Sunday, 30 December 2012

Ice lantern

So that was Christmas sorted, have you got anything special lined up for New Years Eve? The Christmas holiday is a rather low-key thing in my house these days, but I do like to light up these darkest days of the year and make the Christmas and New Year period a bit special both indoors and outdoors. I made a couple of ice-lanterns the other day, and I thought I would share with you how to make these very easy, decorative lanterns as this is something you can do in minutes and freeze overnight. The result is pretty spectacular :-)

First thing first, if you live in the southern hemisphere and are now enjoying summer temperatures and are basking in the sun at the beach; A: I am sooo jealous and B: this is not for you! But if you have outdoor temperatures well below or close to freezing, this lantern will survive outdoors as long as the day temperature doesn’t go more than a few degrees above zero. Here in London we have had a really mild Christmas so it might be a risk that my lanterns will melt pretty fast! I am keeping mine in the freezer for now and I am planning to put them back in the freezer during the day and have them outside only for a short period during the evening. That way they will hopefully last for the couple of days I am planning to display them.

I use a tea candle with my lanterns, so you need to make the ice lantern wide enough to allow a tea candle to burn without melting the sides of the lantern. You need two glasses or bowls to go inside each other to make a lantern. They need to fit so that you will get about 1cm of water between them, and you need something to hold the whole thing steady in place while it freezes, to make the inside glass straight. I used a jug for the outside, a pint glass for the inside, 3 corn-on-the-cob holders and a measuring spoon to hold the inside glass in place, but have a look in your cupboards and see what you can use.

Here it is, all in place. You need a bit of water in the inside glass too, to weigh it down, or it will float and be difficult to pin straight. Don’t fill it too full or it will sink all the way to the bottom. You need a bit of water under the inside glass, to make a bottom for the lantern too. Freeze overnight and use warm water, not boiling, to release first the inside glass, then the outside from the ice lantern. Place on a suitable plate or place straight in the snow – if you have any! Use a tea candle.

Here is the finished ice lantern outside close-up.


Here is the ice lantern placed next to my gate, welcoming people to my house. A quick and easy thing to make that lights up in the dark and puts a smile on people passing by :-) If you make it today you will have just enough time to get it finished for New Year's Eve celebration, so have a look in your cupboards and drawers for what could be suitable for a Christmas ice lantern.

And, in the spirit of light and lighting up around us – do you remember the American TV show Northern Exposure? They did an episode that centred around the importance of light - light as a metaphor, light as life and knowledge and light that comforts ....here is a YouTube clip from the final scene of that episode. Good luck with your ice lantern, let's all shine a light for the people close to us and put a smile on people passing by us. Happy New Year to all my visitors :-)




12 comments:

  1. Helene,
    your candle is nice and romantic!
    I didn't see this TV show but I know this actor.

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    1. Thank you, unfortunately they have spent most of their time in my freezer, it is so mild here right now!

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  2. What a lovely idea - unfortunately it has been unseasonably mild here so I don't think the lantern would last long, but I will bear it in mind for the next time we have a big freeze. Best wishes for a happy new year.

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    1. And it is very mild here too, I think I will risk taking them out of the freezer for a little while tomorrow night again, just before the fireworks starts. Happy New Year to you too!

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  3. What a great idea! I think I'll try it! The combination of fire and ice is enchanting. I don't remember that particular episode, but we did watch that show a lot when it was originally on TV. It had a very quirky view of life in a small town in Alaska. Happy New Year, Helene!

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    1. The show went on a re-run here some years ago so I saw it then, can't say I remember it from the 90's but I lived in Norway then so maybe it wasn't showed there,
      Glad you liked the ice lantern, mine are outside now and will be gone, melted by midnight, it is so mild here - 10 degrees Celsius! Happy New Year to you too, Beth!

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  4. This is such a great idea! I may try this when the temperature drops (and there's more room in the freezer!). I haven't seen the tv series either so I may look out for it on DVD.
    Happy New year Helene!

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  5. Yes, it's a beautiful idea !!!
    BONNE ANNEE 2013 !!!

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    1. Et bonne année à toi aussi, et bienvenue sur mon blog!

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  6. I have made ice candles, but it has been a long time ago. Our winter has been cold this year - they might actually last here for a few days! Yours are beautiful. I loved Northern Exposure - I had forgotten about that series - and enjoyed the video. Happy New Year!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the video, I thought it was appropriate today :-)
      And happy New Year to you too Holley, I have just watched the fireworks display on BBC, it is 2013!

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