Ultimate Guide to Recycled Glass Jar Crafts

Recycled Glass Jar Lanterns

If you've ever been to a garden party with lanterns, you know how much beauty they can add to the scene. Fortunately, there's a way to achieve that with a minimal investment of money. Make hanging lanterns out of glass jars. Use a charming variety of shapes and sizes.

In addition to jars and votive candles, you'll need some copper or brass wire and a few standard tools -- pliers and a screwdriver. Depending on where you want to hang the lanterns, you may also need a power drill and screw-in hooks.

Cut a piece of wire so it's long enough to wrap around the mouth of a jar (under the screw-top threads) once, with a couple of inches to spare on each end. Wrap it around the mouth. Loop the ends together with pliers. Then, with pliers or a screwdriver, twist the slack wire around the mouth of the jar into two eye loops. (Slide the screwdriver under the wire to lift it, and then turn the screwdriver to twist the lifted part of the wire.) When you finish the second eye loop, the wire should be completely tight around the jar. You'll be attaching the hanger to these loops, so make sure the wire is secure.

Cut another length of wire, about one yard (1 m), to make the hanger. Fold it in half and use the pliers secure each end in an eye loop. Twist a hanging loop at the midpoint of the wire [source: iVillage].

Scoop a bit of sand or a handful of glass vase marbles into the bottom of the jar, to act as the base for the candle.

If you'd like to have different colors, use stained-glass paint or a spray-on sheer color to decorate the outside of the jars [source: Phillips]. You can get a slightly more opaque color by gluing tissue paper directly to the glass using diluted white glue. Lanterns in a variety of solid colors, stripes, geometric patterns and free-form floral designs can be quite festive. If you have a way to cut metal safely, you could also experiment with reusing tin cans to create cutout designs around the jars.

Speaking of candles, on the next page you can learn how to turn your old jars into container candles. Read on.