Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rainbow Ice Lanterns

i recently came across a tutorial for these beautiful illuminated ice lanterns on one of my favorite blogs. We immediately went out and gathered materials to make them.

i was super please with how our first one turned out, and plan to make a few more. So while looking for some other wintery craft projects to do, a friend suggested the ice bunting project on this blog. As soon as i saw them, i knew i had to combine projects and create...

rainbow ice lanterns. :)

These are very easy to make, but you will need a bit of patience. To make the ice lanterns you need a plastic container for your lantern. We used large yogurt/cottage cheese containers. A tin can, or smaller container that fits inside the main container. A bit of food coloring, water and a few rocks to put inside the tin can.

The first thing we did was mix our colors. i filled 6 jelly jars with water and let the kids add the food coloring to make a rainbow.

We added a couple drops of food coloring to each jar to make the desired colors. Red, then orange (red + yellow), yellow, green (yellow + blue), blue and purple (red+blue)

Technically, because you freeze these one layer at a time you do not have to mix all your colors at once. You can just use one jar/cup of water, and mix one color at a time.
i couldn't resist making the complete rainbow all at once.

To start your lantern, pour a little purple in the bottom of container. i would say you only need about 1/4-1/2". This will be the floor of the lantern. Place it in the freezer (or outside) and allow it to freeze completely.
Once frozen you will place the tin can in the center on top of the ice, and place some rocks inside the can to keep it from moving around. Pour about around 1/2" of purple water around it.
Freeze completely.

Once frozen, you will add the next color. We add around 3/4" to 1" for each color.You have to freeze each layer completely before adding the next color. This can take several hours. Once all of your colors are frozen, you can remove your lantern.

First remove the rocks from inside of the can. Then pour some hot/boiling water inside the can. Let it set for a minute, so that the ice around the can begins to thaw a little and then gently work the can out. At this point, i like to put it back in the freezer for 10-15 min. to refreeze a bit. Then to remove the lantern, you can dip the plastic container in hot water, or pour hot water over the plastic. Then tip the container upside down, and gently tap the lantern out. If the lantern seems a bit melty, pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes, or place it outside if it is below freezing.

Now you place a votive candle inside your lantern and light it and enjoy!


  1. Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that I linked to you in my blog's most recent post:

    Looking forward to exploring your website more!

  2. that rainbow ice lantern is one of the coolest and most beautiful things I've ever seen.
    it's such a great idea.

  3. That is such a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. what fun! :) thanks for sharing!

  5. So pretty! I love anything with rainbows. I'm getting so many more ideas now from all the things people have done with the ice bunting idea and the other things out on the blogs right now. Thanks for posting this!

  6. How the heck did I miss this? I just had to FOLLOW you again, I have no fricking idea what the heck happened....I don't get it. I must be retarded.

  7. Really good post!

  8. One way to do this is that liquids with the highest sugar content sink to the bottom. So for each color add sugar. add lets say 5 tbs of sugar to the red then 4 to the orange and so and so forth. when you pour them in all at the same time the red sinks to the bottom and then they should all even out... ive never tried it before but it makes sense because ive seen it happen when the ice melts in my sweet tea. Its worth a try without waiting for each layer to not sure if anyone has suggested this before and im sorry if someone has.

  9. I do this at christmas time and freeze red berries and pine branches into the water in layers very pretty on the front patio note i just use plain water no colors

  10. That's really cool!!!!!

  11. awesome- thanks for sharing

  12. Love that these are rainbows. They look so beautiful. Shared them here

  13. These are so fun and pretty. :)