Picture of How to make Clay Lanterns
I am not sure if that is the best name to describe this, but it is basically a cup made from air-dry clay in which you can place a tealight or small candle.  I made an impression on the sides of the cup and then poked small holes in the clay allowing the light to pass through.  I saw something similar done with a tin can and really liked how it looked.  The candle light through the holes is subtle and the design impressed onto the clay looks nice even in daylight.

Step 1: What you will need:

Picture of What you will need:
  • clay -any kind* or colour (I used La Doll Premier Lightweight Stone Clay)
  • clay rolling and cutting tools and a mat to work on
  • stamp, stencils or anything else you want to make an impression (Sculptey has texture making sheets and wheels)
  • cling wrap (to protect mat)
  • bottle the size and shape you want for your lantern
  • sandpaper
  • needle

*check that the clay is not flammable (Crayola air-dry clay is and it warns against using it for making candle holders)

fonzuzu4 years ago
Hers'e the one I made, sorry it took a while to post.I know it's abit messy but I made these lines on it with the pencil, I 'm sure if you do it properly it will be really cute.
ChrysN (author)  fonzuzu4 years ago
That looks great! Thanks for sharing.
AddienSpeed11 months ago
where did u buy the white clay? i almost made it but the clay color is brown... :(
ChrysN (author)  AddienSpeed11 months ago

I bought the clay at Michaels. You can also find it on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Activa-Premier-Lightweight-Stone-28-Ounce/dp/B002VR0C26). You can always make it with the brown clay and paint it. Or just leave it brown, it may look nice too.

nisha_m2 years ago
how long does the clay take to dry?
ChrysN (author)  nisha_m2 years ago
The clay I used air dries over night.
You might try dimpling the bottom a touch and installing a small electric light as well. This also works VERY well with porcelain.
tjesse3 years ago
A pounce wheel could speed things up. Check out my watermelon frog instructable for an example. This project would make a great mother's day gift!
ChrysN (author)  tjesse3 years ago
Thanks for the tip, that would be really helpful!
mstyle1833 years ago
Good luck!! it looks great
ChrysN (author)  mstyle1833 years ago
LifeWarrior4 years ago
Very sharp use of stenciling, I've never been good at clay sculpting, but I'm always fascinated by the artistry of it, it's cool to see an actual technique in action. Great 'ible, Thanks
ChrysN (author)  LifeWarrior4 years ago
Thank you!
ZoDo4 years ago
As always, I am ipressed by your work. You have my vote.
ChrysN (author)  ZoDo4 years ago
Thank you!
kasengut4 years ago
You can make the base a little bigger with a rim, into which the cylinder can fit, - and don't connect the base and the cylinder. That way you can place the tealight on the base and cover with the cylinder, - you don't have to drop the light in !
Nice work !
ChrysN (author)  kasengut4 years ago
Great idea, it is a bit awkward putting the candle in, thanks!
fonzuzu4 years ago
this is soo cute i made it but i took a sided pencil and rolled it over the clays to make these even stripes that look really cute and i drew a tree . thax sooo much for posting post more thing like this from clay plz
ChrysN (author)  fonzuzu4 years ago
Cool, I'd love to see the one you made.
You did a great job sanding the rough spots. It's hard to do - I tend to push to hard in one area, sanding it too much and making it uneven. An easy way to sand the top to make it even would be to turn it upside down onto the sandpaper and sand it with a circular motion, trying to keep it perpendicular. Love this project!
ChrysN (author)  friendorphobia4 years ago
Cool, thanks for the tip!
sunshiine4 years ago
Thanks for sharing! AND congrats on beaing a featured author!
ChrysN (author)  sunshiine4 years ago
Thank you!
You are welcome!
Love this creative idea. Do you oil the bottle first, so the clay won't stick to it ?
ChrysN (author)  penelope nicholls4 years ago
I put some cling wrap around the bottle and only wrapped the clay loosely around it but oil would probably work better.
xavec4 years ago
I love this so much - will definitely have to make one at some point!
splazem4 years ago
Wow, amazing (yet again)! Keep up the good work!
Beautiful! A child could do this, and a battery operated tea light could be substituted for a real candle
ChrysN (author)  porcupinemamma4 years ago
Yes, it would be a fun activity to do with children. Thanks!
I really like this. Pretty and useful. It would also make an attractive pencil holder if you didn't need a lantern.
This is really cute, I think little mini ones of these might look really good as part of a natural themed wedding. One or two on each table.
Such a good idea! I think I might make one of these to hold a tiny metal bowl for an additional oil burner. :)