Ice Garden Lantern for your garden

Garden Lantern
Garden Lantern

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:

  • balloons
  • clear water
  • knife
  • small piece of wood or felt
  • tea light or candle
  • possibly food coloring
  • and freezing temperatures

Fill balloons

Fill the balloons about three quarters full with the prepared water.

Ice Lantern Snow Light Balloons
Photo: DIY Academy

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.

Frozen Ice Lantern Balloon
Photo: DIY Academy

remove balloon

Cut open the balloon and completely peel off the cover.

Cut the Ice Lantern ice ball
Photo: DIY Academy

“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.

Ice Lantern Snow Light Candle Tealight
Photo: DIY Academy

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!