Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mason Jar Lanterns

With summer coming (it has to come sometime, right?) I start thinking about barbecues and backyard gatherings. And then I start thinking about all the fun things I can do to decorate and set the stage for those barbecues. And I like to do it with the least amount of money possible.

I love to look through catalogs and get inspiration ideas for decorating. A couple of weeks ago I was looking through a Pottery Barn catalog and found these really cool mason jar hanging lanterns for $7.00 each that I fell in love with. 

And then it hit me. I could make my own for a fraction of the price. Because I'm really cheap like that. :) So I went to Walmart and got a case of 12 one pint mason jars for $7.70 and then headed to Home Depot to get some 18 gauge aluminum wire for $3.48/50 feet. I spent that evening crafting away.

Here's how I made the lanterns. For each jar, I cut 2 pieces of wire, one 28 inches and one 24 inches. I twisted the wire and used a pair of needle nosed pliers to twist a two loops opposite each other and tuck the excess wire ends under to hide them. I then twisted the 24 inch piece of wire and made handle with hooks on each end to loop through the jar loops.

And here is my finished product....

My twist in the wire is definitely not as perfect as the inspiration jar, but since I'm not a perfectionist I'm really happy with the way they turned out. The best part is that it only cost me $11.18 for the supplies to make 12 jars, so I decided to get a box of these small mason jars to use as tealight holders. Just because.

If you would like more ideas on what you can to with jars, check out this Family Fun link