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Knotted Hanging Lanterns

Photography: Rob Tannenbaum

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April 2012


If using a real candle in the lantern, tie or add hardware to the twine at least one yard from where the wick of the candle will be positioned. Light the candle first, then lift the twine and hang the lantern, being careful to never let the flame come in contact with the twine.


  • Glass jar (we used a Ball jar, but a fishbowl, vase, or glass hurricane would also work)

  • Strong twine such as jute or hemp

  • Scissors

  • Pins and/or tape

  • Corkboard for work surface (optional)

  • Ruler

  • Rubber bands

  • Metal O-ring (optional)

  • Pebbles, candles, plants, etc. for filling jar


  1. Turn jar upside-down. Wrap twine around jar vertically (starting at mouth, going over the bottom and back down to the mouth). Multiply this length by 10. Cut eight lengths of twine to that measurement.

  2. Divide lengths of twine into two bunches of four. Cross these bunches in the center and pin or tape to the work surface to form an "X." Treat each bunch of four as one strand and follow the diagram for the Lanyard Knot to make the starting knot.

  3. Measure the diameter of the bottom of the jar, and divide that measurement in half. Tie an overhand knot to secure two adjacent strands together, and repeat all the way around (you will end up with 8 knots).

  4. Drape knotted twine over inverted jar, lining up center knot with center of jar bottom. Tape center knot in place. Place rubber band over ball jar and twine to secure. Space twine strands equally around jar, using rubber band to hold in place.

  5. Tie one strand from each adjacent knot together, creating a row of overhand knots. Use the rubber band as reference to keep knots at the same height on the jar. Do the same to create another row of knots, and repeat until you reach the mouth of the jar.

  6. Flip the jar right side up. With the remaining lengths of twine, tie the netted lantern to a tree branch or beam. Optionally, gather twine strands, thread through a metal O-ring and secure using a cow hitch knot.

  7. Finish with wrapped knot directly below the cow hitch and trim extra twine. The jar can be filled with candles, LED lights, pebbles, and/or plants.

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