This Wednesday marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It's also the first day of winter.
It's time to welcome light back into our lives. In honour of the Winter Solstice, we made some ice lanterns.
It's as easy as finding some plastic containers or tin cans, water and some natural sprigs of greenery and berries. You also need tea lights or candles.
These ice lanterns are stunning and incredibly easy to make. They make beautiful table centerpieces or put them on your porch when hosting. You can easily burn them inside too, just be sure they are sitting on a rimmed container to catch the water as the lantern melts.
Let's get started with how to make an ice lantern….
Rummage through your recycling bin…find some larger cans like tomato cans and smaller ones like soup, pop cans or ice cream containers. Wash them.
You are looking for containers that nestle together. The space between the two cans will be the lantern. The little weighted can in the middle provides the space for the candle.
Place the smaller container inside of the larger one. Add weight (rocks work best) to keep the inner container in place.
Slowly pour water into the space between the two containers.
Add sprigs of greenery, berries, fruit, pinecones and any treasures you can find.
Carefully place the lantern in the freezer or outside overnight if it’s cold enough.
Once frozen you’re ready to reveal your lovely lantern by removing the ice from your fancy mold…aka the cans.
Remove the rocks from the smaller inside container and run warm water around the outside of the can and the bottom. If you can, pull the inside can out. If it’s still too stuck just fill it with very warm water and dump it out. This sometimes takes a minute or two but once slightly melted, you can easily pull the inside can out of the ice.
Now you have the inside can out. Then run warm water around the outside container, once it lets go, gently pull the lantern out of the can.
Stand Back and admire the beauty you just created.
Place your ice lantern on something that will catch water and is fireproof.
Then light a tea light and place it inside the lantern. Even inside, these will last an evening. Outside if it’s cold you could relight each evening for days depending on the temperatures.
I’m warning you…making these lanterns is addictive. Now that you’ve made one, you’ll want to make more. It’s really fun. Start experimenting with different sized containers. A bucket sized one for our porch is next up on our list.
Creating simple yet beautiful ice lanterns is a way for us to connect with nature, and to welcome beauty and light into our lives.
Now go, make some ice lanterns, you’ll be glad you did.