Lee Valley Treasure Trove
By Tara Mihalech
Mason jars are not just for preserving tomatoes and jams. These inexpensive and stylish containers have now found a place in home decor. I will admit, only half of the jars I’ve ever purchased have been for canning produce. I turned the other half into candle holders, vases, storage containers and more.
Now that summer is here, the flats of Mason jars sitting in your pantry or garage can be quickly transformed into summer lighting! The Mason jars are a quick and lovely way to add lighting to an outdoor dining table; they also look great tucked into the garden.
The pattern on the jars makes a lovely crystalline pattern on the surrounding surface. Blue and vintage Mason jars also make lovely lanterns. It’s important to note that the blue jar will absorb the light more, so more lanterns might be necessary for proper lighting.
The painted lantern is a great one for kids to try. We made these lanterns when my girls were two and four years old. The entire exterior of the jar is painted and left to dry. It’s okay if there are little “peekaboo” spots in the paint, as this is where the light will escape.
KID-FRIENDLY PAINTED LANTERNS
– Mason jars with screw rings
– Acrylic or chalk paint
– Paint brushes
– Sanding block
– Clear sealant
– Mod Podge®
– Outdoor or a spray sealer
After the paint is dry, a light sanding will reveal spots of glass where the light will shine through. Cover the jars in a coat of spray-on (or brush-on) clear sealant and let dry. To hang the lanterns, we tied a twine loop to the screw ring and then secured it to the jar top.
I’ve found that battery-operated tea lights are great for use in Mason jar lanterns as they will stay cool and won’t spill wax.
Get that flat of jars out of storage and light up your space!