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Light Fantastic




As the long summer days melt into balmy nights, ease the transition -- and extend the pleasure -- by dining outdoors under a private starry dome of twinkling candles. Hanging a set of miniature glass lanterns from your patio umbrella not only creates the effect of a magical chandelier, it also makes more table space for an inventively placed centerpiece.

More Outdoor Lighting Ideas


  • 12 glass jars or votive holders in different sizes
  • Small S hooks
  • Bundt pan or a gelatin mold
  • Spray-paint
  • Floral foam


  1. Step 1

    Collect a dozen glass jars or votive holders in different sizes, each with a wide top or a rim (as on jelly jars).

  2. Step 2

    Wrap wire around each top, and twist to secure. Bend another piece of wire into a loop, and attach as a handle. Cut varying lengths of chain, and attach a small S hook to the top of each. Slip hook over a spoke of your patio umbrella, and secure hook with adhesive putty. Attach another S hook to the bottom of each chain, and use it to hang the lantern.

  3. Step 3

    Use that pole in the middle of your patio table to your advantage. Use the hole in a Bundt pan or a gelatin mold to create a centerpiece the pole will slip through, leaving a ring of blooms all around it. (Of course, be sure the pole fits through the hole.) And unless your style runs to industrial modern, you may want to spray-paint the outside of the pan with an exterior high-gloss enamel. Use floral foam to keep the arrangement in place.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2007



Reviews (5)

  • freedomvalleyfarm 7 Jul, 2011

    great idea! but .. i'd turn the bundt pan right side up .. add water to the pan and fill the pan with flowers for a festive table centerpiece!

  • ilikechintz 2 Oct, 2008

    I created these little "hangling lanterns" for a garden dinner party and they were a hit of the party. I did not use wire but rather a gauzey ribbon and the effect was magical especially as they reflected under the white umbrellas. The ribbons were long enough and far enough from the candle flame that they didn't even get warm. I highly recommend this fun project to make a big splash.

  • julie221 24 Jul, 2008

    I just saw the film "Mama Mia" and found a use for the white "cabbage looper" paper butterflies I'd bought on clearance years ago. I've been agonizing about what to do with them. In the wedding dinner set they had glass jar votives suspended in an arbor and the jars had wires splayed off with white paper butterflies. Brilliant!

  • Michelle_Okpisz 1 May, 2008

    Try the link for Fourth of July Votives, you'll find more detailed directions for which gauge wire and how to form the hanger for the votives. Length of wire may change according to the size of your jars.

  • melindatoad 1 Apr, 2008

    These projects need directions and pictures you can actually see close-up. We made the little lanterns but had to guess at what gauge wire to buy and just how they attached the wire etc. They were cute but a pain to figure out.