Jam Jar Lantern

Get creative and up-cycle a jam jar to make a decorative lantern


Re-use an old jam jar to make a festive lantern to brighten up the long winter evenings.

What to do

Make sure the jam jar for your lantern is squeaky clean. It is also a good idea to cover your workspace in old newspaper or something you don’t mind getting messy.

First, draw some silhouette designs on your black paper. Think about what size will work on your jar and stand out. You might want to make a seasonal picture or stick a message on the lantern. Keeping it fairly simple will make it easier to do the cutting out.

When you are happy with your design, cut it out and stick your silhouette onto your jar.

Put your jar to the side to dry, and cut or tear your coloured tissue paper into pieces about the size of a 2p piece.

Now stick a layer of tissue paper over your jar with the PVA glue. If you have a range of colours, think how you want the pattern to go. Maybe you want the colours in stripes or a rainbow? Or perhaps you fancy something a bit more random and just want to stick the colours on as they come to you. You can relate the colours to your silhouette shape, or ignore it for now and just make a beautiful pattern.

Let it completely dry.

You can twist up a pipe cleaner to make a handle if you want.

Finally put your night light inside your jar and enjoy your lantern.

Safety Tip

You can get LED night-lights for a totally safe option. However, if you are using a candle night light, make sure an adult is around to supervise and ensure that your lantern is in a safe place.

Take it Further

Is there anything else could you use for the outside of your jar? The tissue paper is translucent, so you can see the light coming through it. Can you find some interesting translucent leaves to decorate the outside of your lantern?

Try another craft project using glue and tissue paper — make a tissue paper bowl.

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