How to make Mason jar lanterns
Mason jars tend to be one those items that collect in cottage cupboards. If you're not doing any canning, another great way to make use of the classic glassware is to turn them into a string of lanterns.
What you'll need: Six to eight mason jars with screw tops, medium gauge wire (three times the length of what you want the finished product to be), and tea lights.
Unscrew the lids from the jars and give them a good clean to remove any dirt and debris.
When selecting your wire, try a medium-gauge wire—it's easier to bend and will therefore hold its shape better than a smaller gauge of wire.
Begin by leaving yourself at least two to three feet of wire at the end. The excess wire will be used for hanging the string of lanterns.
Wrap the wire around the jar, just below the threads where the top screws on. Wrapping the wire two to three times around the jar should be enough to keep it secure. Give the wire an extra twist if you're concerned about whether or not it will hold. Continue down the length of the wire, adding jars as desired.
Alternative method: If you are willing to sacrifice a few lids, punch one hole into opposing sides of the lid. A hammer and sharp awl should do the trick, but you can also break out the power drill if you're feeling confident. Feed the wire through the holes and screw the lid on the jar. Continue with the remaining jars.
Once all of the jars are wound in the wire, drop tea lights in and screw the top of the jar back on, without the metal cap. Time to string it up! We found that the lights looked best strung between trees or porch posts. Be sure to wrap the wire around the posts a few times, giving an extra twist at the end to keep it secure.
Once the lanterns are hung, it's time to light the candles. A barbecue lighter should work for this.
Mason jars are perfect for this project, as the flame against the glass creates a beautiful, soft glow. So, next time you dig out Mason jars from the cupboard think about giving them a new life as a lantern!
Tip: Bring the jars indoors in the winter. Remove the wire and use as candle holders.