I was watching The Bachelorette last week, #guiltypleasure, and in the background while they were interviewing Rachel sat an awesome sea glass rope lantern. I loved it right away and thought I need to get one of those! It reminded me of those Japanese glass floats with fish netting around them. My brain started turning and I thought, “Actually, I bet I can make one!” So that is what I did. 🙂 I have to say I LOVE how my DIY sea glass rope lantern turned out!
I think it even rivals the one I saw on TV. It is the perfect addition for any beachy coastal decor. I will be using it in my summer coastal tablescape which you will get to see soon! After that it will take it’s permanent place in our coastal themed bathroom.
When I was thinking about how to make it, I knew that I already had the perfect jar to use. We had bought a HUGE jar of pickles for our son’s graduation a couple years ago and are literally still eating them! #overbuyer LOL Luckily they were down enough to fit into a regular size mason jar now. Although I think they may be getting close to the expiration date anyway, I better check on that. 😉
*There are links to products in this post that I use or are similar to products I use. If you buy something from one of these links, I may make a small commission (with no additional cost to you) from the purchase. I will not recommend anything that I would not buy myself. Thank you for supporting my blog!
For this project you will need:
- A gallon size jar
- Krylon Sea Glass Spray Paint – Color Sea Foam
- Jute Rope
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
- Binder Clips
I washed up the jar and removed the label using hot soapy water. The first step was to transform the clear glass jar into sea glass. I had seen this done on Pinterest using this Krylon spray paint so I bought some and we went to work. It was super easy to spray this on and it dried almost instantly. The can says it dries to touch in 15 minutes but it took way less time than that. Regardless, I did not start putting the jute rope on it until after it sat for about 6-8 hours.
This spray paint is amazing! It only took one coat. I love the look and feel of it now. The color is great too. We wondered if we should put a clear coat on top to protect it but decided against it. We don’t think it will be necessary but time will tell on that. I may be kicking myself later. 😉
I wanted to use a thicker rope to give it a more robust look. Since it was a bigger jar, I thought a thin rope would not achieve the quality look I was aiming for. I think the jute I used is the perfect size. To make the netting on the jar, I started at the top and worked my way down. I figured this way it would be easier to hide any mistakes on the bottom if needed! Ha!
Cut a piece of rope to fit around the lip on the top of your jar. Loosely tie it around the lip of your jar, and don’t knot it tightly yet. You will be attaching your vertical pieces of rope to this and it will make it easier to do that if it is not tight against the jar. How many vertical pieces of rope to cut depends on how dense you want your netting to be. I cut eight pieces of rope to tie to the top.
I was not sure how long I needed to cut the vertical pieces so I guessed on about four times the height of the jar. Well as you will see later, that was not enough. Ugh! I did not take into account how big the knots would be and how much rope it would take. Oh well, this is what happens when you are DIYing without instructions. Learn from my mistakes people! You will need to cut your rope six times the height of your jar. You will be a much happier person if you do that. 😉
Attach the vertical ropes to the jar using a lanyard hitch knot. It is a very simple knot. First fold your rope in half. Take the looped end and stick it up underneath the rope around the lip of the jar. Next bring the ends of the rope up through the loop and pull it tight. Repeat this step with the remaining pieces of rope and space them out evenly. After you get them attached where you want them, tie the rope around the lip tightly.
I used a square knot to make sure it does not come undone. A square knot is similar to an overhand knot (like the first step in tying your shoes) however you will be making two overhand knots. When tying it make sure you cross right over left first and pull tight, then left over right and pull tight. My years of being a Cub Scout Den Leader have come in handy! 🙂 Cut the excess rope ends. We added a little hot glue to the knot and ends for added strength.
To tie the knots on the netting take one piece of rope from two adjacent vertical strands. They should form a V when holding them. Tie a knot with these making sure to hold both strands together.
Move around the jar making your knots with the remaining ropes. Try to keep them all at the same height.
Repeat the same steps as above for your next row of knots. These knots should be directly under your initial lanyard knots. After it is knotted, the ropes will form a diamond shape.
Try to keep your knots the same size and distance apart as you work your way down the jar.
The rope will look better at the end when it is all pulled tight on the bottom. You can pull it down as you go along to make sure your spacing looks correct. Notice anything wrong in this picture? Mr. W said it looked like it was wearing a midriff shirt! Ha!
This is when I realized my initial vertical ropes were going to be too short! There went an hour of my life down the drain. Lol. See the sacrifices I make for you all? 😉 So fast forward to this next picture and ahhhhhhh…much better!
I was not sure how to attach the ropes on the bottom. If I tied a bunch of knots, the jar would not sit down very well. I recruited the brain of Mr. Wonderful and we decided to just hot glue it down. We continued the pattern to the bottom of the jar and put a dab of hot glue under the spot where the ropes intersected. Then we repeated that directly across from the previous one. We took the long strands from opposing sides and hot glued those together for added strength cutting off any excess rope. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of hot glue!
It looks pretty good after all is said and done and it still sits well. Can’t ask for much more than that!
We covered the top of the jar where the lid screws on with more rope. We just hot glued this. Add a bead of hot glue to the rope as you wind it around the jar. What do you think so far?
Now we needed a handle. I wanted a nice thick handle for it to go along with the thicker knots. I decided to try to braid a handle but I figured that one braid would be too small. That was a correct guess. So I made 3 separate braids about 22 inches long and braided those all together. This produced the right thickness I wanted. We used binder clips to hold the braid ends.
Now came the question of how to attach it. We decided we would attach it to the netting with another piece of jute rope. We had to loop it around this rope somehow but the thickness was going to present a challenge. Mr. Wonderful to the rescue as usual! He came up with this great idea! We splayed out the ends and separated them in half. 5 strands to one side and 4 to the other. We cut a smaller piece of rope (about 10-12 inches) and laid that in the middle. Then starting with the side with 5 strands we crossed them over the middle piece of rope, alternating each side.
We hot glued the top of each strand down to the braided portion. Watch your fingers, it is hot! Taking another piece of rope, we wound it around the strands, gluing it as we went. After a couple turns with it, cut off the ends of the strands and continue wrapping around for a couple more times to get a finished look.
We attached the handle by inserting the two ends of the rope through a couple of the lanyard knots at the top of the jar. After making sure it was even, we tied a knot on each side and secured it with what else? Hot Glue! We used a lot for this project. Can you tell our hot glue gun gets a lot of use? 🙂
Here is the finished product! Love it!
And here it is in our DIY dough bowl as you will see on my coming tablescape.
I love the fact that I was able to turn something like a pickle jar into something so beautiful! It is amazing what you can do with ordinary things that you have around the house using a little imagination and trial and error. 😉
It is also nice that this was a jar from our son’s graduation so it has some extra meaning to it from that as well.
I am inspired to make some DIY glass floats using this same method to go along with the lantern, I will let you know how those turn out. I hope you are inspired to take something ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary! Have a wonderful day!