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Glass Lantern Cube

Simple glass lanterns, made of restoration glass and copper tape, soften bright candlelight and protect flames from evening breezes.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 1997


As its name suggests, restoration glass is used extensively in architectural restorations that require the effect of hand-blown glass. Its surface, dappled with slight distortions, pits, and imperfections, beautifully reflects candlelight. You can also use opaque glass for this project and adjust the measurement to whatever size or shape holder you prefer.


  • Five 5-inch squares of 1/8-inch-thick restoration glass, or any opaque glass, edges sanded

  • Craft scissors

  • 1/2-inch-wide copper tape

  • Steel wool

  • Copper-blackening solution


  1. Stand two pieces of glass perpendicularly, so that the edges are flush and form a right angle. Make sure the frosted sides of the glass form the outside of the angle, which will become the outside of the lantern. Secure the panes along the seam's exterior with copper tape, pressing it firmly against the glass and leaving a 1/4-inch excess tape at each end.

  2. Lay the attached pieces flat, frosted side down. Lay a strip of copper tape on the table, sticky side up. Press the edge of one of the attached pieces onto the tape while propping a third piece of glass perpendicularly to the flat piece. The edge of the third piece of glass should press down onto the copper tape as its inner plane meets the edge of the glass at a right angle. Fold the tape up around the seam, and press it firmly. Repeat the process with the remaining side, this time placing the edge of the fourth piece of glass on top of the glass, not the tape. Bring the tape up to secure both pieces.

  3. Fold the four pieces into a box, and secure the last seam with copper tape. At one end of the box, trim all of the copper tape flush with the edge of the glass. At the other end of the box, snip each piece of excess tape in half up the middle to create two flaps. Place the bottom pane against the box, and fold one flap of tape and then the other over each corner to make a clean angle. Cover the seam around the bottom edge of the box with copper tape.

  4. Give the copper tape an instant patina by applying a blackening solution, commonly available at crafts stores. To darken the copper tape, roughen it by scrubbing it lightly with steel wool. Then paint a thin coat of copper-blackening solution onto it, and allow it to dry.

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