mason jar diy: string lantern


DIY String Lantern

Isn’t this lantern SO cute and stylish? I seriously can’t get enough of these!  The best part is that they can work with any size Mason jar candle or antique Ball jar candle!  It’s a great repurposing project for anyone!

Here’s what you’ll need:

An Antique Candle Co.® candle (I used a 8oz Mason jar), cotton or jute string, and craft scissors. PSST: I got ALL my craft supplies from Hobby Lobby. 🤗

Okay…let’s get started!

1. Clean out your candle jars. I left our jars clear, but if you want to paint them, check out how to paint and distress your jar on this blog.

2. Depending on what size jar you are using, you will measure and cut 8 strands of string. This also determines how long your lantern will hang (remember: it’s always better to have extra that you can cut later). 

A trick you can do is to turn the jar upside down and measure string around the jar vertically from top rim of the jar, to bottom, back to top, then multiply that length by ten.  For 16oz, I cut 8 pieces about 96 inches long (this made it a little longer); for 8oz, I cut 8 pieces that were about 56 inches long (this made it a little shorter).

3. Divide the string in half so you have two bunches of 4 strands each. Find the center of each bunch, and cross them.  You may have to use objects to hold the strands in place because you are working with a lot of string!

4. Now for the trickiest part! You will tie a lanyard knot at this center point.  Don’t worry…it’s not bad once you get the hang of it!  We’re taking this one slow. 😉

  • Once you crisscross the strands, bring the top part of one strand down under the other strand on the left side. We will call this ‘Strand A,’ and the one that hasn’t moved yet ‘Strand B.’
  • Next, take the same part of Strand A that you just moved and cross it back over Strand B, going on top of Strand B this time.
  • Take left side of Strand B (the strand that hasn’t been moved yet) and put it through the top right loop that we made with Strand A.
  • Repeat the last step on the other side by putting the right side of Strand B through the bottom left loop.
  • That’s it! 👏 Now all you have to do is carefully bring the knot together by pulling opposite ends of the knot so that you are pulling two ends of the same strand. 

Just keep pulling the opposite corners until the knot finally shrinks down into your lanyard knot!  This is the bottom of the lantern.

5. Next, when you separate all of the strands you will find two strands that are right next to each other and tie them together about 1½ inches up from the center.
6. Do this with the next two strands, and so on.

PRO TIP: You can place the empty mason jar on the center knot to keep the string stable while you knot away! 🙌

Continue tying knots all around the center until you have the shape of a flower and there are no more lone strings.

7. Now, you will just do the same thing on the next outer layer. Take two strings right next to each other and tie those about 1½ inches up from the last knots.

Again, just do this all the way around until every strand has a pair and you see an even larger flower shape.

8. Depending on what size jar you are using for the lantern, repeat step 7 until you reach the height of your jar. You may notice the string begin to raise as you do this, and that is because it is already forming the holder for your jar!  This makes tying knots a little trickier, so just simply move the string around or to the side so you can easily tie those knots!

You can have the knots reach up over the rim of your jar (which is what I did), or a little below the rim. That’s up to you!

The number of layers of knots depends on the height or your jar and the thickness of the string you are using. I was using 100% cotton cord, so the 8oz only needed 3 layers, and the 16oz size would need around 4 layers.

9. Lastly, you will knot the ends of all the strands together. This is where you will hang your lantern, so it needs to be a decent knot.  You can also tie in a curtain loop or metal d-ring to hang the lantern with, but just hanging it by the knot worked fine for me! You can also tie off the excess string to clean it up a bit!

Now, you can enjoy your adorable string lantern!  You can leave yours empty, add a little tea light, or for my personal favorite…put in FAIRY STRING LIGHTS! ✨And honestly, they look stunning no matter where you hang them! 

If you loved this DIY project as much as I did, be sure to check out some of the others we’ve done!  Also, if you tried this project for yourself, let us know and share a picture of your own string lantern with our team! 



Have a beautiful day, friends!

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