17 October 2011

Mason Jar Jack-O-Lantern Tutorial

You may have realized it by now, but I really like jack-o-lanterns.  (Or any pumpkins, really.)  I don't really get into the scary/creepy/gross side of Halloween, so for me, jack-o-lanterns are the way to go.

So here's another really easy, super-cheap jack-o-lantern craft.  Seriously, I gathered my materials, started watching Project Runway, and was completely done before the episode was over.  (Except that I couldn't find my hemp to tie around the top, but that's not the point.)

Okay, ready?  Set!  Go!

You need:
Orange craft paint
Mod Podge or School glue (I used school glue--it's cheaper.  Water it down to a nice paintable consistency)
A glass jar (I was going to use a mason jar, but then I found a clean pickle jar I'd saved for when inspiration struck!  Sweet!  Even-cheaper craft!)
A dry erase marker
Green hemp, raffia, ribbon, etc
General painting needs:  paper towels, water, something to mix the paint on (I used waxed paper), paintbrushes (I realized after I'd started that I shouldn't have used my nice paintbrushes for painting with glue, but I just washed them out really really well), and something to protect your table (I like kitchen garbage bags)
Tea light (battery-operated or regular)

Draw your jack-o-lantern face on the jar.  (Great thing about dry erase markers--it's so easy to make changes!)

Mix up some paint + Mod Podge (or school glue + a little water) until you like the color strength.  More glue = more transparent, more paint = more opaque.

{After first coat... and second coat.}

 Paint around your outlines.  If you get some paint on the marker lines, you'll have to scratch them off, instead of just wiping them off.  (Still not hard, though--I had to scratch off a couple places.)  

Let dry.  Apply a second coat if you want (I did) and let dry again.  Wipe off the marker outlines.

Paint on an all-over coating of Mod Podge/glue to help protect your little lantern from scratches.  Don't worry; it dries clear.

Finish watching Project Runway while the glue fully dries, then tie your raffia around the top of the jar.

Drop in a tea light, and you're done!

(By the way, I recommend the battery-operated tea lights because it's hard to light a real candle inside a little glass jar.  But if you have one of these guys, it's doable.)

Now just sit back and watch him glow...

Happy crafting!


  1. Hey Jill, I was planning on doing this craft for toddler time. I was going to cut out the faces and stick them to the jar with masking tape. Do you think I need to add glue to make the paint stick?

  2. P.S to my comment above, The jars that I have are all plastic.

  3. By the way, I used acryilic paint, plastic jars, masking tape (for the face), and no glue and it worked perfectly!

  4. I am definitely going to have to make a couple of these!!!

    I'm following from the Blogaholic Social Network Halloween Hop! I hope you have a fun and safe Halloween! I'm following through Google Friend Connect, Facebook, Twitter, etc. if applicable!
    It would be great if you followed me back!

    Much Love,

  5. LK--I'm so glad your project worked out! Sorry I didn't answer you back before. My week's been crazy.


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