How to make a handmade beaded lantern

I have designed an original handmade beaded lantern. I used a three-point five-ounce coffee jar and a tea light. I then created an outer cylinder made from silver wire cloth. The wire cloth cylinder is made in two parts, a top portion, and a bottom. These cylinders will be reinforced with wire. Around the middle is where I will be placing the wire that will hold the beads and join the top and bottom cylinders.

Some of these items you may already have, the rest of the items you can locate at your local hardware and craft shop. Silver Wire Cloth Galvanized ΒΌ inch Old Pair of Scissors Roll Wire 22 Gauge Galvanized Roll Wire 16 Gauge Galvanized Package 9mm Jump Rings Beads 24 mm Split Ring Small-link Chain 3.5 Ounce Coffee Jar Tea Light Candle Needle Nose Pliers Wire Cutters2″ Eye Pins or Fishing Line Ruler.

Using the ruler and the 16-gauge wire measure four pieces of wire every fifteen inches in length then cut the wire. Measure the wire cloth four-inches wide and thirteen inches long. I am allowing a half-inch for a seam allowance on top and bottom. Cut four pieces of the 22-gauge wire thirty inches long. The extra length for the 22-gauge wire is to allow you the length to sew. Lay the screen wire flat and fold the top edge down over the 16-gauge wire, so that it is sandwiched in the seam. Using a ruler against the wire will make it easy to fold over the edge.

After the wire is folded take the 22-gauge wire and start sewing this seam with an over the top and come out on the bottom of the seam, continue to the end. You are sewing in place the 16-gaugue wire. Repeat this process for the bottom. After the top and bottom are sew form it into a cylinder. Use a can and just roll it around the can will make it easy to form the cylinder.

Twist the ends of the wire with the pliers to secure, snip any excess then coil the tip inward. Hold the side seams together and sew with the 22-gauge wire. Use pliers to help pull the wire through. Repeat this process for the second cylinder. If you want a bottom for the lantern cut a circle from the wire cloth slightly larger than the bottom. Fold a seam to fit inside the lantern. With the 22-gauge wire sew it in place. I have two options for adding the beads.

Option 1: When the two cylinders are complete, be sure to keep the side seams lined up. Make nine registration marks evenly around the cylinders. This is where we will attach the wire to hold the beads and secure the top and bottom cylinders together. I cut nine strips of wire seven inches long. Take your pliers and make a quarter inch or smaller loop.

Use a small wooden dowel or another similar object to keep a uniform loop, then about an inch farther down make another loop in the opposite direction. Give each of the loops a twist so it does not pull open and is more secure. These loops will be used to dangle the beads on either side of the wire. Make eight more wires with the loops. Try and position the loops so that one will be closer to the top and the other in the middle.

Option 2: This is a second suggestion for the beads that is even easier. Cut the nine wires and just string the beads on to the wire and hook the two cylinders together. You can adjust the length of the wire once you add the beads for the first wire. Then repeat for the rest of the wires. Join the two halves by attaching each wire to your registration marks.

You can take the wire and loop it through the 22-gauge wire of the lantern used at the top and bottom of each cylinder, then twist to secure. Repeat these steps until all wires are attached. Cut the chains to hang the lantern. Measure the chain into three pieces each about five inches long and add a jump ring at each end.

Attach the chains to the top of the lantern evenly spaced. Insert each jump ring into the split ring. To secure the jar with the candle, cut two thirty-inch lengths of the twenty two-gauge wires. I folded the wire in half then twisted the lengths. Holding the jar against the center of the wire, wrap it around the lip of the jar then twist to secure it, continue twisting to the end. Repeat this procedure with the other wire. You should have a wire on each side of the jar of equal lengths. These wires will be used to lower the jar into the lantern.

When you have the jar at the desired position make a hook and secure in place by twisting and folding the wire in to hide the tip. Add the beads to the lantern. This is where you can really be creative. You can choose from very small silver seed beads to larger clear beads or go with those that are an inch and a half long and dangle reflected light. Colored glass beads are always a fun festive look. Take eye pins or fishing line and fill with beads leaving a quarter-inch at the top for making a hook.

Attach to the loops in the wires. The wire cloth is made of tiny holes, you could also add beads randomly throughout the lantern or have beads dangle from the bottom row of the lantern. Make a couple of these hand-beaded lanterns and place on decorative hangers along a pathway, your back yard, or hang around your patio.

Attach to the loops

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