A Mason Jar Camping Lantern

Okay, so this isn’t going to win any awards for ingenuity (or craftsmanship!) but its easy and it works. I use this little jar and ones like it when we car camp. Barring high winds or rain, the tea light never goes out. The handle allows you to carry it around or hang it. Headlamps are all very convenient, but little candles make a campsite feel like home. And yep, it works well in the backyard too.

┬áThere’s nothing to it, but just in case the picture makes it look more complicated than it is, all I do is wrap a piece of scrap wire around the mouth of the jar, twisting it closed. The ridges at the top of the jar hold it in place. Then I make a handle by twisting a second piece of wire around the first.

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  1. We made luminaries for my daughter’s bonfire party from quart jars, marbles, and tea lights. It was a long, dark walk from the parking area to the fire and they were great for showing the way.

  2. Posting this is a very good idea with summer coming on. I saw a picture of a backyard wedding where the trees were filled with those for the evening events. It was magical. Preferring to be poisoned than to be mosquito bit, I have put tiny citronella candlea in the trees and perimenter of the yard.

    I buy all my tealights after Christmas when they are 90% off. Yard sales have bags of tealights for 25 or 50 cents.

    Putting sand or white beans in the bottom keeps the tealight heat when it burns the last of the candle from breaking the jar. That looks like a Ball canning jar, so maybe it can take the focused heat at the last of the candle. But, if someone uses a pickle jar, the sand or beans is necessary to keep it from cracking. Maybe you are not as cautious as I. Actually, any kind of beans can be used.

  3. Good idea with the sand/beans and an old pickle jar – otherwise you get wax into the bottom of your canning jar that won’t ever come out.
    Thanks for the inspiration – we have lots of tea candles that have been sitting around for the past 5 or 6 years!

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