Balloon Ice Lanterns

ice lanternA few years ago, I received a mold for making an ice lantern. It is really nice because you can add cranberries or pine branches and create a really beautiful piece. I make a few for our yard each year and often make a couple to give away. It is the gift that keeps on giving ~ thanks Joan!! I really wanted to create a series of ice lanterns for our front entrance, but with only one mold and several hours for freezing each one, I knew that it would be difficult to make a large number. I have seen a few “pins” on creating your own ice sculptures using balloons. I picked up a bag of balloons at the dollar store and proceeded to try my hand at making my own. Thanks to Willow Day for the great tutorial.

Balloon Ice Lanterns:

  1. Purchase balloons
  2. Slip the neck over a faucet or hose end and carefully fill to desired size.
  3. Knot the end.
  4. Set outside (or in the freezer) to freeze.
  5. The tutorial said to allow 4 to 6 hours for freezing time. I checked mine after 4 hours, 6 hours, 9 hours, 18 hours and then finally felt they were frozen to the desired stage after about 27 hours. (Another tutorial did suggest about 24 hours, so I was expecting it would take longer.)  You are wanting to freeze the outer layer only, but want it to be thick enough that it will not break too easily. The key is to “catch it” before the entire sphere freezes, as you will want to pour the water out of the center cavity because this will become the area in which you set your tea light candle.

Completed Balloon Ice Lanterns:

The outdoor temperature has been hovering around -17 degrees. Brrrr.  I think that the 27 hours was great, but another hour or two would have still been fine as there was still plenty of water in the center. I have lined them on my front porch and set out by the door. I will probably make a few more and of course, add one or two from the mold. I love how the balloon lanterns all freeze differently and thus each one is unique.  I had a really hard time capturing them in a photo. It is really cold and a bit snowy, and the wind keeps blowing my candles out. None of these shots do them any justice, but at least you get the idea. I think they’ll work beautifully on a calm clear evening. We’ll wish for that on Christmas Eve!

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