DIY Frosted Garden Lanterns

by Daisy

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.

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jules August 22, 2011 at 3:56 am

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

Maria August 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

I love this idea! So nice for a late summer evening outside!

Bobbi Jo Nichols August 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

These are so pretty! I am going to be making some of these for our backyard. Thanks for the great idea. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

nadia September 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Loved your blog on votives so I featured you on my garden blog!

Judi December 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm

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

Odie oreo May 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Send me more diy, i love it

Jessica June 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

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?

Daisy June 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

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.

Jodie November 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm

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???

Jewella Calpito August 31, 2013 at 5:12 am

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

Daisy August 31, 2013 at 5:36 am

I don’t see why not!

Jewella Calpito September 1, 2013 at 12:48 am

Thank you so much! I will use poster paint! ^^

Linda July 23, 2015 at 1:03 pm

Maybe if you lightly score around the leaf shape with an X-ACTO knife before removing the vinyl, it wouldn’t remove the paint. I love this idea – got my paint and I’m going to try some to hang on my screen porch!

Daisy July 23, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Good idea, Linda!

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