DIY Frosted Garden Lanterns

Easy Garden Lanterns

Whether you’re planning a garden party or looking for a way to add ambiance to everyday, garden lanterns are THE way to add just the right twinkle of warmth and illumination to your outdoor space.
And when they’re this easy and fun, you may have trouble knowing when to say when.

What you need:

Glass jars
Adhesive-backed shelf liner
Assorted leaves
Frosted glass spray
Wire (optional)

Trace the leaves onto the shelf liner and cut out with scissors.

Remove the paper backing from the shelf-paper leaf shapes.

Press them securely to the outside surface of the glass jars in a pleasing arrangement.
Spray, according to product instructions, all over the outside of the jars.  Allow to dry.

Remove the adhesive shapes.

If you want to hang your lanterns, cut a piece of wire the length of the circumference of the jar mouth plus some for twisting plus your desired handle size.  Twist wire around the mouth of the jars, below the threads.  Bend the wire over the jar in a handle shape and twist onto the wire on the opposite side of the mouth.
Fill jars about a third full with sand and push a candle into the sand to secure.  Wait for nightfall, and enjoy the romance.

Wipe down the outside of the jars with rubbing alcohol to remove any oil from your hands that might hinder adhesion of the shapes and frost spray.
Choose leaf shapes that are bold and graphic to make them easier to trace and cut out.
If your botanicals want to curl and twist, try pressing them with a warm iron under a piece of paper.
If you prefer not to use sand, drop in chunky votives or tea lights.  Light with long BBQ matchsticks or a candle lighter.
Thinner gauge wire is easier to twist.  Use gloves and bird-nosed pliers to work with heavier wire.
Paper backing can be tricky to remove from shapes.  Cut leaf stems extra long.  With the paper side up, fold down the tip end of the stem and tear the paper back at the fold.  Snip away the extra bit of stem at the end with scissors before sticking to jar.
To hang lanterns from tree branches, use S-hooks or a small length of extra wire.

P.S.  If this looks familiar, you may have seen my article in Birds & Blooms magazine.

Leave a Reply

  1. You are so clever. I love this one. I can just imagine Mom doing it too.

  2. Great idea and this could be used at Christmas and setting them around the walk or porch!

  3. I tried making theses and when ever I peel off the leave the frosted glass spray comes with it near the edges… I used Rust-oleum frosted glass spray. Any pointers?

  4. Jessica–Hm. I’m not sure. I used the same brand. I think I found that there’s a sweet spot somewhere in terms of dry time–not too soon, of course, but not leaving it too long, either. I wish I had a better tip for you. Just peel it slow and easy, too.

  5. I have had the same problem with the frost peeling off. I was worried about the frosting scratching off easily, do I did 3 coats and the vinyl took the frost off with it!! May be 1 coat of frosting and possibly sealing it with something to prevent scratches???

  6. The whole idea is very good for my project but I would like to ask if it can be painted? I just love lights that are colorful