Halloween Mason Jar Luminaries (for the Porch, for the Kids!)

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Halloween Mason Jar Luminaries (for the Porch, for the Kids!)

Halloween is right around the corner, so why not line up the corners of your homes’ walkways, patio or front porch decks, and driveways with some awesome DIY Halloween mason jar luminaries! (Pst. These can also work as inside Halloween mason jar centerpieces or home décor too.)

For You, For the Porch!

SUPPLIES

To put together your Halloween mason jar luminaries/centerpieces together, consider the following crafts supplies and décor elements:

  • Scissors
  • Colored Ribbon
  • Wide Mouth Mason Jars to easily place in the candles/luminaries. Consider bulk mason jars in a pack if you’ll be creating more of a light source to light up your walkways or deck completely, or if more than one person will be helping out (Not the tykes yet! They have their own process below.), or if you are creating individual gifts in jars.
  • Decorative Netting/Lace
  • Découpage a.k.a. Decorative Scrapbooking Paper. What is découpage? Découpage is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf, and other decorative elements. If its spelling wasn’t a dead giveaway of its origins, it comes from 18th-century Florentine artisans’ ingenuity. They combined decoupage with other decorative techniques already popular in Florence, such as gilt with gold leaf and carved wood designs, which were pasted reproductions of famous artworks, nearly always religious depictions. Here, other colored paper will do too, like maybe even brown shredded paper that you can be used for a festive hay effect to your DIY Halloween jar lanterns.
  • Paint Brush
  • Hot Glue Gun, Glue Sticks, and optionally Mod Podge. Mod Podge is one of the age-old sources for crafting endeavors because it is an easy-to-clean, water-based, all-in-one glue, sealer, and finish used to attach paper and fabric to various surfaces.
  • LED lights or candles, preferably orange and white to create dusky and white full moons respectively.
  • Any other decorations you can think of for your festive Halloween mason jar luminaries like cotton pads to create a foggy visual. Consider also miniature Halloween trinkets and figurines like ghosts, pumpkins, and the like. Maybe even add a real-life baby pumpkin inside if you can find one. (Yes, they exist!) These can be great options if you want to add a miniature decoration inside of your lanterns.

STEPS

Step 1. Layer découpage or scrapbooking paper on the entire outside of your mason jar with your glue sticks or Mod Podge and smooth on with your paint brush. Just get the thing covered, the bottom of the jar included if you’d like! You might opt to keep the paper decor very little to create a more terrarium, model Halloween environment like a full moon night at a graveyard or a hay pumpkin ride with the brown paper strangers inside of your jar. If so, certainly downsize on the paper.

Step 2. Take a piece of lace or your decorative netting that is slightly taller than the mason jar and somewhat longer than the circumference and wrap it around the jar. Or you can rip the cotton pad into wispy strands and wrap it around your jar for your foggy night theme.

Step 3. Apply another layer of découpage/paper on top of the lace/netting. You can also press any excess lace that might exist down on the bottom of the mason jar, painting over it with découpage to help it stay in place.

Step 4. Let the découpage/paper dry for 24 hours.

Step 5. Trim the lace/netting at the top of the jar to stop right under the area where the lid twists on. 

Step 6. Wrap a piece of thin ribbon around the top of the jar where the lace ended, or some other kind of trimming, securing it in the back with some hot glue from a glue gun. It doesn’t have to be a glue gun necessarily, but don’t we all feel like more legit crafts makers when we use them? Plus, the hot glue will ensure a more prolonged adhesion. You might want even to consider this for your netting and foggy night cotton strands

Step 7. This step is for those who opt for the miniature, Halloween models inside of their jars. Add in your small decorative pieces, like the shredded brown paper ‘hay,’ miniature ghosts, graveyards, and more. Have a ball.

Step 8. Drop in the candles (Or LED lights if you’re tending to the more cautious side and care about little critters coming close to check out your night attraction. Also, this might be even more advised for those of you who decided to go the route of inside decor with the Step 7 options. You can have fun with the LED lights by getting LED-infused miniature figurines as a dual lumination and decor feature) and place your Halloween mason jar luminaries out on the front porch, deck, or even line up your walkway with it!

