Maybe its cabin fever or just another whim but the boys have recently taken a strong interest in camping. This, of course, excites their nature-loving outdoorsdad who would-if-he-could live high on a mountaintop in a cabin built of sticks. So, taking the role of the ever-encouraging mom and wife I decided to make the kids a portable "Coleman" lantern for their indoor journeys under tents made of sheets and chairs. The best thing is that it was constructed using materials that I already had on hand along with a very nifty little battery operated votive candle that really flickers. I found mine at the $ store but since LED lights are becoming so popular you can find these votives almost anywhere.
What you need:
Two empty identical plastic jars with lids from peanut butter, mayonaise or any other recyclable
Wax paper (although any white paper will do: freezer paper, parchment, printer, etc.)
Wire or rope for a handle
One battery operated votive candle
Drill or Dremel
Hot glue gun or other strong glue
1. Clean out one of your empty jars and take any sticky lable goo off of the outside with something like Goo Gone. You only need the lid from the second container.
2. Measure and cut three pieces of waxed paper to fit around the inside of the jar with just 1/4" or so of overlap.
3. I used a glue stick to glue the ends of the three papers together before taping them together to form a tube. Place the tube in the jar.
4. Now you need to drill a hole on either side of one of your lids. Try to line them up directly across from each other.
5. Thread the ends of the wire or rope through the two holes. Pinch the ends of the wire or knot the ends of the rope to keep them put.
6. Now drill a larger hole into the bottom of the second lid. You can use an exacto knife to cut off any extra plastic.
7. Line up your votive on the inside of the lid so the switch is centered over the hole. Draw a circle around the votive for reference and then hot glue it down.
8. Now hot glue the handle lid to the bottom (closed) end of the jar and screw the candle lid onto the former top (open) end of the jar.
Tah-Daaaaaaahhhh! Turn it on and watch it flicker and glow! I was happy to see that Cam had a much easier time turning on the switch than I did since his fingers are small enough to fit into the hole. The candle advertised that it would last up to 60 hours. I've got the stopwatch timing. When it "burns out" I will just remove it and replace the battery before regluing it down.
You could get carried away with these and draw little pictures on the inside paper so they look like shadows if you want. I have already commissioned the husband to work on rewiring the votive's circuit for a future project that I have in mind. So many possibilities. I like this lantern plain, though, and think it is remarkably similar looking to the original Coleman.
Now I really can't wait until the sun comes out again...