Flower Lanterns for Spring

Until a few weeks ago my winter garden was looking dreary & drowsy under somber skies. Then who should emerge from their wintertide dreams but the jonquils... They rubbed the sleep from their eyes to make their pretty faces shine. Now, they seem to laugh at the antics of the squirrels and mock the Sun who is still hiding his face under blankets of gray.

Inspired by my friends the jonquils, I have made some picture-lanterns. I love this project because it is so gratifyingly easy. In December, my seven year old created an elegant lantern striped with circles of green, blue & brown with hardly a word from me (he just got busy, and when I looked up from my own work, he was nearly done!) I also made an ocean-themed picture lantern which you can see here.

To create your own picture lanterns, all you need are some recycled jars, mod-podge and German kite paper. To start off, I like to cover my jars with white kite paper or tissue paper. This creates a uniform background for the pictures you will create and candles will have a softer glow when lit inside.

To cover your jars, brush a thin layer of mod-podge all over the glass and then lay the paper on top of it. If any areas do not stick well, you can also go over the top of your paper with a bit more mod-podge. The paper will wrinkle as you wrap it around the jars (as you can see in my photos) but I personally like a bit of texture anyhow.

Either before you put your base-layer of paper on your jars (or after the mod-podge has dried) you will want to measure the height of your jars and also around the middle. Then trim some plain white pieces of printer paper or newsprint to the measurements from the jars. This will allow you to know how much space you have for your picture-collage and help with the design...

Then you can start cutting and arranging...

Once you are satisfied with your design, brush a thin layer of mod-podge over half of the jar, arrange your bits of paper and then proceed with the rest of the jar. Note: After I have placed my colored bits of paper on the jar, I usually brush them over again quickly with some mod-podge to help them stick and lie flat.

If you wish, after your design is set on the jar and the mod-podge has dried, you can go over it all once again with a thin layer of mod-podge. This will seal things up nicely.

The Vernal Equinox will be here in less than a week... wishing you endless flowers to welcome Spring with joy!


  1. Don't jonquils just smell divine.
    Love your lanterns...I was so excited the other day when I say Mod-Podge in a shop here I bought two tubs! I always read about it's variety of uses but have never been able to find it here.

  2. This looks like a lovely project to do with kids. Fun!

  3. Oh MY Goodness!! These are too perfect and adorable -- want to make some with my own girls tomorrow. Shared this post on my Facebook page because it's too adorable to keep to myself!

    Got your sweet little snowdrop doll in yesterday's mail - the girls absconded her immediately!

    I mailed your package today ; )
    My peg doll post goes live on Monday.


  4. they're just beautiful! I'm afraid I just might have to make some!!!
    xo maureen

    ps...and I say "afraid" because I'm up to my neck in craft projects these days!!!!

  5. Hi Faith, Arianne, Marylea & Maureen -- This is indeed a great project to do with children. With supervision a 3 or 4 year old could lend a hand, while children 5 and up could do it all by them selves! For younger children it's fun to just cut or tear shapes of paper and cover the whole lantern. You can see examples here http://motherrhythm.blogspot.com/search/label/making%20things?updated-max=2010-12-19T19%3A29%3A00%2B10%3A00&max-results=20

    Maureen -- I know what you mean by "up to your neck in projects..." I'm suffering excess inspiration at the moment (but not excess free time!) Luckily, this project only took me about 45 minutes or maybe an hour (did it during baby's early afternoon nap, start to finish!!!)

  6. This is really cute! We made some Jack-o-lantern jars using a similar process last fall. I love that these can be a vase!

  7. I don't know how I've never stopped in here before, but what fun you are sharing! Thank-you!!

  8. This is so cute! I included it in my weekend roundup post here:


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