three completed fairy lanterns, lit and glowing with fairy cutouts inside

How To Make A DIY Fairy Lamp

Originally contributed by • last updated 7/9/2021

BeginnerDifficulty Level
$5Cost
30 min.Time
Nichola Battilana
|
Pixie Hill
BeginnerDifficulty Level
$5Cost
30 min.Time

Growing up, dreams always had a way of mixing with reality. Through the delightful ability to play make-believe, an ordinary life could transform into a magical, mystical world at the drop of a hat. 

In this world, there were no limits. Unicorns were as common as horses, leprechauns collected gold at the end of rainbows, Bigfoot had a quaint cottage on a snowy mountain, and Tinkerbell flew around on ethereal wings. 

There’s something extremely admirable about a child’s ability to change their reality, if only for a moment, if only in their head. 

Suspending reality can be a truly comforting experience, one that helps make life feel a little bit more manageable.

Having grown a little bit older, do you now find yourself raising a child who gets just as swept up by magic as you used to get? If so, we may just have the perfect DIY for you: Fairies in a jar!

Fairy Lantern DIY

Nichola Battilana
|
Pixie Hill

Fairy lamps can be a great way to bring a magical glow to your home. Whether you’re young, young at heart, or just in dire need of a little fairytale goodness, there’s nothing more magical than a tiny fairy emanating light from a jar. 

If magic is what you’re searching for, this is the project for you. Nichola Battilana creates the sweetest fairy lantern DIY, and the good news is that it’s easy as pie. 

Real-life-fairies can be hard to catch, and even if you somehow manage it, some of them may tell you they don’t actually like being put in jars. 

Thankfully, Battilana’s DIY teaches you how to make a fairy lamp without harming innocent fairies in the process.

With a little bit of tissue paper, glue, and a touch of fairy dust (aka glitter), Nichola Battilana walks you through her easy fairy lantern DIY so that you, too, can feel like a princess. 

No fairies were harmed in the making of this lamp.

Let's Make It

Equipment

  • Cheap Paint Brush
  • Scissors
  • Fast-Dry Instant Glue
  • White School Glue
  • Quality White Glue
  • Hot Glue Gun

Materials

  • Mason Jar
  • Thin Tissue Paper
  • Clear Glitter
  • Twine
  • Gypsy Soul Garden Fairy Cutouts or Fairy Stencil on Thick Cardstock
  • Fake Berries, Pinecones, or Floral Embellishments
  • 2-3 Battery Powered Tea Lights or String Lights

How To Make A Fairy Lamp

01/7

Select Your Fairy Cutout

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts has a beautiful selection of paper fairy cutouts that can be viewed and ordered on their online store. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles.

Though Gypsy Soul’s Garden Fairy selection is what Nichola Battilana used in her fairy lantern DIY, you can also find unique stencils and paper cut-outs at art supply stores, or you could even make your own!

To make your own, we suggest using a cardstock paper that is thick enough that light won’t show through, but still flexible enough that it curves with the shape of the jar and can be safely cut with a utility knife.

If you don't consider yourself an artist and your craft store stencil-search came up with nada, you can even print off a to-scale drawing of a fairy and trace that onto your cardstock!

Simply scribble with pencil over the back of the whole printout, lay it scribble-side-down on your cardstock, then trace over the image lines with a ball-point pen. The graphite on the back will transfer the tracing to the cardstock.

02/7

Glue The Fairy Inside The Jar

Nichola Battilana
|
YouTube

Bend the fairy cutout gently down the middle without creasing it, but rounding it enough that it will fit nicely against the curve of your jar.

Apply a few dabs of quick-dry instant glue to the front of your fairy, then place it against the glass on the inside of your mason jar. 

Tip: If the mason jar has any texture, writing, or details on one of the glass sides, glue the fairy to the opposite side so that the texture faces the back and won’t interfere with the fairy silhouette.

03/7

Glue Tissue Paper To The Jar

Nichola Battilana
|
YouTube

Using a cheap paintbrush, brush a thick coat of white school glue onto the exterior of the jar, one side at a time, starting with the side your fairy is glued to.

Before the glue on that side dries, place a thin sheet of white tissue paper over the top of it, lining the edge of the paper up with the top of the jar opening.

Turn the jar around to brush glue onto the next section, then repeat the process with the rest of the jar.

Nichola Battilana
|
YouTube

Once the tissue paper is glued to the sides of your mason jar, cut off the excess, leaving as little overlap of the tissue pieces as possible.

If you double-layer your tissue paper or use paper that is too thick, the light will have a hard time showing through your fairy lantern DIY.

Now brush a second coat of glue onto the surface of the tissue paper, completely sealing it into place.

If you have more than an inch or two of paper hanging over the bottom edge of your jar, use scissors to cut off the excess.

Nichola Battilana
|
YouTube

Fold the remaining tissue paper in towards the center of the mason jar base and brush over it with a layer of glue.

04/7

Glue On The Glitter

Nichola Battilana
|
YouTube

After the glue adhering the tissue paper to the mason jar is completely dry, pour a little bit of glue around the edges of the jar, making a line around the top, bottom, and corners.

Battilana uses Aleene's Tacky Glue for this step, a quality white crafting glue that holds on to glitter a little bit better than standard white school glue can.

Nichola Battilana
|
YouTube

She then uses her fingers to spread the glue out. You can use a popsicle stick or brush if you'd prefer to keep your fingers glue-free.

With this step, you really want to make sure you're keeping the glue confined to the edges of the jar like a frame. It's more about flattening the glue out, so that instead of a rounded line, you have a smooth tacky surface for the glitter to stick to.

Nichola Battilana
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YouTube

Once you've applied glue to the edges, pick up a jar of clear glitter and pour it over the whole thing.

To avoid making a big mess, work over a placemat or tray, then pour any excess glitter back into the jar when the craft is complete.

If you notice that some spaces are uneven or don't have as much glitter as you'd like, rub a little more glue onto the missing places and pour another coat of glitter over the jar.

05/7

Decorate The Top

Nichola Battilana
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YouTube

Whether you decide to use fake berries, miniature pinecones, or faux flowers, wrap twine a few times around the rim of the jar, tie a bow, then attach your chosen decor with a hot glue gun.

06/7

Lighting Your Fairy Lantern DIY

Nichola Battilana
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YouTube

Now comes the best part: filling your fairy jar with magic!

Place two or three battery powered tea lights inside of your jar, or even a strand of battery operated string lights for a gentler glow!

Warning: Do not use candles and open flame. Fire and your paper fairy are a definite safety hazard, and a horrible fairy-fire waiting to happen.


No child wants to see their magical fairy friend go up in flames, and no parent wants to risk injury or worse.

07/7

Display Your DIY Fairy Lamp With Pride

Nichola Battilana
|
Pixie Hill

Once your lights are placed, twinkling, and creating a magical fairy silhouette, screw the lid onto the jar and start looking for the perfect place to display it!

Whether that's as a night light in your kids' room, or as a guardian on your mantle, we recommend putting it somewhere the fairy can look out and interact with the house's inhabitants. Fairies love to be social, and they love to be adored!

Nichola Battilana's fairy lantern DIY is easy and fun for the whole family, plus it's so cost efficient that you can make as many as you want. Change up the decorations and fairy cutout for every jar!

Everyone needs a little bit of magic in their life, whether it's through the content they consume, the books they read, or the make-believe their children adore.

Step off, Elf-on-a-shelf; there's a new friend in town! Fairy in a Jar is keeping the magic alive and flourishing through all of 2021.