Light Up the Night: DIY Industrial Chic Garden Lanterns

Add some sparkle to your outdoor dining with these simple lanterns made with hardware store supplies.

Independence Day Lanterns

Independence Day Lanterns

Red, white and blue lanterns take center stage in this table setting.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Melissa Caughey

Image courtesy of Melissa Caughey

Red, white and blue lanterns take center stage in this table setting.

I love dining and entertaining into the evening hours. This year, I wanted to create garden lanterns that could decorate the table, provide ambient lighting, and be kid-friendly. On the last trip to the hardware store, I came up with this clever idea using ordinary items from the electrical and plumbing departments. You can choose to leave them plain or decorate them according to the season or holiday. You could also use your favorite vintage jars or old canning jars. 


  • Replacement outdoor lighting globes, also called "jelly jars"
  • Stainless steel clamps
  • Stainless steel strapping
  • Large metal cutters or wire clippers
  • Screwdriver
  • Ribbons
  • Scrapbook paper/vellum
  • Battery-operated tea-lights

Enjoy the gallery below, where I share step-by-step directions on how to create and embellish these lanterns.

Garden Lanterns How-To

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Make the Lanterns

Follow along to learn how to make these fun, inexpensive and versatile lanterns for your next get together.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Melissa Caughey

Gather Your Supplies

To make the basic lanterns pick up the following at your local hardware store: replacement glass lamp covers (electrical aisle), stainless steel clamps to fit around your jar (plumbing aisle) and stainless steel strapping (plumbing aisle). You will also need a metal cutter or strong wire cutters.

Cut the Handle

Unroll the strapping to determine your handle size and cut it to length.

Attach the Handle

Remove the handle. Loosen the clamp just a bit. Reinsert the handle. While holding it in place, screw the clamp tight with a screwdriver.

Pretty Alone

These lanterns assemble quickly and are lovely even kept plain.

Dress Them Up

To make the lanterns festive, try weaving thin ribbon through the holes.

Make A Firework Bow

Cut two-inch strips of ribbon and tie them in the center with a longer piece of ribbon. Tie this to your lantern.

Paper Fun

Cut vellum and scrapbooking paper to the height of the lantern. Roll it up and insert it inside. Add a battery operated tea light to the bottom of the lantern. Do not use real tea lights because of the potential fire hazard.

Light Up the Night

As dusk sets in, these lanterns help set the mood for a fun evening.

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