Easy Outdoor Mason Jar Lanterns

Brighten up your summer evening with an easy Mason jar lantern. So easy and attractive, these sweet lanterns will look nice on a summer tablescape, to line a walkway, or on a table in an outdoor room.

Mason jars as outdoor lanterns

Outdoor Mason Jar candle lanterns are a must for summer living here at StoneGable. I love the ambiance of candles, and these lanterns do double duty. They keep the bugs away too! I made these lanterns in just a few minutes!

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a trio of mason jar lanterns on a white tray

We spend lots of time on our porch and patio! And we love summer evenings outside, but we don’t love the bugs! To keep these critters away from our table, I made easy outdoor candle lanterns to give us a little bit of that beautiful candlelight and bug protection all in one!

My Creative Process

There were so many versions of these candles floating around in my head for days and days. I knew I wanted to style an easy citronella candle lantern for outdoor dining and evenings. So here’s how my crazy thought process went…

Citronella candles in Mason jar lanterns… great idea… useful too… and so easy… with sand in the bottom of the Mason jar… and jars with candles in a terracotta pot saucer… with pebbles in the bottom of the saucer… no too many hard elements… think… think… think…

How about birdseed… I have that on hand… and so do most people… okay, let’s make this with easy things most people already have… can use citronella candles or not in the diy lantern… how about putting the birdseed in the mason jars and in the terracotta pot… don’t like that look… how about on a dinner plate… everyone has a dinner plate… maybe three mason jars of different sizes… hope I have three different sizes… oh, good, I have a pretty big selection…

I’ll use my favorite white platter instead of a plate… would work on a cake plate, too… no, I like the platter idea better…could do individual candles down an outdoor table… remember this idea for later… how about scattering birdseed across the platter too… oooooh, I like that… hmm, I might use tiny vases of garden flowers too… maybe too much… okay, I’ll give it a try and edit it if I don’t like it… table runner should go under the platter… blue and white will look great with birdseed… use cobalt blue shot glasses…

Maybe I’ll tie all the mason jars together with twine… no, not my style anymore… I can think of so many options… my head feels like it is going to explode with ideas… must sleep… stop thinking about it…

okay, let’s just gather things and see where it goes!

This is usually how I come up with ideas. I always say I have more ideas than the time and money to do them!

Now you have a glimpse into how my mind works when I get an idea.

Make A Mason Jar Lantern

And if you don’t have what you need, here are some suggestions!


  • large white platter-see mine HERE
  • Mason jars- use different heights- see them HERE
  • Birdseed- see it HERE
  • Citronella candles- see them HERE
  • tiny vases
  • garden clippings


Add birdseed to the bottom of each mason jar.

Put a citronella candle in each jar. Snug each candle into the birdseed a little for stability.

Arrange the jars on a large platter or use them individually.

birdseed in mason jars with a citronella candles on top of the birdseed

Add more birdseed to the plater if desired.

flowers and mason jar lanterns on a white platter

Light candles and enjoy!


These little lanterns look so pretty just like this…

mason jars as outdoor lanterns

OR add a trio of little vases (shot glasses) with flowers or herbs! They don’t call me the queen of embellishing for nothing!

I put these Mason jar lanterns on a small wire table on the corner of our porch! Bobby and I love to eat dinner there!

mason jar lanterns and little vases of garden flowers on a white platter
close up of garden flowers in tiny blue vases

Easy outdoor lanterns in just a couple of minutes!

When I’m done for the evening, I blow out the candles and put the lids on them and store them away until the next dinner on the porch or patio!

So so easy peasy- right?

mason jar outdoor lanterns on a porch

Here are some other ways to use the citronella outdoor candle lanterns…

  • group different size lanterns down the center of the table
  • put them on cake pedestals or plates
  • add wire hangers (see them here) and hang them from trees and hooks
  • line a walkway, patio, or porch with the lanterns for a bit of ambiance and bug protection!

Here are some other summery posts to enjoy…

Close up of a Mason Jar outdoor candle lantern

Happy Summer, Friend!

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  1. Not only do I love your citronella candles, but I love how you provided your thought process!! That’s awesome!

  2. Yvonne, thanks for sharing your thought process – I mentally run through my ideas the same way, and had a good laugh realizing other bloggers must do the same thing.

    The candle lanterns are really cute – pinned!

  3. Just curious, won’t votives like this melt into a puddle? To ensure this doesn’t happen, votives could be placed in votive side glass cups and then placed in mason jars. I’ve also placed them in sand for a beach vibe.

    1. Yes, on both! The little glass holders I had would not fit un the mouth of the small jar. If the votives melt into a puddle no problem, just dump out the birdseed and refill!
      Hope you try these Toni!

  4. Such a cute idea and so easy.

  5. Great idea but are you afraid of critters coming on your patio and devouring the birdseed? Maybe that’s just at my house, lol! I’ll use sand instead.

  6. Love your birdseed candle lanterns, Yvonne! So pretty against the blue jars and the flowers. Enjoy your table outside!!!

    Barb 🙂

  7. Debbie Lorson says:

    Darling idea, however you must not have lethal and destructive squirrels. That tray would be tossed the minute I entered the house. I have chemical spray and that does not work. I live in Missouri and currently we are flooded, surviving the biting black gnats that draw blood and the swarm of mosquitoes. No one wants to sit out in these conditions but someday over the rainbow it may happen.

    1. We do not suffer from destructive squirrels! They do not survive out in open farmland. They hawks consider them dinner! Why not set a pretty indoor table using these candles.

  8. Julie Briones says:

    These are just so pretty and unique, Yvonne! Thanks for linking-up at Tuesday Turn About! We are always blessed to have you!

  9. Very very cute but at my house I would have to use sand or pebbles. I have bird feeders not far from the deck and porch that I’m afraid all the seeds would be eaten. lol Though I do love the texture and colors the seeds bring.

    1. Hi Susan, I think these candles would be fine as long as you are with them. Do what you think is best.

  10. Do the candles melt down into a puddle without a holder for them? Do you have a source for the candles?

  11. Such a cute idea which I will keep in ming. I had to put all the bird feeders away after a couple of bear visits. Last Saturday we had just finish watering the gardens and the biggest bear I ever saw came walking through the yard. I bet that bear would love those bird seeds /candle as a snack.

  12. What do you do about the melting wax. Won’t it cover the birdseed and look messy?

    1. Yes, it does, but I just toss the birdseed and the melted wax away.

  13. Wire hanger lanterns link took me to web-cam

  14. Julie Monroe says:

    Such a cute idea with the lanterns. The bird seed adds lots of warm neutral colors. The squirrels would bite through the tray being sure they get every bite of seed. The mosquitoes here are relentless. The citronella we find here has a strong chemical spray. Are there other alternatives that really work?

    1. Julie Monroe says:

      *chemical odors* it was supposed to say

  15. Super cute idea! I love it.