ice lanterns

Ice lanterns
Simple and free to make, they are a very pretty festive table centrepiece and/or a lovely craft to do with children.

To make: gather some natural things to be contained within the ice. The three above have ivy leaves and flowers, cypress sprigs and the nearest has coloured leaves from two shrubs that I do not know the names of…

Colourful shrubs

Set up as below: place natural bits in bowl, then the only slightly fiddly part is lining up something to go into the centre to make a candle well. It is a good idea to use a hollow object like the glass below (baby food jar ideal too) as this makes getting it out much easier once frozen as it can have warm water run into it. This old blog post shows an example of one where I just bunged a candle in and it would not budge. Still pretty, but the lantern didn't light up from inside… (it was a stressy, food-mountain-to-prepare Christmas).

Ice lantern in the making
I secured it in place with sticky tape. Remember to place something under the glass/jar else you will end up with an ice ring! The cypress was robust enough here by itself.

Fill bowl with water and place in freezer until frozen. Run warm water over and in to release bowl and glass and ta-da! The larger your lantern the less prone to melting it will be, but generally they can go for a couple of hours no problem and then you pop them back in the freezer for future use. The old one mentioned above got forgotten about and melted but, hey, it's water fed that twiggy display all through the festive season 🙂

Ivy
ivy one quite pretty…

Cyprus
I like the effect of the cypress too… but the shrubbery is the clear winner 😀

Shrubbage

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