Ice lanterns

Day 12 of My Scandinavian Christmas is with Gina of Willowday based out of Stockholm, Sweden. Gina has some of the most clever DIYs and I’m so glad she’s with us today.

It’s an honor to be a part of the Brittany’s My Scandinavian Christmas. Contributing from Sweden, I thought instantly of lights and candles. These play a prominent roll in Swedish holiday decoration from the hanging paper stars in windows to Advent Candelabras and candles; right down to the Candle Crown worn by Lucia, which she wears ceremoniously as she brings in the sun at dawn on December 13 for the holiday of St. Lucia.

Candles and lights are not restrained to the indoors. During my first Swedish Christmas, before we sat down to enjoy our Christmas Eve feast, several snow ball lanterns were built outdoors, just outside the dining room window for the final ambiance. Today, in my home, we make Ice Lanterns. I’m happy to share them with you here, today. These are both a fantastic outdoor project with kids or to made conveniently in the comfort of your home and stored until the party. For an Ice Lantern tutorial, click here. 

The cold has hit Stockholm. Neighbors have been filing by our house all day, pulling one or two sleds and with their ice skates slung over their shoulders; ready to hit our neighborhood rink and hill. I would love to share a super, cool, ice art project my son came up with this week. Tonight, imagine: these lit up our walkway! You can, too.

See below for the How-to.

ICE LANTERN MATERIALS

These are idea for the days when you have freezing temperatures. If not, don’t worry. You can make these in the freezer, as well.

  •  Latex Balloons
  •  Water faucet or hose
  • Tea Light Candles

Note: If you have very young children, adult assistance will be needed for filling and closing the balloons; then, again later, to assure gentle hands for the balloon removal process.

Instructions

  • These work well when all supplies are prepared before starting.
  • Carefully slip the lip of the balloon over the faucet or hose head, keep pressure applied to the balloon lip to avoid leaking water and fill balloons until desired size.
  • Tie well.
  • Place outdoors or in freezer — attentive to how you lay them down, this will affect the final shape.Once frozen to ice lantern stage or ice sculpture stage, clip off the top of the balloon, turn up-side-down and drain water, if making the lantern and peel away the remaining balloon. (In a freezer (-15C–20C/0-5F) a regular sized balloon will freeze to the lantern stage in approximately 4 hours.)
  • Place a tea light candle inside the lantern.Light. Enjoy the magic!

Freezing notes:

In a kitchen freezer, a small lantern can be created in approximately 4 hours. When the balloons are about 80% frozen, snip the top of the balloon and peel it away. It is critical that one side of the balloon will not yet be frozen and remains open. Drain any remaining water from this open side. By doing this, you will keep it from sealing and will have a perfect form for an ice lantern.

Note to making these with kids:

These were “invented” by my son who had the idea to create in this way and he had fun every step of the way. These are a super way to keep kids busy in the garden but have something you’ll love, too. It imparts a sense of experimentation and satisfies the urge to create something new and unique. (These are, each time!). The super plus, is that these are fantastic party decorations for you. However, adults these are worth making just for you — for a party, a wedding, store front. If you have the climate to keep these frozen, they add so much magic and ambiance!
Thank you Brittany for this Swedish-Danish Christmas interlude here with you. 

Thank you, Gina, for participating! Check out her blog, Willowday here.

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