How to Make a Beautiful Glass Gem Lantern

4 Materials
60 Minutes

Glass gems, with their beautiful jewel-like finish, are a wonderful material to craft with. They are useful in many projects, but adding light to the mix really brings them alive. In this tutorial, we show you how to make your own beautiful glass gem lantern that is perfect to hold a candle or LED lights. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is to make.

What we used to make our glass gem lantern

• A Mason Jar

Glass Gems - we used a mix of colours (Amazon Affiliate)

Bostik All Purpose Glue (Amazon Affiliate)

• Large tea-light candle

I decided to use a Mason jar for the base of our glass gem lantern. Mason jars have the useful characteristic of having a two-part lid. Consisting of a ring and plate, this combination allows you to have your finished jar open (by not using the plate) but still use the ring to give a completed look.

Bostik All Purpose is the glue that I recommend using to stick the glass gems onto the jar. It is a clear, extra strong and quick drying glue. It will bond a huge variety of materials including metals, wood, glass, china, leather, felt, canvas, paper and cardboard as well as many plastics and fabrics. Its quick bonding properties are brilliant for crafts such as this where you don’t want to be messing around trying to hold things in place.

Our glass gem lantern is super simple to make. The Bostik All Purpose bonds the glass gems to the mason jar really well, so we had no problems with any gems falling off. The hardest part of this project was working out how to arrange the gems.

How to make a glass gem lantern.

With the first glass gem lantern I made, I started at the bottom of the jar and worked up towards the mouth. Everything went well until I reached the top and found that I had a gap in which the gems wouldn’t fit. This left the jar with an unfinished look which I wasn’t all that happy with, so I decided on a different strategy for my second attempt.

For my second lantern, I worked with my Mason jar ring screwed in place, and the jar positioned upside down. This allowed me to stick the gems neatly just below the collar giving a great finish. I found that working in batches of four gems at a time kept everything organised and allowed me to select four of a similar size. I added the Bostik All Purpose glue to the backs of the four gems (they have one flat and one rounded side) then pressed them into position – holding each for just a second or two.

Once the first row of glass gems was in position, I left it to completely dry before I started to add the next layer. This dry base layer offers a bit of extra support for the subsequent rows of gems while they adhere, ensuring that they don’t slip out of position.

For the additional rows, I completed two at a time before giving them a few minutes for the glue to dry before continuing with the next two rows.

And here is our completed glass gem lantern. The gems look gorgeous, and I am delighted with how the lantern turned out. I decided to spray the ring around the top a pale blue colour. If you don't have any spray paint and want to colour yours nail polish also works well on jar lids. You could, of course, use both parts of the lid and use your gem studded jar for storage.

It’s when it gets dark that our glass gem lantern really comes to life. We are using a tea-light in ours, but you could always pop some LEDs or a solar light in it as an alternative.

Resources for this project:
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Janice Bennett Janice Bennett on Oct 23, 2018

    I love this idea! And I'm excited to give it a try. I have questions though.

    The picture of the finished gem lantern looks like there are glassgems placed inside the mason jar as well as on the outside. Is this accurate?

    I'm thinking that this will make a wonderful Christmas gift for my nephew and his wife. Thanks!!

  • Ladyvj Ladyvj on Oct 29, 2018

    Can I use plastic mason jars? I bought these plastic mason jars from Michael's and would like to try this project .

  • Mary Ramirez Mary Ramirez on Apr 07, 2019

    Has anyone used Gorilla Glue for glass items? I'm wondering if that would work.

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