Food jars = DIY hanging lanterns

Jars with candles hanging from wire attached to a railing, photo

Do you have a balcony or porch railing and some jam jars? This is a cheap and easy way to shed some light for trick-or-treaters, or just create a mood for nighttime porch sitting. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about the wind (or little feet) knocking them over. (This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a small commission. You can read my full disclosure here.)

How to make hanging jar lanterns

Supplies for making hanging jar lanterns, photo

1. If you’re using old food jars, soak them in warm water, then peel or rub off the labels. Wash and dry completely. (Because the jars in the photo were already done, I used a couple salsa jars for this how-to).

Cutting the wire, photo

2. Cut a piece of wire a few inches longer than the circumference of the mouth of your jar. Bend the it around the mouth of the jar to create a circle, but don’t twist the ends just yet. Cut another piece of wire about 11 inches long — this will be the handle.

Looping the handle onto another piece of wire, photo

3. Bend the 11-inch piece in the shape of a “u,” then twist each end around opposite sides of the circle piece of wire.

Wrapping the wire around the jar, photo

4. Wrap the circle piece around the mouth of the jar again. Make sure the wire is tight beneath the grooves of the jar so it won’t slip off, then twist the ends together. Use pliers if you need to. Slide each end of the handle to the center of the jar, so it will hang straight.

Hanging the jar from a railing with wire, photo

5. Cut a piece of wire a few inches longer than the circumference of the railing you will be hanging the votive jars from. Twist-tie the votive handle to the railing. Bend the excess wire down so no one gets poked. Insert a votive and light it. Create impact by lining up many jars in a row.

Carfty Nest hanging jar lanterns Pinterest photo

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Yannick's hanging jar lantern, photo

Yannick Labelle made these from wire in her craft box and mason jars found on the side of the road. She wrote that at night when she’s sitting on her second-floor balcony with all the candles, people stop and stare and comment.

April's baby food jar lanterns, photo

April Rivero made these baby-food-jar lanterns for a baby shower she threw June 2009. She added beads to the wire for drama. Great idea, April!

H. Kate's hanging jar lantern, photo

H. Kate made this hanging jar lantern to hang from a hook that was left behind by the previous owner of her house seven years ago. Genius way to reuse.