Two dilemmas, one solution:
Dilemma 1: Paper lanterns don't hold up to rain, and string lights short out. (Not to mention, they can be pretty pricey!)
Dilemma 2: Old jam jars, mismatched glasses and solitary tea light holders that take up space, yet are too cute to recycle in the conventional manner.
Solution: Make lanterns that stand up to rain, won't short out (unless there's a strong wind!) and recycle that old glassware! Yay!
METHOD ONE (best for glasses, tea light holders, etc.)
**NOTE: I'm not sure why I put this one on first, because it's more complicated. You may want to scroll down and start with METHOD TWO.**
Cut two pieces of wire long enough so they can almost make a full circle (top to bottom) around your container.
Fold each piece in half and loop them together as shown.
Twist loops until each end of the wire is facing in the opposite direction.
Next, lay your container mouth-down on your work surface and center the looped wire intersection in the middle.
Carefully holding the wire in place with one hand, pick up your container and fold the wire ends in to the mouth and down the side.
You can cut the wire if it's too long, or to your own desired length. Make sure to keep some length for added support, though. I'd say at least one inch into your container at minimum.
Next, cut two pieces of wire roughly the same size as the first, or longer/shorter as you like. These will be the handle, so it's up to you how long you want it to be.
Using your needle nose pliers, twist a tiny hook in the end of each wire as shown.
Taking one lenth of wire, carefully hook the end under the bend where the support wire folds into the mouth of the container.
Pinch closed with needle nose pliers, and repeat with other end of wire on the opposite side. You should have an upside-down U shape over your container. Carefully twist the top to form a small twisted circle for the next wire to pass through.
Take your second length of wire and repeat step 6. Make sure after you hook the first end of the wire and pinch it closed, you pass the wire through the small circle you made with the first wire. You can loop the wire around for added support if you like. Then, hook the second end and pinch it closed.
This picture is hard to see, but I connected the ends of the wire on this glass dish side-by-side instead of on opposide sides and looped them together at the top.
If you'd like, you can fashion a little S-hook out of the wire and attach it to the loops.
Just add a tea light candle and you're ready to be enlightened! :)
METHOD TWO: Glass jars (jam jars, canning jars, etc.)
Cut a length of wire long enough to circle the mouth of your jar about 1 and a half times.
Twist a loop in one end, and hold it in place under the lip of the jar, pulling the wire around until you reach the opposite side (180 degrees from the first loop) and make a second loop.
Next, pull the wire back to the first loop (creating a full circle under the lip of the jar) and hook the wire around the first loop. Pinch closed with pliers.
Cut a second length of wire for your handle. This can be as long or as short as you want your lantern to hang.
Bend a tiny hook in either end of your wire and hook through the loops. Pinch closed with pliers.
Add a tea light and enjoy!!
You can experiment with all sorts of glass containers, try different color themes, decoupage, use different sizes, or even paint them to make stained glass!
Remember to never leave lighted lanterns unattended! :)