Patio Lanterns ala Thrift Shops

I've been wanting to make some thrift store lanterns for our deck for quite awhile.  I've seen some great ones online made from jars and such, but when I found these old light fixtures at a thrift store, inspiration struck and I just had to have them!

You see old light covers all the time at garage sales or thrift stores and it's not as if they are cool or modern enough to use in your actual home (unless you want to...then they are totally cool), but wrapping some wire around these babies and putting candles in them really gives them a fun new life!

So I chose two "designs" that called out to me.  Believe me there are dozens of these out there and some are just hideous!  I opted for clear and white glass only as I wanted to have as much light from the candles come through or else whats the point!
 You're going to need 16 gauge wire for these.  Its nice and bendable but you will still need pliers to tighten around the lip of the fixture.  I bought myself some from Michael's and it was really cheap.  I opted for black because I wanted the contrast against the white glass.  The wire comes in a few different choices, so again, just go with your gut and to suit your own astheic!

When assembling these, some of the fixtures you'll be able to sit on the table no problem - the clear glass one I was able to thanks to the points all over it.  The white glass didnt have a flat bottom so I tucked it into a small box for stability.  First thing you'll want to do is measure the length around the lip of the fixture.  Cut the wire about an inch longer so you have room to slip the handle in later and to tighten.

Next eyeball how long you want your handle to be making sure to take into account that you may want a twist at the top like I've done (totally optional - it will work either way) as well as about an inch at the ends that will be looped under the "lip wire".

Next I made a small loop at the top of the handle, just for more decorative appeal.  If you leave it just as a handle that will work as well.  You could at this point get creative and add some loops etc all the way up the handle, but if you opt to do that you'll want to cut the handle longer. 

Next, loop the ends under the lip wire and using pliers twist the ends up around itself.

You may have to manipulate the wire now to get a good shape in the handle. 
Then it's time to find a hook and hang your masterpiece!
I'm loving the look of this all lit up!  It has such a halloweeny glow!

Here's the clear one that I made a couple days ago. I love the sparkle it gives off. 

I would suggest using a votive candle rather than tea lights, but play with different sizes to get the light you're looking for!

I hope you have fun making a lantern or two for yourself!  You might get hooked and be on the lookout for old fixtures everywhere!  I know I am!  I imagine my balcony with a whole cluster of them!

Oh and I just had to share a picture of my Christmas Cactus!  We found this poor guy beside a garbage bin during the summer.  All we had to do was give it some water and man did we get a good return on our investment!

Happy Halloween weekend everyone!!

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