you actually have time to go to the beach. Me…I only seem to have time to go to the craft store!

Also…since I was sitting on the deck crafting and it was hot out and I had my hands in sand and was thinking how awesome it would be to sit on the beach at that very moment…I cracked a beer.

Note: If you do want to be all authentic and actually gather the stuff…keep in mind you’ll want to sterilize the rocks and sand and shells that you bring home (’cause you don’t want to get syphilis from your patio lanterns!) To sterilize collected beach treasures, rinse them off, place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 300 degree oven for about an hour. (Make sure the sand and rocks are completely cooled before using!)


Step Three: Add Votive Candles

I chose to purchase a few votive holders that fit perfectly into the top of the mason jar…resting on the sides of the glass.  While I could put the candles directly on the sand and rocks, I kind of liked the way the candle looked sitting a little higher.

There was no cheating here…unless you consider the fact that I didn’t make the candles from scratch but who are we kidding!


Step Four: Cut Wire

Luckily I have tools for every occasion and every craft so I didn’t have to purchase a pair of wire cutters. If these are wire cutters. I don’t know…but they worked.

Also…I found this cool “jute” wire at the craft store and thought it would add a fun look. I considered ribbon…but I don’t like “bows” all that much and I was trying to figure out a way to hang the lanterns from the umbrella in a fairly easy manner. I looked at purchasing S hooks in varying lengths…but they were adding up to be a little bit more expensive for my taste and since I was already purchasing bottles, sand and rocks…I didn’t want to go overboard on the budget! In the end, I rather liked the way the jute wire looked and I was able to hang the lanterns from the umbrella in varying lengths.


Step Five: Admire Work

So with everything hung…I sat back to admire the look…cracked a beer and remembered how much I enjoyed making things…patted myself on the back and thought about what it was going to look like at night when the candles were lit.



Step Six: Consider Fire Hazard

And that’s when I started to think about fire. Basically…I pictured the candle sitting up nice and high in the votive holder…catching fire to the jute wire burning all the way to the top of the string like a string of dynamite and then catching the fabric of the umbrella and the whole thing bursting into flames!

So…I removed the votive holders and popped the candles back down into the rocks and sand…giving a much safer distance between the flame and the jute wire!

So I could enjoy these beautiful new patio lanterns at night!


And that my friends, is how you make three lanterns, drink two beer, have a small panic attack…and get back into crafting!

2 Replies to “Six Steps to making Patio Lanterns…”

  1. I am so glad you came to that conclusion on your own, without me having to have a panic attack to point it out. 😀

    Meanwhile, you have offered so many fantastic options and really in the end this is really patio lanterns two ways! Hanging or freestanding.