Ice Lanterns

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:

  • Buckets
  • Mixing bowls
  • Yogurt containers
  • Pitchers

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:

  1. 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.



  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Way neat! Will definitely make some of these!

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Love these but alas, not possible here where temps are way above freezing at night. I bet they make a spectacular display in the right setting.

  3. Lunaticreations says:

    you could use the led tea lights instead and they wouldn’t melt as fast

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  5. Lisa Arthur says:

    Beautiful and sounds fun and easy! 🕯

  6. Would love to do this. But , alas, no time. With full time job and other responsibilities these extra fun things just don’t happen. How do those of you who do it find time to do it??? Yes, I know one finds time to do what they want. However……….. just doesn’t happen. :(. Maybe some day when my life is slows down. …………Am making the Eggnog French toast !! Now that looks too good to miss and perfect for Christmas breakfast !!

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