To make a floating lantern, decorate a paper bag, fill it with sand, attach a piece of foam to the bottom, place the candle inside, light the candle and launch the lantern. Making a floating lantern takes roughly 15 minutes and requires 1-inch thick foam, a paper bag, 2 cups of sand, silicone, paint, paintbrushes and a votive candle.
- Decorate the bag
Floating lanterns traditionally feature wishes painted on the side. Use paint and a paint brush to transcribe wishes, if desired. Alternatively, paint attractive designs on the sides.
- Fill the bag
If it is decorated, wait for the paint to dry. Open the bag, and pour 2 cups of sand into the bottom of the bag. The sand holds the candle in place and improves the bag's stability in the water.
- Prepare the Styrofoam
Cut the foam into a 12-inch square. Squeeze a dime-sized amount of silicone onto the middle of the square.
- Attach the foam
Place the sand-filled bag squarely on the Styrofoam. Press down so the silicone adheres to the bottom of the bag. Allow the silicone to set for 30 minutes.
- Insert the candle
Place the votive candle inside the bag, and push it into the sand. Make sure it's centered in the bag. Use a flameless battery-operated votive candle for safety.
- Float the lantern
If using a traditional votive, light the candle just before launching. Otherwise, turn on the flameless battery-operated votive. Carefully set the lantern foam-side down on the water, steadying it so it floats.