Thursday, August 6, 2009

tutorial: hanging jar lanterns!

a little tutorial on how to make lovely recycled hanging lanterns and planters.

Begin by gathering your supplies.
You will need:
1. A wire cutter (Make sure it has a blade for steel if you use steel wire)
2. A roll of wire (I used 26g jewelry wire for some, 10g wire for others, and green floral wire to give different look to a few of my lanterns)
3. A cleaned out glass jar with a lip (usually any jar that originally had a lid will have a lip on top)
4. If using thick wire, you might also need
needle nose pliers.
5. Upside down Crate and Barrel box as a work surface and cat helpers are not necessary but offer an added touch of fun!

Unroll your wire and cut off a length. I didn't measure my lengths but they were all about as long as my two hands could stretch apart. It is fun to use different lengths if you are making a bunch of these.

Your length of wire should look like this:

Holding both ends of the wire, loop it just under the top lip of the jar. If you are using a very thin or floral wire, you may want to loop it twice:

Cross one side over the other:

Twist the wire together as if you are twisting one of those trash bag or produce bag ties shut (If you are using a very thick wire you may need to use the pliers for this step):

Twist it at least 2 or 3 times:

Here is the fun part: you can
either keep twisting it in the same fashion until the entire length of wire is all twisted up together, or you can go the easy way! Pick up your wire in one hand and spin the jar with your other hand:

Keep spinning it in the same direction until all of the wire is twisted together. This takes a couple of twists and your cat may or may not get really excited.

Finished wire should look like a simple braided wire:

Take the free end of the newly twisted wire and loop it around the to the other side of the jar:

Now the tricky part: you need to wiggle this wire through that original loop of wire, which is under the lip of the jar. It might take a few tries to get it under there:

Now you need to twist these two wires together to secure it. Just twist the free end around the handle of twisted wire:

Twist it up as far as it will go and then trim any loose ends:

YAY! YOU DID IT! You now have a recycled jar lantern or planter. I have also been hanging these in my office to hold supplies. The possibilities are endless.

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