Monday, January 9, 2012

Put a Little Twinkle in your Life

Here's a super easy little project I put together over the Christmas holidays using my ever growing stash of "used" candle jars.

This little display of twinkling tea light lanterns positively lit up our festive season and provided the perfect backdrop for long leisurely family dinners out on the verandah.

Now I make no excuse for the fact that I am an absolute candleholic!  Along with fresh flowers - scented candles are the one thing I cannot live without.

Glasshouse Candles are my absolute favourite.
At the moment beautiful "Miami" with its unmistakable pomelo and grapefruit fragrance is wafting its way through the house.  Ah, bliss.....

A vase of flowers and a scented candle -  all is well in my world!

Equally as beautiful (and a good bit cheaper!) are the range of Glade scented candles which are available in most supermarkets. 
I usually have a couple of these on the go as well.  
"Vanilla" - "Wild Raspberry" - positively scrumptious!

Problem is - what to do with the jars once the candles have finished burning?

So this is where my little tea light lantern project was hatched.

I have put together this  tutorial as a perfect New Year recycling project.  

Step 1 :  So for this project you will need an empty candle jar (or 2 or 3);  wire; jute (string); pair of pliers/wire cutters; scissors, tealight candle.  (Gosh - my father's old pliers look positively antique!)

Step 2 :  Cut a piece of wire long enough to wrap around the base of your jar and cross over at the side.  

Step 3 :  Grab your pliers and twist the wire until the wire is firmly secured around the base of the jar.  

Tip :  Because the jar is slightly tapered, i.e. smaller circumference at the bottom than the top - if you secure it firmly at the base it won't slip up over the top of the jar.

Step 4 :  Snip off an excess wire with a pair of wire cutters and then twist your little wire knot slightly towards the top.

Step 5 :   Cut 3 lengths of jute/string depending on how long you want your lanterns to hang.   I staggered mine so that some lanterns were slightly shorter than others.   Hmm... not sure about the colour? of this string but it was all I could find at the time and it does look slightly festive looking - don't you think?

Step 6:  Remove the wire cradle from the jar and tie lengths of string equi-distant around the circumference of the cradle.

Step 7 :  Place your jar back in its wire cradle.

Step 8 :   Now gather your lengths of string together and hold at the top.  Lift off your surface to make sure it is hanging straight.  Adjust your string lengths if needed.  (Last thing you want is a crooked candle!)

Step 9:   Once you are happy that your lantern is hanging straight - tie a knot with the three lengths of string around 5-10 cm from the end.

Step 10 :    Then tie another knot right at the end. 

Step 11 :   Snip off the excess string

Step 12 :  Grab your tea light.  (I picked up a box of 100 tea lights from Target for $7)

Step 13 :    Place tea light in the base of the jar.

Step 14 :  Secure (between the two end knots) to a nail or hook.   Yes, that is a jungle out there!

And then once dusk comes.......

Light up and enjoy!

(I love my little lanterns so much that they are staying up ALL year).

I hope you manage to get a little twinkle in your life in 2012!

Linking up with

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


  1. Hi Sharyne

    Your tea light lanterns look wonderful!! What a great way to use those empty candle jars.

    Me, being too scared to venture outside once the sun goes down, I would have to just be content to view them through the window, lol.

    Michelle :o)

  2. They look lovely Sharyne! What a cute project and a great way to pretty up a patio.

    Hope you've had a good start to the New Year x

  3. Love it Sharyne! I'll be trying this one out for sure! If only I had a beautiful deck like yours to hang them from! Jx

  4. You should definitely keep them up all year they look fabulous. I also have a few of those empty candle jars (ikea are even cheaper than glade) and they just sit in the bottom of the pantry just waiting for me to do something with them. Thanks for this lvely idea.
    PS made some more biscotti and it was just as delicious as the first batch.

  5. Your lanterns look lovely. Wish I'd seen them before I bought mine. Enjoy the lovely summer evenings.
    Cheers Kylie

  6. Oh they are so pretty Sharyn. I can just imagine the serenity sitting out on your porch in the candlelight.... with the sounds of wildlife keeping you company.... heaven. A-M xx

  7. PS. Left the e off your name sorry. Didn't check before publishing. Distracted by fighting children. xx

  8. Hi lovely,

    You've been quiet for a looooong time. Are you ok?

    This lantern idea is gorgeous! I can't wait until its warm enough here to eat out again. I LOVE foing that - plus no crumbs to wipe up off the floor!!



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