easy solstice lanterns
pretty ombre colored lanterns

Today we are celebrating the Winter Solstice, the beginning of winter and the darkest day of the year. We made watercolor Solstice candle lanterns (inspired by Garden Mama), one painted in hues to remind us of the night and wintertime and one painted to invoke thoughts of warm days and sunsets. Both are brightly burning in the center of our nature table today to cast some light on this shortest day of the year, reminding us that each coming new day will bring a bit more sunshine and daylight. We welcome all the fun and adventure that this Winter will bring, but I am already looking forward to those longer brighter days after these gloomy Winter storms pass.

child painting paper with watercolors

We painted watercolor paper with liquid watercolors – Sutton chose the warm colors of sunsets, and Sawyer picked blues and purple to represent nighttime and darkness.

child painting paper with water color paints

After the painting were dry, I rubbed them with enough oil to soak through to the back of the paper and left them overnight to dry. I should note here that we ran out of watercolor paper after the first painting that the boys did, so we finished up with textured Bristol which actually took the oil better and became the most luminous and translucent.

pretty water colored paper

I rolled the paintings around mason jars, glued them into a cylinder shape, and left the jars inside to weigh the seams down until the glue was dry.

gorgeous ombre colored paper
paper wrapped around lanterns

Light some tealights inside the mason jars, and you will have gorgeous lanterns to illuminate your day. Happy Solstice! May you find warmth and light in these dark Winter days 🙂

paper lantern stood next to decahedron lantern
pretty lanterns for solstice

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  1. Those are awesome, and you make it look so easy! Similar lanterns sell for $40 and more. I can’t wait to do this with my classroom, although we may use battery operated tea lights. Thanks for the inspiration!