Make a Sparkling Martinmas Lantern

Make a Sparkling Martinmas Lantern

Crystal lantern
Glimmer, lantern, glimmer
Little stars that shimmer
Over rock and stock and stone
Wandering tripping little gnome
Pewit pewit tica tica tic
Rucoo rucoo

Martinmas is here once again! If you're searching for a new take on the classic Mason jar Martinmas lantern, you'll love this gorgeous crystal cave lantern. Use this tutorial to create your very own sparkling lantern to guide you through the cavernous darkness.

Note: Only flameless votive candles should be used in your lantern to avoid fires.

 Finished Martinmas lantern on a table next to a lit candle

You will need

  • Watercolor paint
  • Watercolor paper
  • Large paintbrush
  • Vegetable oil
  • Crafting knife and cutting mat
  • Pencil
  • Kite paper
  • School glue
  • Hot glue and glue sticks
  • Hole puncher
  • Heavy yarn (you can braid the yarn to make a stronger handle)
  • Lantern base (A box from a small wheel of cheese is ideal, but any small/shallow cardboard box would work.)


Use a sheet of watercolor paper (15 x 22 inch paper works well) that will fit around your lantern base.

Use a ruler to create 2 cm borders at the bottom and right hand side of the paper. This is where the hot glue will go so you can attach the paper to your lantern base. Be careful NOT to use any paint or oil on these borders. Glue or oil on these pieces could make it difficult to bind together your lantern.

Marintmas Lantern DIY by Franzi Shelton

Use a sharp pencil to draw several 'cave layers' onto your watercolor paper. These layers can be craggy lines across the length of the paper that look like layers of rock.

Use a shallow tub of water to thoroughly moisten your watercolor paper to prep it for wet on wet painting.

Use the paintbrush to paint shades of black or brown watercolor onto your wet paper. You may want to create an ombré effect by moving from light (at the bottom) to dark (at the top).

Marintmas Lantern DIY by Franzi Shelton

Allow the shades of paint to bleed into each other and then let the paper dry for at least 30 minutes.

Using a large paintbrush, apply vegetable oil to both sides of the painting. This will make it translucent.

Let dry for at least 5 hours (overnight is best).

Using a sharp pencil, trace the outline of crystals onto the backside of your cave background painting.

Cut out your outlines using a craft knife on a cutting mat.

Marintmas Lantern DIY by Franzi Shelton

Using school glue, apply different colored kite paper to the backsides of your cut out crystals. Add multiple layers of sharp-edged kite paper to create a striking 3-D effect. You can also add a round piece of kite paper around each crystal to create an illuminating effect.

Marintmas Lantern DIY by Franzi Shelton

Once dry, roll up your painting until it fits snuggly around the bottom of your lantern base.

Use hot glue to adhere your rolled up painting to the bottom of the lantern base. Be sure to apply your hot glue to the 2 cm borders you established in the beginning of the project. These borders will allow the glue to adhere to the lantern base.

Using a hole-puncher, punch two holes on each side at the top of the lantern. Insert your yarn into the holes and tie it in the middle to make your lantern handle.

Tie your yarn loop to a wooden stick and add a flameless candle.

Marintmas Lantern DIY by Franzi Shelton

Thank you to our guest contributor and friend, Franzi Shelton. Franzi holds a Masters of Education from UC Santa Barbara and is a secondary science teacher. She is also a mother of two wonderful children who creates the more inspiring Waldorf crafts, recipes and more on Instagram.

How did your Martinmas Lanterns come out? Tag us when you post your creations on social media @BellaLunaToys or use the hashtag #BellaLunaToys to share!

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