Winter Ice Lanterns

Winter Ice Lantern tutorial
It has been a very long, bitterly cold winter here in New England, so I decided to take advantage of the insanely low temperatures to make some ice lanterns. The technique for making ice lanterns is simple and the effect- breathtaking. Forgive me for the volume of photos, I was completely captivated by the beauty of these ice lanterns and couldn’t help myself.

Chicken Coops during a Nor'easter snow storm.

Ice lantern with tea light inside.

So…wait until the weather is super cold and everyone is suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, then break out the beach pails and fill them with water, leaving a few inches of space at the top for expansion. Then, wait. Obviously, the colder it is, the faster the water will freeze, but we don’t want it to freeze all the way through, so it’s a little tricky to get the timing exactly right. 

making ice lanterns
I forgot about the buckets outside- not only were they buried in snow, they froze to the deck.  
Ice lantern buried in the snow. Oops!
The goal is to unmold the ice form before it freezes through- the inside should remain liquid. In temperatures below 20°F, I it took 12-24 hours of freezing to get the ice to the right thickness. When ready, bring the buckets inside and run a little warm water along the outside, remove the ice  and allow the water inside the ice to drain out. Put it back out in the cold until ready to light it. 
Unmold the ice lantern by running water on the outside of the bucket and drain the water out of the ice mold.
The first batch of lanterns I unmolded froze to the deck and broke when I tried to move them, but I thought these imperfect lanterns were as beautiful and unique as the ones that froze ‘correctly.’
I experimented with a variety of candles, including battery operated tea lights, but they just weren’t bright enough for me. I preferred regular tea lights with real fire.
DIY ice lantern
Ice lantern with tea light inside
Ice lantern by the light of the chicken coop Valentine's Day heart.
Winter Ice Lantern tutorial

DIY Winter Ice Lanterns

Winter Ice Lanterns
DIY Ice lanterns
DIY Ice Lantern instructions
Instructions for making Ice Lanterns
DIY ice lantern instructions
We Made That
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®


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Ginny from W. Gardiner, MaineGinaCarolyn TainterRebagirl57Janet-va Recent comment authors
Jennifer Robertson
Jennifer Robertson

Doesn't get cold enough here in East Texas for these, unfortunately. Beautiful ideas from such a creative lady !

Harold Garcia
Harold Garcia

love this! pretty lanterns….

Lisa West-Harper
Lisa West-Harper

That's cool

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