Get Your Kids in the Mix Too!

SUPPLIES

For their décor and supplies, consider some of these items to create the Halloween mason jar luminaries…kid style:

  • More mason jars! You can also consider mayo jars that are great for gifts in jars if you opt to go that route and endow a Halloween-loving friend or relative.
  • Fun easy to peel and paste Halloween-themed stickers (OR colored construction paper to create the stickers/illustrations themselves in the upcoming steps!)
  • Paste-on googly eyes if they want to give their ‘scary’ creatures some silliness
  • Tissue paper OR some of that decorative scrapbooking paper again if you have any kid-friendly versions. Maybe buy two packs, one for you, one for them. (One sheet will do!)
  • Glitter, kids must always have glitter. Get them some in the same color as your tissue paper (and black, of course!) to be aesthetically cohesive.
  • More Mod Podge or some other glue source 
  • Sponge brush
  • Scissors
  • LED lights or candles in orange or white again to give a moon feel to the DIY Halloween mason jar luminaries.
  • Other decorations, again like cotton strands for illustrative fog and miniature ghost, pumpkin, bat, and other Halloween figurines (if your child doesn’t find more excitement in that before getting to the craft!).

STEPS

Step 1: Start by tearing or cutting (if you have a little Einstein who likes things a bit more precise) tissue paper or scrapbooking paper into either lots of little pieces or larger ones. Even the whole sheet of paper might be considered, so long as you cover the Halloween mason jar lanterns as entirely as you want. If your child wants to do a bit more and do alternative outside decor like the wispy cotton strands or a more clear glass so that the inside lights (and Halloween miniature worlds) truly shine, go for it here.

Step 2: Use the sponge brush to apply Mod Podge or the glue paste all over the DIY Halloween jar lanterns. Lay tissue or scrapbooking paper pieces or the alternative outside decor strands on and use the sponge brush to flatten them & coat them with Mod Podge. Continue layering pieces down until you’re happy with it.

Step 3: You can skip this step if your children (or you because of the clean up involved) don’t want to use glitter. But as we all know, your child will apply glitter galore. When it’s completely dry, paint a layer of Mod Podge around the rim and sprinkle it with glitter. 

Step 4: This is where your child will add on the stickers/small illustrations or create their own if the kid is one creative genius. They can draw their little ghost, cat, Jack O’ Lantern, bat, candy corn, or any other Halloween designs onto black construction paper or other colored paper, and cut them out. There are also silhouette clip art and outlines at arts and crafts stores or your instant fingertips (and FREE access) on the internet with a simple Google Images search. Your digitally-savvy children can print them out and trace them onto their construction paper! 

 Step 5: You can also skip this step if you’re not using glitter. This time, have your children brush a layer of Mod Podge onto their shapes and sprinkle them with glitter. And again, as we all know they will, your kids will apply glitter galore. Give the almost complete mason jar lanterns time to dry before you try to shake off the excess and move onto the next step.

Step 6: Figure out where you want to put your shapes. Brush on a layer of Mod Podge and press your shapes into it. Or if you have paste-on, already created adhesive stickers purchased, simply apply them as is. Let it dry, and your jars are done!

Step 7: Drop in the rest of the inside decor if that is what is desired. Whether that be a scary-looking Jack O’Lantern miniature figurine, brown paper balls of hay, or anything else that your child can imagine. Your child can even use white tissue paper to make his or her own Casper the Friendly (or Not-So-Friendly) Ghost!

Trapped ghost in a mayo jar

Step 8: When it’s bedtime, if your child wants to use it as a night-light for the Halloween season, again drop in a safe LED light, especially for the inside decor if it exists. If your child wants to join your Halloween mason jar luminaries outside or to the Halloween mason jar centerpieces you’ve created for within the house, let them!

Let’s all raise a bet and see what lights up brighter: your child’s face looking at their bright creation or the creation, the Halloween mason jar luminaries, once the lights are dropped in.

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