Children Crafts: Jar Lanterns DIY

Each year in Autumn we craft some jar lanterns for the cold dark, evenings when we light candles in our home almost the whole day, from breakfast to diner time. We also to take some of our self-made lanterns on lantern walks for Martinmas, a beloved and very much celebrated festival here in Germany.


They are very easy to make. We usually go first on a nature walk or in our garden to collect some beautiful autumn leaves. Then we make a cup of tea, light candles and craft our lanterns.

To make jar lanterns you will need:

  • empty glass jars (we recycle those from jams, yoghurt, mustard..)

  • tissue paper (silk paper). I love using rice paper for its beautiful texture

  • fresh autumn leaves

  • glue (consider using ecological non-toxic glue or make edible glue- I have shared a recipe here in this blogpost. For the lanterns you see in these picture we have used the ecological glue from ökoNORM.)

An that’s it.

If you want to decorate some more, you can try:

  • yarn. This year I have added some yarn on top of the jars

  • washi tape. This was my daughter’s idea because she is such a huge fan of washi tape. She uses it for everything she crafts: from clothes and jewellery for her dolls and stuffed animals to decorating windows and walls- but that’s a story for another blogpost :)

  • ribbons

  • flexible wire if you want to make a handle for your lantern


I have made the two lanterns in the picture above and my daughter did the bright, colorful lantern here bellow.

As usually when we craft together, we work on separate “projects”. I do my own thing and she does hers. I don’t interfere with her ideas even when I find them surprising (like the washi tape :))

I have prepared the material for both of us and started working on my lantern. My daughter intently watched me glueing the leaves and the paper and she started working on her lantern, quickly adding her own ideas and materials: a bright pink ribbon and blue washi tape.

I love the result she has got:


So to make the lanterns you will simply need to glue the leaves on the jar and add the paper if you want. I like to overlap small pieces of paper and leaves and obtain different textures and layers. Leaves are easier to glue if they are fresh.

The little lantern on the right side of the picture was made only with 3 leaves and no paper. It’s up to you, you can play with different textures and materials.. You can add some of the other decorations I have mentioned above and twist flexible wire on the top of the jar to make a handle.

When you finished your lantern, add a candle. You can see here how we make our pure beeswax candles


This Sunday it’s Martinmas, a perfect occasion to go on lantern walk. Children usually love it! Read about how we prepare for celebrate Martinmas here