If you're looking for a cheap, easy, safe, and last-minute Halloween decoration idea, our flameless lantern is a perfect fit! It looks great in the daytime, spooky in the nighttime, and you can re-purpose it after the holiday is over.
Supplies (for 1 lantern):
- a glass jar (any size and any shape, as long as you can fit the flameless tea light inside)
- paint (I used white acrylic paint and chalkboard paint)
- string, twine, or cord (I used a thick twine that is suitable for the outdoors)
- a pair of scissors
- a screwdriver
- a battery-operated tea light (make sure it comes with the battery!)
- blue tape (the kind you use for painting)
- sand (optional)
Cost: Since I had all of these supplies at home, this project didn't cost me anything. If you don't have a battery-operated tea light, you can buy a "pumpkin light" almost anywhere. If you haven't seen them, try the grocery store near the pumpkin carving supplies. A hardware supply store will also have them year-round.
- Paint the lid of the jar. (I painted mine white.) After it dries, puncture a hole in the center using a screwdriver. (I recommend doing this outside to avoid damaging furniture and whatnot.) If you're having trouble, hit the top of the screwdriver with a mallet. Next, feed your twine through the hole, then tie a knot on the inside (the "bottom" of the lid). Make it big enough so the knot will stay securely in place once you hang your jar.
- (OPTIONAL) Paint the bottom half of the jar with chalkboard paint. You can use blue tape around the center to get a clean line. See our "Chalkboard Paint Tips" below.
- (OPTIONAL) Fill the jar partway with sand. (This will allow the top of the tea light "flame" to peek through.)
- Place the battery-operated tea light inside the jar.
- Tie the twine and lid to a strong tree branch. Screw the jar into the lid, and there you have it: a safe and spooky lantern that won't catch anything on fire!
When Halloween is over, you can store the tea light, sand, and lid, then use the jar itself as a cute pencil cup or storage container. (I actually made these last year...so all I had to do this year was tie them back up in the tree.)
Helpful Hint :: Do NOT leave these lanterns outside if it rains. The water will seep into the jar and get the tea light wet, rendering it useless.