How to build an amazing lantern of ice

Yes – completely off topic regarding the internet, media centers, marketing and new media. You know, the stuff I usually write about here on But it has been easter holiday, cold and I’ve had several days off.

First, ensure you’ll have a couple of days with sub zero degrees. Preferably something below -5 degrees Celsius (23 F). Then fill a big bucket with water. Find a smaller bucket and place it in the water in the big one. Find something to put in the small bucket to make it submerge in the water in the big bucket. Don’t use water in the small bucket. Use small stones or something else. I found a part of wood.

The small bucket will float around in the big one, so you might want to tie it up to make it sit still in the middle of the big bucket. You need about 5 cm (2 inches) of water around and under the small bucket.

Now leave the bucket outside for a couple of hours. I needed about two days in -5 to -10 degrees Celsius (23 – 14 F).

When it is completely frozen remove the weight in the inner bucket and fill it with hot water. This will melt some of the ice to make it easy for you to remove the inner bucket.

Depending on the temperature you might need to pour some hot water outside on the big bucket as well. To be able to remove it.

When removed, make some holes along the end. When you place it on top of a candle you need some air to flow into it. When finished, light a small candle and place the block of ice on top of it.

Now wait for the evening to arrive and have fun watching these amazing lanterns.

But the heat from the candle will melt the top of the lantern! Yes, but it will keep looking cool. 🙂

While in holiday mode. More off topic:
The pepper matters
Living in Norway (cold… and hot…)
The video of the seasons in Norway

How to build an amazing lantern of ice

12 thoughts on “How to build an amazing lantern of ice

  1. Hehe. “Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.” is part of my new theme. And I agree. For this post:

    “Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay off topic. No spam.”

    Or wait a minute. That will give me lots of comments about media centers, marketing and the internet on this post about icy lanterns…?

    Whatever. Say what you want.

  2. andorand says:


    while it’s still cold, you can try another one; take a balloon (preferably a big one) pull it over the tap and fill it with cold water (the colder, the better), until the balloon’s got a diameter of around 30 cms.

    Hold the neck of the balloon so the water doesn’t get out, pull it off the tap and inflate it with your mouth until the water level is down to perhaps 70 % (this means that when it’s frozen, your ice blob will have a flat top). Put it outside on a flat surface or in your freezer til it’s frozen (couple of days should do). Now you have an ice globe that’s flat on the underside (so that it sits well on the ground) and it’s got a flat top you can put a tea light candle on. The aluminium of the tea light candle will melt down into the ice as the candle heats up and it will look almost as cool as your bucket lights.

  3. andorand says:

    [edit] I consulted with a thermometer and the ice blob thing will look EXACTLY as cool as the bucket light. It will in fact be more or less as cool as the environmental temperature.

  4. That baloon trick sounds simpler than these bucket lights. One problem could be that the candle is pretty exposed while it melts itself down into the ice.

    And you’re right. Pretty much anything you build using ice will look just as cool as the buckets in this article. 🙂

  5. B5 says:

    I whish you would post that at least month earlier. In Soth Europe it’s way to warm to freeze a bucket of water. My daughter would love it. I guess next winter.

  6. Actually, these last couple of days have been much colder than usual even here in Norway. Right now it’s snowing outside. Seems like the winter comes late this year. End of March usually marks the beginning of springtime here up north.

  7. In Brighton (UK South coast) we had our first dusting of snow for the whole winter on Tuesday. My girlfriend’s family in Southern Sweden say they’ve had by far the biggest snowfall of the winter in the last few days too.

    Odd – but good 🙂

    Fantastic lights – my girlfriend’s family make similar just using snowballs. Not quite as attractive but much quicker.

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