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ice lantern making

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

we just celebrated the winter solstice here in the northern hemisphere and lots of folks are asking how to make the ice lanterns. so i thought i would take a moment to share how i made these. northwest montana has been in a deep freeze coming over from siberia and dropping down. our solstice was the longest and coldest night of the year with the temps reaching -30 the night of this celebration. these lanterns are such a fun and easy craft perfect to create with children or anyone during the cold snaps.

the basic concept is a bucket inside a bucket weighted down. you can make them plain or dress them up. i recently made orange garlands so i had some dehydrated orange slices hanging around, plus i emptied the bag of cranberries (rosehips would be nice) from the fridge and clipped some conifer needles. it really is endless as to what you could put in these. if i were creating with a kid i might try food coloring. so the first step is to find some buckets, ice cream containers, or yogurt containers. anything like that and make sure one fits inside the other with some space.

you also want to locate some small heavy things. i would have used rocks however it was -15 outside and all the rocks are under two feet of snow. so i rummaged around and found a tall skinny change jar and this old insulator with a bowl on top. place the smaller container inside the larger one and weigh it down. fill sides with desired gifts from nature. little pine cones would be nice i didn't think of that at the time.

fill with water, you may have to locate more weight if the inner bucket keeps popping up. and put them outside, for several hours or overnight.

i left mine overnight and in the morning i brought them inside for about 20 minutes or so. set them in the sink and they popped out fairly easily. i right away put them back outside because they were starting to melt. you can put candles or led lights inside. i used tea lights.

so magical glowing on the longest night of the year. may you have a wonderful winter full of restorative fun. please share with a friend and follow along over at or thank you all for being here on my corner of the interwebs, happy wintering.

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