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Jelly Jar Lantern

Turn an empty clear jelly jar glass into a quick-and-easy lantern. All it takes is a little copper wire. These lanterns also can be used as flower vases or utensil holders.

Jelly jar lantern hanging in a trellis opening

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Needle nose pliers


  • 3-1/4-in clear jelly jar glass globe, #220231
  • 18-gauge copper wire, #62938, or steel wire, #62933
  • Painter’s tape (optional)
  • Flat white spray paint (optional)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

If you plan to add the optional strip of frosted glass to the lantern, use tape to mask off the wide center band and cover the rest of the jar with paper. Spray a light coat of flat white paint around the band and let dry.

Step 2

Cut a piece of any 18-gauge or 20-gauge wire 14 inches long. Using pliers, twist two 3/4-inch loops roughly centered on the wire and 4-3/4 inches apart.

Step 3

Wrap the wire with the loops around the recessed area below the lip of the jar and twist the ends tightly together to hold the wire in place. Clip off the excess twisted wire and fold the cut ends against the glass.

Step 4

Cut a 4-inch piece of wire for the handle and make a 1/2-inch open loop on each end. Place one of the loops on the jar band into an open loop on the handle. Close the handle loop and repeat for the other side.

Step 5

Jelly jar lanterns

Add a votive candle, tea light, or electric light to the lantern, and hang or display it.

Step 6

Copper-wire version of the lantern

For an alternate look using copper wire, wrap once around the jar and form a 3/4-inch loop by wrapping the wire around the end of the pliers. Then make two tight loops around the 3/4-inch loop before adding four or five more wraps around the glass. Finish by twisting a second loop in the wire, wrapping wire one time around the glass, and tying off the end around the loop. For the handle, cut a 50-inch piece of wire and pass it back and forth between the jar loops to form a large handle. Twist the last end around the second loop and clip off the excess.