Autumn Lantern Tutorial

Every Autumn, Camellia Waldorf School takes up the art of lantern making, helping students to bring light to the shorter days and longer nights of Winter.


There are many ways to make lanterns, some designs are made of recycled jars, and others are made of paper mache and watercolor paper.


The lanterns made of jars hold up well and can be used all year round, year after year. Some families use them at their dinner table or as a night light. They are also beautiful gifts and the fact that they can be made from upcycled jars, helps to make this an earth-friendly project. Below are instructions for the jar lantern design.



Materials Needed:

  • Multi-color tissue paper

  • Mason or recycled jar in any size - shorter jars make lighting the candle easier

  • Battery-operated tea lights or small candles (with supervision)

  • 3/4 white glue to 1/4 water (or if using a thick glue, like Elmers, 1/2 and 1/2) or Modge Podge

  • Scissors

  • Yarn, twine, floral wire, or wire

  • Paintbrush

How to Create the Lantern:

  1. Wash the jars

  2. Cut out simple shapes from the tissue paper and layer different colors of tissue paper around the outside of the jar, while applying the water and glue mixture over the tissue paper, one layer at a time with a paintbrush. Please note that the lighter colors of tissue paper work well as they allow for the light to come through brighter.

Making the Handle:


There are many different ways to make the handle - wire, floral wire, and twine are all great options. Colorcraft has a great tutorial for creating a handle out of twine - see below.


1. Cut three pieces of twine.

2. One piece that is big enough to tie around the jar and two longer pieces that will be how you hang or hold it, so just cut those as long as you want

3. Tie the longer pieces to the smaller piece of twine.

4. Tie the smaller piece around the mason jar.

5. Adjust the longer strings to make sure that they are evenly spaced around the mason jar so the jar hangs straight.

6. Wrap some extra twine around the jar, just for looks.


Photo courtesy of Colorone crafts.


My frugal Adventures also has a wonderful tutorial of creating a handle from floral wire which is what we have used at Camellia for both the jar lanterns and paper mache.


Check out this great tutorial on how to make the paper mache lantern, another favorite here at Camellia!


We love to see photos of lanterns, please send them our way!