Five ways to add romance to evenings in the garden

Hanging mesh lanterns
Squares of brass mesh form these novel lanterns that recall old-fashioned carriage lamps. They’re exceptionally easy to assemble – you just need to know how to fold.

Design: Lindsay Smith, Bainbridge Island, WA

Time: About 30 minutes
Cost: About $5
Note: This lantern is lit by a candle, so be sure to keep it away from combustible materials.

Materials for one lantern

• Scissors
• Work gloves for handling mesh (optional)
• Ruler
• Fine-gauge brass mesh (from a hardware store)
• Small water glass or wineglass with diameter about the same as votive
• 2 feet of medium-gauge brass wire
• Tea light
• Votive


1. With scissors cut a 12-inch square of brass mesh. (Label the corners, clockwise from upper left, “A,” “B,” “D” and “C.”) “Hem” the square by folding the four rough edges inward ½ inch. Make the folds sharp and flat by running a stiff ruler over them to smooth. Every fold in the following steps should be creased with the ruler.

2. Next, fold the mesh square in half so A and B meet and C and D meet. Crease and unfold. Fold in half so A and C meet and B and D meet. Crease and unfold. Then fold to make two diagonal creases.

3. Center the mesh square, hemmed sides down, over the glass, crimping a circle around the mouth of the glass. This creates a small indentation for the votive.

4. Open the square with the corners curving up. Thread brass wire through one of the corners, leaving a 1-inch tail on the outside. Weave the long end of wire through the next two corners, allowing them to overlap slightly. The fourth corner should remain open.

Next: Last step 

5. Put the tea light in the votive and light it. Place the votive inside the lantern.

Bring the fourth corner of mesh up and use the 1-inch end of the wire to secure it to the lantern. Use this flap as the “door” to reach the tea light when you want to change it.

Loop the long end of the wire around a tree branch or trellis, or hang it from an S-hook.