I have to admit, we have a great backyard. Sure, we could use a bit of shade, but our grass is green, and in the rear of our yard is a nice shady tree, under which we have our thrift-store hammock, and a home-built sand box. During Husband’s party, I wanted people milling about the yard, not just on the patio, and I needed something to get them out there. We put the keg under the shade tree, and that certainly helped to get people out and into the yard, but I wanted something more magical, and I needed something the keep the mosquitoes away. I saw a photo similar to this while perusing the internet the other day…
I loved how the lanterns looked, and I figured I could make them, I still had all the mason jars filled with candles that we used on the tables at our wedding. I loved the idea of something from such a special event being used again for another milestone. But they weren’t hanging, and I was going to have to figure out how to make them hover. I knew just what to do.
I raided our spare closet for a handful of metal hangers. Husband’s uniforms used to be washed by his company, and we still have tons of metal hangers just hanging around. I then found Husband’s needle nose pliers and dikes (wire cutters).
I worked at a pace of about 3 lanterns per hour – it wasn’t exactly a quickly moving task, but it wasn’t difficult. I clipped the hangers, and straightened them out. Then I wrapped them around the mouth of the jar, and clipped again. Once I had a ring made, I made hooks, and bent some loops to hang the lanterns by. I had my brother come over, climb the tree, and hang all the lanterns with cotton string. I chose string because I didn’t want to hurt the tree if I wasn’t able to get the lanterns untied. I figured cotton would easily degrade or break, either way, it would be good for the tree.
Originally, I was going to plunk citronella candles into each jar for my bug repelling, but when I was pricing them out, I came across these citronella oil refills.
The price was right, and they burn for 20 hours. I didn’t figure our party would last that long, but I like to be prepared.
Once it was all put together, it looked like this…
And though it looked more magical in the dark, here it is during the day.
I made nine or so, and other than the oil, it didn’t cost me a thing. I think the oil cost around a buck fifty each, so that times nine equals….
$14.50. Not bad for nine lanterns that keep the bugs away.