Art, Waste Segregation

Glass for Recycling and Upcycling!

Glass is one of the best recyclable materials. Did you know that glass containers can be recycled an infinite number of times? Reusing one glass bottle saves 1,000W of energy needed to produce a new one (equivalent of running a computer for 22 hours or watching TV for 5,5 hours)! Glass is also an excellent material for upcycling, i.e. transforming waste into products of higher value than the materials being processed.  Ask a child how we can reuse, for example, jam or pickle jars? We can assure you that the possibilities are endless. We would like to present one of them: a lantern, which can make a perfect decor for any home.

szkło do recyklingu potrzebne materiały


  • glass jar
  • self-adhesive paper or sticky back foam 
  • masking tape (depending on the design)
  • scissors
  • acrylic paint
  • small brush / paint roller
  • tea light candle
  • filling for the jar: seeds, coffee beans, dry beans, coloured sand (optional)
  • ribbon (optional)

Step 1

Cut the desired shape out of your sticky back foam sheet or self-adhesive paper. Depending on the season, it can be a Christmas tree, a flower, a leaf, or any other shape your child comes up with. Stick the shape to the jar and paint it in the colour of your choice. You will most likely need 2-3 coats of paint to cover the jar evenly. Allow each paint coat to dry before you apply another one. Once the last coat of paint has dried, remove the shape very carefully. 

Step 2

If you craft with an older child, you can try to prepare a more sophisticated lantern design. In this case, we are going to use multiple paint colours. To get a clean edge where two paint colours meet, we are also going to use a masking tape. Before you start painting, make sure that the tape adheres firmly  to the jar, otherwise, you will not get a perfectly straight paint line. Remove the tape very carefully before the paint has dried completely; otherwise, you risk pulling the paint off the jar together with the tape during removal. After the paint on the lantern has dried, fill ¼ of the jar with dry beans / nuts / coffee beans / acorns or anything else that matches the interests of the person you are going to give the lantern to as a gift; light a tea light and put it inside. Tie a ribbon bow on top of the jar to make your work more decorative.

This post was created by within the “Po Stronie Natury” programme, in partnership with: Żywiec Zdrój, Lasy Państwowe, PTTK, Fundacja Ekologiczna ARKA.