DIY – Glass Jar and Rice Lanterns


As the weather has recently picked up a little bit in Milan, I’ve decided to start making some goodies to decorate my balcony with. My balcony here is pretty boring at the moment, with cream railings which overlook the disappointing view of a busy street outside. I want to try and create a cute little space on a very tight budget, so using mostly recycled bits and pieces I can find in the house.

I’m a magpie for colour and my ordinary tea lights in a jar are getting a little bit boring, so I wanted to spruce them up a little!

This is going to be the first of many cheap DIY projects I’m hoping to undertake, so keep an eye out for more!


For these pretty little lanterns you can use everything you probably have in the house already!

  • A glass jar
  • A cup
  • A dribble of water
  • Brusho Ink / Food colouring
  • As much rice as desired
  • A  small candle of your choice


Firstly, you’ll need to fill your jar with as much rice as you wish, and then add a tiny amount of Brusho ink or food colouring.


Then, pop the lid back on your jar and give it a little shake to spread the ink evenly through the grains of rice.


Add a dribble of water to the jar and shake again! For this, less is more! You can always add more, but you can’t take any away!

Shake the jar until all of the grains are coloured.


Empty your rice into the spare cup, give the jar a clean and then ensure you dry it properly. Wait for your rice to dry out again (I hurried this along by putting it into a sauce pan and heating it gently) and then spoon it back into the jar.


Add your candle and you’re good to go! You can try this in any singular colour, or maybe even creating a rainbow jar by layering the rice! It would be a good idea to make sure you can take the candle back out without having to turn the jar upside down (as that could get messy!) But I found that you’re able to get the empty tea lights out very easily with a spoon!

I want to create lots more of these to brighten up my balcony in the evenings to make it a nice chill out place for me and my friends.  Maybe I will try experimenting with more colours and even different grains or beans!

Let me know your thoughts.

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