guerrilla goodness: light in the dark…

October 30, 2011

The weather is changing where I live, it feels like the dark is moving in fast. A little faster than I expected. I find myself wanting to hibernate. It is a lovely time, to go in and be closer together with people we love. The only tricky part is that sometimes we still need a bit more and if you don’t have people around you or you are facing something big, you can start to believe you are alone.

It’s easy to lose your way in the dark…or forget the warmth of light. It seems like lots of dear folks around me right now need a little light, or need someone to come into the cave, or stand side by side, a little closer.

So I wondered if there was a little reminder we could offer each other, a small, but bright light we can share.

day of the dead lantern

The kids and I have been making these little lanterns over the years. I’m sure it was like a 3rd grade art project but I love them so much…they are colorful and sweet.
Here’s my idea:
We all probably know someone who feels a little lost, or low or just in need of some love and light? I thought the crafty folks and the rest of us can just channel our inner third graders and make lanterns. We can leave them on a door step for the people we care about with a little note. Even in the coming cold and dark, we are together, and no one has to do it alone…and kindness changes everything.

Here’s how:

1. All you need are some old jars from the recycling, glue, a foam brush, tissue paper, tea lights and wire.

2. Mix the glue with water with a 1 to 1 ratio- half water, half glue, you can make it a little thicker if needed. I use Elmer’s glue ALL, this mixture is similar to Mod Podge.

3. Brush on the glue and lay the tissue paper. Let it dry and then add one or 2 more coats of the glue mixture over the entire jar.

4. The tissue paper ink runs, so it’s good to use a foam brush.

5. Wrap the wire (ceiling wire from the hardware store works great) around and loop around the lantern handle to secure.

6. Leave a tea light in the lantern- we love the LED fake kind of tea light for deliveries so we don’t have to worry about fire safety.

7. Attach a note of love or a quote on light.

You can send your pictures of your lanterns to me at or post them on our Guerrilla Goodness Facebook page. Also, can you do a favor for me? In the comments, can you include some quotes on light or even your thoughts of things you need to hear in the dark?

AND if you are in Richmond and you could use a lantern of light and hope, I have 4 lanterns that the kids and I will be Ding Dong Ditching…we would love to bring one to you. E-mail me at with a name and address.

May warm nights and lots of light find you as the winter comes…


22 Responses to “guerrilla goodness: light in the dark…”

  1. Ashley Says:

    “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.”
    -Abraham Lincoln

    “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.”

  2. Ashley Says:

    And one of my all-time favorites:

    “It is always darkest right before the dawn.”

  3. Diana Farmer Says:

    You are so wonderful, Patience! Your words and gestures are inspiring to me. Thank you!

  4. These are lovely, P. Now I want to make some.

    “There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle.” ~Robert Alden (RA was the preacher in Laura Ingalls’ stories.)

  5. Also, the thing I need to hear in the dark?

    You are not alone.

    I think we all need to hear this sometimes. Let someone know.

  6. My daughter tweeted this from a speaker at a conference she attended last weekend. (The conference was put on by STAND, an organisation of students who want to end genocide. My daughter’s a staunch advocate for human rights.)

    “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.” ~Bob Edgar

    That idea seems to fit here.

  7. Sarah Says:

    Me and my kids have made these for years too. So simple and so lovely. The quote I need in the dark is one you shared with me on a candle…”this is not the end of your story…”

  8. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that..”
    ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

    the weather around here is abit scary,especially during the evenings when it gets darker and there’d be lightnings across the sky and loud thunders.and when im all alone,feeling a little scared,far from home….i lit up candles,wrap myself with a blanket and wish i had someone with me…

    sprinkle of kindness of light and some love is all we need to be wrapped in to feel that we’re never alone….

    its a great idea,P!

  9. […] was a good im up to making jar lanterns.its a simple yet a pretty way to light up the room and chase the darkness this idea from […]

  10. Cindy Tyra Says:

    What a fantastic idea. I have a whole bag of jars and I know many that could us that light. I would love to see some of the inspirational quotes people use, so I could use some of thing. WONDERFUL!!!

  11. Jess Says:

    Beautiful little lanterns. ♥

    My senior quote in my HS yearbook was: “The day is never so dark, nor the night even, but that the laws of light still prevail, and so may make it light in our minds if they are open to the truth. I never yet knew the sun to be knocked down and rolled through a mud puddle; he comes out honor bright from behind every storm.” (Henry David Thoreau)

  12. Emily Says:

    Adore the day of the dead lanterns! Still sad we missed each other at inlight! Happy Monday -e

  13. Sally Says:

    Love this mission! I too have several people in my life that could use some light right now.

    This has always been one of my favorite quotes:
    “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” -Edith Wharton

  14. Tacy Says:

    We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own. ~Ben Sweetland

    Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished. ~Michael Strassfeld

    Live in rooms full of light. ~Cornelius Celsus

    We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light. ~Evelyn Dunbar

    People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

    In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose

    • Cindy Tyra Says:

      Wonderful Wonderful quotes. I have so many friends and family who are going through rough times. (Just like most Americans). For Christmas my husband and I make Christmas baskets. We make homemade presents out of wood and I make homemade noodles and goodies there usually is a theme to the package. After reading your blog and comments, I decided this years package is going to be about “LIGHT”. In other words, hope! Thank you to all for your inspiration!

  15. Bessie Wilson Says:

    There has been a lot of sorrow and hurt in my community and I am going to have my nieces/nephews help me make some lanterns and share the light of hope.

  16. Emily Says:

    beautiful. Will do. Curious though–how do you create the skull or the heart? Fine cutting with tissue paper or is it some other kind of material. xo

    • kindnessgirl Says:

      Yes Emily! I actually found a template on-line and then cut it out of the tissue paper. It was pretty detailed and took awhile but looked really rad when it was finally done. Hope that helps!

      • Emily Says:

        it helps. It helps! I’m making one now and will post when it’s done. Teacher gifts for the holiday. You are our creative light right now. Many thanks, dear one.

  17. […] me all the things you are feeling grateful for this cool Saturday morning in the comments…and here is the lantern mission if you would like to know more. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

  18. Annie De Says:

    I am grateful for ‘this Saturday morning’ finding this site. I happened to be waiting in a bank and had time to pick up an Oprah magazine, randomly select a page and a mention of your site is the first thing I saw. I had time to write it down before i needed to get on with other business. I love it. It inspires me and this morning I was looking at your random kindess gift card/lottery idea. I do believe i might try doing that myself. Thank you for being such an inspiration !

  19. […] some Light in the Dark – or a quick’n'easy craft project to procrastinate with? Have a look at the tutorial on […]

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