Before going on a trip, I like to do a project or two to get the boys excited about where we’re going. Given everything going on, our little 3-day Lassen camping trip was a huge deal for us, so camping crafts for the kids had to follow!
I was inspired by this lantern project from The Crazy Outdoor Mama, since 1) they pass the simplicity test, 2) they utilize recycled materials, and 3) they do double duty as nightlights for tent camping.
- Recycled Juice Bottles
- Mod Podge
- Paint Brush
- Tissue Paper
- Pipe Cleaners
- Flameless Candle or Glow Stick
STEP 1: TEAR UP THE TISSUE PAPER, APPLY PIECES TO YOUR JUICE BOTTLE
JJ loved this part! First, tear up a sheet of tissue paper. Next, paint Mod Podge onto your juice bottle. Then, apply the tissue paper and smooth it out as much as possible.
We added a couple of layers, and JJ was ready for a break once his lantern was covered, so we decided to let our lanterns dry and pick up the project the next day.
STEP 2: DECORATE
The boys chose star stickers for their lanterns. Three-year-old Bug wasn’t as into paper tearing as JJ, but he lit up when it was time to cover the lanterns in stickers.
STEP 3: ADD A HANDLE
Start by wrapping a pipe cleaner around the top of the lantern. Then, hook a second pipe cleaner to the loop you made with the first, and begin beading. Connect the open end of the pipe cleaner to the other side of the loop once you are done. This part held the boys’ attention for quite a while. Bug needed a little help to get started, but soon he was ready to finish his lantern on his own.
STEP 4: DROP THE FLAMELESS CANDLE INTO THE JUICE BOTTLE
When we did this, we added the candle as a final step. And only then did we realize that our candles were wider than the juice bottle opening. We ended up having to crack the plastic around the candle, which was fine. But in retrospect, I’d make sure to try this out when gathering project materials
Glow sticks are a great alternative to flameless candles for this reason, though they don’t last as long or give off as much light.