The bulbous lanterns are works of art with a built-in expiration date. They look like fine crystal glass, but are made entirely of ice. The principle of these frosty lights is very simple: fill commercial balloons with water and let it partially freeze outside overnight.
This is how magical lights are created from ice
The water in the balloon must not become a solid ball of ice. Remove the rubber skin when the ice in the balloon has reached a thickness of one to two centimetres, depending on the size of the balloon. The water in the core is then still liquid and is simply dumped out. The remaining hollow shape then forms the body of the lantern.
If there is too much water in the balloon or it has had too long to freeze, an ice ball with a liquid core can form in the balloon. In that case, scrape away the ice at the “North Pole” with a sharp knife, pour out the water and remove the ice almost to the center of the sphere. Then a beautiful lantern shape remains.
What you need:
- clear water
- small piece of wood or felt
- tea light or candle
- possibly food coloring
- and freezing temperatures
Fill the balloons about three quarters full with the prepared water.
Freeze balloons with water
Place the balloons in the snow in a place without a roof – preferably on a level surface so that the ice ball automatically has a flat base and does not tip over later. The knot is best pointing upwards. The ice wall is thick enough after about five to six hours.
Alternatively, you can put the balloons in the freezer. The ice there is thick enough after two to three hours.
Cut open the balloon and completely peel off the cover.
“Cut open” ice ball
If necessary, poke a hole in the ice ball or scrape the ice away. Dump out the water. Then you can widen or smooth the opening with a knife or warm water.
The opening must be large enough to comfortably place a tea light or candle inside – and so that the heat of the candle does not immediately melt away the edge of the ice.
Create anti-melt base
Place the tea light on a small piece of wood or felt, because the metal cover gets hot and otherwise the tea light will melt through the ice base!