4th of July lanterns

The Fourth of July reminds me of all of my favorite things; food, friends, family, and most importantly warm summer nights filled with the fondest memories. Not only do I love all of the activities and fun things that go along with the Fourth of July, but I love seeing american flags and other festive decorations pop up around neighborhoods and cities. Decorating for holidays always makes them more fun and memorable so when I realized that I had no patriotic decorations out for the fourth I decided to make these fun lanterns that really bring out the spirit of the holiday.

DSC_0678These beauties could be my favorite DIY project to date!

DSC_0290There aren’t too many items needed to create the lanterns and the materials are relatively inexpensive which is great. I started with one half-gallon mason jar and 2 quart sized mason jars, scotch painters tape, sand paper (220 grit), some sponge brushes, and some americana decor chalky finish paint. The colors I used were romance, everlasting, and legacy. Note: They were out of ‘legacy’ when I went to Michaels the first time around so I ended up buying the craft smart regular paint, but I did not use it because ‘legacy’ came in so I am unsure if the blue would turn out the same with the craft smart paint.

DSC_0293The first step is to add stickers to the jars so that there can be holes for the light to come through once you paint. On the pint sized mason jars I used round stickers and on the half-gallon I used small star stickers.

DSC_0586Next, you will paint all three jars with the ‘Everlasting’ paint ensuring that it is completely dry between coat applications. It only took me two coats until I was happy with the look of them but you can adjust based on preference.

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When looking for materials I couldn’t find any star stickers that were large enough for the white stars and ended up finding these sticky foam stars which worked wonderfully. They were very sticky, but were still easy to peel off at the end and didn’t take any paint with them which was great!

DSC_0589I ended up only doing one coat of the ‘legacy’ because I prefer a more rustic worn-out look. Also, I would like to share the easiest method I found to removing the smaller star stickers after 3 layers of paint because they proved to be a little tricky to get off at first. I found that just using a needle to pry under the corner of the sticker lifted it off enough to be able to pull the whole sticker off.

DSC_0670I then moved on to adding my painters tape to the smaller jars. This part is a little more tricky because you need to make sure your tape is even around the whole jar so you don’t end up with uneven stripes. I used two strips of tape and just made thick stripes, but if you prefer you can make multiple smaller stripes.

DSC_0677After three coats of ‘Romance’ the red seemed just right, and again I used the needle method to remove the circle stickers.

DSC_0678Once everything was completely dry I gave the jars a very light rub down with the sand paper just to make them a little more rustic.

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I have one tea candle per mason jar but if you prefer for them to give off more light you can definitely put two or three candles per jar. I love the way these jars turned out and the soft glow they give off. These jars will definitely be resurfacing every Fourth of July in our house!

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