Introduction: Make a Candle-lit Ice Lantern

I saw ice lanterns at http://wintercraft.com & thought I could make these without having to buy their expensive kit. 

Step 1: Items Needed

-round balloon
-cup
-plate
-pin
-flat rock can be helpful
-tea light
-matches/lighter
-freezer

Step 2: Fill Balloon With Water

I blew the balloon up first to stretch it.  Then I filled it like a water balloon.  Try to have as little air in the balloon as possible when you tie the knot.  This will help your ice lantern to be as round at the top as possible.

Step 3: Freezer Time!

This is where the cup comes in.  You want to put the balloon with the knot down in the cup, then put them in the freezer & wait.  The time will vary depending on your freezer, size of your balloon, & how full you've made the balloon.

After about 4 hours, I took the balloon out & poked the bottom of it so that the bottom would not freeze over.  Then put it back in the freezer.  Poke the bottom of the balloon again about every 2 hours.

Step 4: Time to Remove the Balloon

Be sure you're holding the balloon over the sink, cuz as soon as you stick the pin in the balloon, it's gonna be GONE.  The water doesn't just trickle out (like *I* thought it might).

Step 5: Ice Lantern Complete!

You now have a cave of ice!  Use the flat rock under one side of the ice lantern so that your candle can still get oxygen.  These don't melt as fast as you might think, but DO check the water levels fairly often.  These would be gorgeous decorations to put in the snow, but are lovely for anywhere that is a little dark.  The impurities in the water create really pretty patterns too!

I was shocked how beautiful this turned out the first time I did it!  Have fun!

If you make one, post a pic & I'll give you a patch.  :)

Comments

author
sunshiine made it!(author)2012-07-29

This is totally awesome! I will be doing this! So fun! Thanks for sharing.
Sunshiine

author
Browncoat made it!(author)2012-07-29

Thanks, Sunshiine!! It really IS fun to make!!

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blackweb made it!(author)2013-12-02

If you live in a cold climate, put these outside to freeze.timing is everything ...usually Approx 24 hours then pour out the excessive water. If freezing outside put the baloon on a container (pan or plate to keep it flat on the bottom). Also I inserted a straw before filling and added the food coloring and ran it through trickling water to get it through the straw into the balloon.

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ilikecory made it!(author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

author
ilikecory made it!(author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

author
ilikecory made it!(author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

author
ilikecory made it!(author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

author
ilikecory made it!(author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

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TinaIsNoAcronym made it!(author)2012-12-01

This is beautiful! Another instructable about making ice sculptures noted that when adding food coloring, the color would tend to freeze last in the center (presumably in the liquid that is drained out in this project) but that adding drops of food coloring to the outside after it is frozen left an all-over color. I really want to try this when my freezer is a little less full!

author
chefsea made it!(author)2012-08-10

Excellent idea, Browncoat and will try soon. So creative, pretty and easy.

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MsJan made it!(author)2012-08-06

Looks nice. Please do not scented candles since they are toxic and can cause cancer. Remember a Healthy Home Has No Smell.

author
bajablue made it!(author)2012-07-31

What a FUN project!

BTW, I did add several drops of blue food coloring, but the ice pretty much stayed white.

Ice Lantern.jpg
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Browncoat made it!(author)2012-07-31

It sure did! Wow, that looks great! :D

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bajablue made it!(author)2012-07-31

Thanks BC! Love my patch... I feel like a Girl Scout! ;-D

I also used scalding hot water from a hose. The lantern ice was actually quite clear.

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roboticarrow made it!(author)2012-07-31

You could also add food coloring to make colored lamps.

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Browncoat made it!(author)2012-07-31

Worth a try, but the site where I got this idea indicated that it wouldn't work as well as one might think. But I haven't tried that, so I don't really know.

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roboticarrow made it!(author)2012-07-31

You may get a brighter lantern if you used distilled water (clear ice).

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Browncoat made it!(author)2012-07-31

There are 2 issues w/that idea:
1) Hard to fill a balloon with distilled water
2) I think the impurities in the water are what make the beautiful patterns.

But people may have different ideals, so if you DO manage to do this with distilled water, please post a pic! I'd be super curious! :)

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bajablue made it!(author)2012-07-29

This is absolutely beautiful Browncoat!

I've never seen anything like it!

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Browncoat made it!(author)2012-07-30

Thanks! :)

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