During the summer months, there’s a period of the day between dusk and nightfall when it’s not dark enough to turn on lamps, but a bit of soft lighting would be nice. Whether camping or enjoying the comfort of your own backyard, the solution to this lighting dilemma is simple: make gypsy-inspired hanging lanterns. They cast a warm glow, are less cumbersome than flashlights, and can be used for decoration indoors or out. Using gypsy-inspired items being in fashion and décor is a hot trend right now, and these beautiful hanging lanterns fit right in.
These hanging lanterns can be strung on a single wire or in a group — garland-style. Be aware that wires may get hot, especially when using a single lantern, and never leave your lanterns unattended
Gypsy-Inspired Lanterns can be used for decoration indoors or out.
Materials to Make Hanging Lanterns:
- Recycled jars that have been cleaned and dried
- 1-2 Small bottles of Simulated liquid leading found in the glass art section of craft stores — note: smaller bottles are easier to work with
- Various colored glass paints (optional)
- Wire cutters (I’ll admit, I’ve used and ruined regular scissors for this, but scissors CAN be used in a pinch)
- Tea light candles
- Newspaper to cover your work space
- Paper and pencil (optional)
Directions to Make Gypsy Inspired Lanterns:
- It helps to practice drawing gypsy inspired patterns before diving into this project. I used lace and quilt patterns as my inspiration.
- Lay newspaper over your workspace. This craft project can get a bit messy.
- Make sure your jars are cleaned and dried.
- Use your liquid leading to create designs on the outside of your jars. The easiest way to organize your patterns is to make sure you create a top perimeter of liquid leading and a bottom one. Then start making boxes, diamonds, or other shapes and designs. You can go back and add to these patterns with dots, lines, and accents.
- When you have covered your jar with various patterns, allow the liquid leading to dry.
- If you like your jar as is (only liquid leading, no glass paint), wrap a wire around the lip of the jar and secure tightly. From this wire you can attach a hanging wire (if using a single lantern) or a connecting wire (if making a string of lanterns).
- I have photographed these lanterns at both stages so you can see how they look plain versus painted.
- If you are going to paint your lanterns, proceed to the next steps.
- Painting your lanterns is easy. Simply apply glass paints to the glass. I chose brown, red and gold to paint my lanterns.
- Allow paints to dry.
Now you can hang the lanterns on a single wire or garland-style. Be aware that wires may get hot, especially when using a single lantern.
A Quick Note About Liquid Leading
If you haven’t worked with Simulated Liquid Leading before, let me provide a quick tutorial. First, liquid leading creates a stained glass effect on glass projects. You use it to create outlines of where glass paint can be painted, much like the real leading in stained glass windows.
Liquid leading does NOT contain lead.