As the night of our Ugly Christmas Sweater Party approached, I realized that the temperature was to go below freezing. I had always wanted to make these beautiful Ice Lanterns for a winter party…so this was my chance! They turned out to be beautiful and were welcoming on a crisp, cold night!
I used a 2 liter plastic soda bottle and a 24 oz plastic bottle for the inside – cut tops off.
1. Fill the 2 liter bottle with about 1 1/2 inches of water and freeze.
2. Remove from freezer and place 24 oz bottle inside resting on the ice. Center the 24 oz bottle in the 2 liter bottle and use masking tape to secure in place. Make sure space between bottles is even all the way around.
3. Cut greens from the yard (I used Boxwood) and cranberries to fill the sides. Cranberries float, so place some in the bottom first and then add green on top. Add a few additional cranberries on the sides. When you fill the container with water the cranberries will rise to the top.
When frozen, remove from freezer. Lift tape and add hot water into the center of the bottle. As the ice melts a little, pull out center bottle. This gets a little tricky as the plastic bottles have larger bottoms than the sides. You have to work it! Run hot water over the outside of the bottle to loosen the large bottle. I had great difficulty pulling the ice lantern out of the 2 liter bottle due to the larger bottom. I recommend cutting it down the sides to remove it. Be careful - the plastic can be sharp! I also recommend having a set of bottles for each ice lantern you wish to make.
I highly recommend using a battery operated candle inside – the flame melts the ice! Make a couple of days ahead and store in the freezer.
In the end I was pleased at how the ice lanterns turned out. I also made smaller ones to line the walk with as guest approached the door! For these I use cottage cheese containers and small disposable food storage containers. These were so much easier to separate as the cottage cheese containers had a smaller bottom and the ice slid right out.
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