DIY Glowstick Lanterns

These glow stick lanterns have been really popular on Pinterest this summer. I have made them a couple of times with my boys and they are really fun. They are great for when you are hanging around on the patio and/or fire pit in the evening, or they are also fun to take camping.

For this project you will need:

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  • Canning jars with lids
  • Glow sticks
  • Sharp scissors

These lanterns are really easy to make. All you need are some glow sticks and a canning jar. We used pint sized canning jars.

You can buy glow sticks in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you buy small ones, you will probably need at least two glow sticks per jar.


glowstick lantern

An adult will need to pour the glow sticks into the canning jars.

Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut off the end of a glow stick and pour the contents of the glow stick into the canning jar. It works best to have the stick down in the jar when you cut it so you won’t get the liquid everywhere. We bought glow sticks in several different colors and poured two glow sticks into each jar.

glowstick lantern

If you have never seen the inside of a glow stick before, there are small pieces of glass floating around in the glowing liquid. Just dump everything in the jar and put the lid on it right away. Let your child roll the jar around in his or her hands so that the liquid coats the sides of the jar.

If you get any of the liquid on you just wash it off with soap and water. There has been a lot of controversy about whether or not glow sticks are toxic or not, but the general consensus is that they are not. You do want to be careful about the shards of glass. Just make sure you supervise your kids while they are looking at the jars. They are not for carrying around and playing with.

These jars are really fun to make for evenings you will be spending time outside. These DIY lanterns will glow for several hours. After you are done with them, just rinse them out and save them for next time.

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2 Comments on "DIY Glowstick Lanterns"


  1. I think it would be fine to use plastic bottles, especially around really young children. The mason jars just look better, but they definitely are very breakable.

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