Introduction: Make a Candle-lit Ice Lantern

Picture of Make a Candle-lit Ice Lantern

I saw ice lanterns at & thought I could make these without having to buy their expensive kit. 

Step 1: Items Needed

Picture of Items Needed

-round balloon
-flat rock can be helpful
-tea light

Step 2: Fill Balloon With Water

Picture of 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!

Picture of 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

Picture of 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!

Picture of 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.  :)


sunshiine (author)2012-07-29

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

Browncoat (author)sunshiine2012-07-29

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

blackweb (author)Browncoat2013-12-02

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.

ilikecory (author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

ilikecory (author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

ilikecory (author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

ilikecory (author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

ilikecory (author)2013-08-30

soo gonna make this

TinaIsNoAcronym (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!

chefsea (author)2012-08-10

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

MsJan (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.

bajablue (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.

Browncoat (author)bajablue2012-07-31

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

bajablue (author)Browncoat2012-07-31

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.

roboticarrow (author)2012-07-31

You could also add food coloring to make colored lamps.

Browncoat (author)roboticarrow2012-07-31

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.

roboticarrow (author)2012-07-31

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

Browncoat (author)roboticarrow2012-07-31

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! :)

bajablue (author)2012-07-29

This is absolutely beautiful Browncoat!

I've never seen anything like it!

Browncoat (author)bajablue2012-07-30

Thanks! :)

About This Instructable




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