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  • Brantwijn

Crafting Lanterns for a Wild West Saloon

There's something so rugged and comfy about a Western style, and it's not too difficult to get the lovely rustic look of a frontier saloon at home. In the spirit of long roads traveled and wilderness wayfarers, here's a Do-It-Yourself project for creating a flickering cowboy lantern you can hang up wherever you like.

Grab yourself the following materials:

1. Mason Jar

2. Natural 1/4" Rope

3. Wood Slatted Panel (sized to preference, and to match your jar)

4.Wood stain (optional)

5. Decorative jar filler (Natural wood disks, coffee beans, river rocks, etc)

6. Brushes (Suggest a mixture of paint and sponge brushes)

7. Flickering LED Tealights

8. Glitter glue

9. Hot Glue Gun

10. 2-part Epoxy adhesive (for use with glass) or other glass bond adhesive.

11. Picture mounting ring hooks

12. 3 in. ceiling hook

13. Western decorative elements of choice.

Prepping Your Back Panel

The wooden panel used to mount the finished lantern is one of many hanging surfaces you can choose. Before starting work on the lantern itself, prep the panel with any stain you may want to apply. After the stain has dried, or if no stain is desired, attach the ring hook mounts to the back of the panel, and the ceiling hook to the front.

Attaching the Rope

Cut a length of rope to fit around the neck of the mason jar. To measure the rope, wrap it once around the jar just under the threads for the lid, and add two inches to create your loops. Twist the two loops at equidistant points from the ends of the rope, dividing the rope roughly into thirds. Secure the loops at each twist with hot glue.

Mix the two-part epoxy (make sure you are in a well-ventilated area), and apply to the jar under the threads of the lid. Wrap the rope around the jar, and hold tightly to allow the epoxy to set and bond the rope to the glass. Once the epoxy has set and the rope is firmly secured, trim any extra rope at the ends.

Decorating the Jar

For a "campfire" color and shine, begin with a dark red, bronze, or orange glitter glue. Apply generously to the bottom of the jar and use a sponge brush to spread the glitter along the bottom and 1/2" -1" up the sides. Apply the lighter gold glitter glue to the sponge brush (which should still have some of the previous color glitter glue remaining on it). Mixing the colors, spread them up the next 1/2" of the inside of the jar. Finally, apply a final application of gold glitter glue directly to the head of a different, clean brush, and spread one more 1/2"-1/4" of the sides of the jar.

Once the glitter is dry, place your decorative filler in the jar. For this lantern, we've chosen natural wood disks, but other possible filler includes river rocks, coffee beans, other dried beans, colored sand, dry glitter, rice, colored tissue paper, or no filler at all. Fill the jar to roughly halfway, or more or less depending on your preference.

If you've selected additional decorative implements for the outside of the jar, such as these two Sheriff Star buttons, attach them now using hot glue, or (if attaching directly to the glass) your two-part epoxy or glass bond.

Finally, turn on your flameless LED tealight and place it in the jar. Secure the lid if desired.

Hang the Lantern

Cut a second, 6" piece of rope (longer or shorter depending on how far you want your lantern to hang). Loop one end of the rope through one of the loops already affixed to the jar.

Close and secure the new loop to itself using hot glue (see picture). Be sure to hold the end of the rope very secure until the glue dries completely. Test the rope to be sure it doesn't natural come unglued when not being held. If necessary, glue again.

With the other end of the new piece of rope, repeat this process on other side of the mason jar. Now the loops you created around the neck of the jar should both be connected by the second length of rope.

Once the glue is dry and the rope is securely attached, your lantern is ready to hang. If you created a wooden panel to hang it to your wall as a "sconce", hang the panel first using basic picture hanging tools, and then hang the lantern from the hook on the panel.

Final Product:

Alternate Ideas:

Hang from chain instead of rope; decorate exterior of jar with barbed wire.

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