Chances are, cabin fever hasn’t set in quite yet …
But we can all use a little inspiration to get outside on a chilly day, right?
Even better … a winter’s night.
Well, here’s a super COOL idea:
These crystalline cuties, which traditionally hail from the world’s most wintery northern latitudes, are a good way to spark your appreciation of the season’s stark beauty or light a pathway that invites guests into your home.
Ice lanterns have the lavish look of blown glass, but they’re a snap to make.
I like the way they transform the outdoors into a winter wonderland—even in the absence of snow.
Depending on the sizes and shape of lanterns you’d like to create, choose from a variety of flexible plastic containers to freeze them in, such as:
- Mixing bowls
- Yogurt containers
You’ll also need:
- Smaller containers that fit inside the ones above, such as cups and empty plastic containers
- Rocks or marbles to fill the smaller containers
- Branches, berries, grasses, or herbs (optional)
- Candles or electric tea lights
Here’s how you do it:
- Fill the larger container with water, leaving about 1/2 inch of space between the water surface and the top of the small inner container (the inner container should remain dry inside).
2. Place the smaller container inside the larger container.
3. Fill the smaller container with marbles or rocks to keep it weighted down.
4. You can arrange small natural decorations, like leaves, in the water if you want.
5. If you expect freezing temperatures outside for the next 10 to 12 hours, set your containers outside to freeze. If not, they can be placed in your freezer.
6. When frozen solid, pull the inner container from the ice, creating a hole where you will place your candle. Turn the outer container upside down to release your “lantern” (you may need a smidgen of warm water to loosen the container from the ice).
7. If you’re working indoors, whisk your lanterns outside as quickly as possible. They can be placed with the holes facing up and candles or tea lights inserted in the holes. You can also turn the lanterns upside down, sliding the holes over candles or tea lights.
8. Candle flames will slowly melt the ice, but on a frigid night, the lanterns will hold their shape and blaze for hours.