The world (well, the Pinterest World) has re-discovered mason jars. Once used mostly for canning (and the occasional desperate drink of water when every other glass in the cupboard was dirty), mason jars are now the craft item du jour.
And when I see a party happening, I invite myself to that party. Hello Mason Jar fiesta – may I join you?
Inspired by lantern-jars that I saw on a recent camping trip, I have been anxious to try this craft at home. I merely had to say, “Do you guys want to make lanterns?” and the girls were already sitting impatiently at their picnic table.
I grabbed three jars from my canning stash, some acrylic paint, and some paintbrushes.
Being the hyper-control-freak that I am, I poured out the exact same palette for each painter. This way, the lanterns would all match, regardless of the painting choices.
(You’ll notice that the paint is on a paper plate - this makes for very easy clean-up, especially when crafting with the preschooler set)
The kids both set to work on painting their jars.
We turned them upside down and painted on the outside of the jars. The girls loved mixing colours and creating their own design. The acrylic covered the glass easily.
As well as the picnic table, and the children. Here, Lucy saying, “I didn’t do it!”
The entire mason jar should be covered in paint and then left to dry completely. The children will ask incessantly, “Is it dry yet? How about now?”
Once the paint is dry, take sandpaper and rough up the paint. This is so that there are peek-a-boo spaces in the paint in order to let the light shine through. (Can you read that and not get the song stuck in your head? “Let…. the light shine through…”).
Lila came up with an awesome sanding technique: she dragged the jar across the paper.
After we had distressed our jars, I coated each one in Mod Podge Outdoor. This stuff is rad-tastic. That’s all I have to say about that. (Also, let it dry – it stays tacky for a bit longer than regular Mod Podge)
While the Mod Podge is drying – and while the children are dancing around their still-tacky jars exclaiming, “Can we light it YET?” – tie twine around the rim of a snap lid. Trim the edges, and continue watching the children blow on their drying mason jar lanterns.
When you twist the rim onto the jar, hold onto the two pieces of twine, and it should twist on and secure it easily. Otherwise, the twine will slip as you twist it and create an uneven handle.
When the lantern is dry and given its “rustic-chic” handle, add a light. Now, if little beaners are going to be carrying these lanterns, use a battery-operated tea-light as the light. I do love the look of flickering candlelight, but I much prefer my children to be scorch-mark free.
Lila waited until just before her bedtime to test out her lantern. Because summer has the longest days, this picture doesn’t really show the full potential of these lanterns
After she had gone to bed, and the sun was slipping beneath the horizon, I snapped these photos.
These lanterns can be hung on fences, on walls, from gazebos….
Or even gathered as a centerpiece.
The girls were so proud of their lanterns. They’re carefully placed on our patio table, waiting for nightfall to come. (And for happy little kidlets to admire their glow)
This project would be a great one for a sleepover, a campout, or even just a quiet night of watching the stars.
This post was originally shared at The Taylor House
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