Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Jars

I think I may never carve another pumpkin in my life.  Every year my husband and I go and buy five pumpkins.  One short fat one (my hubby), one oddly tall and thin one (me), and three others for each girlie.  Every year the kids are excited to begin the carving.  They each will plan out on a piece of paper exactly what they want on their orange, impossibly thick to cut through, too gross for them to dig out, and makes my hands itchy pumpkin.  Then, to get that magical Jack-o-lantern glow, my husband and I have to cut, degut, and design all five of them by ourselves.  I think I am just too old for those shenanigans this year but I really want the GLOW!
I found this project on Not So Idle Hands and just HAD to try it out.

You need:
·        Old newspapers
·        Mod Podge or white glue
·        Small foam brush
·        Various colors of tissue paper, crepe streamers, or napkins
·        Black acrylic paint
·        Glass jars…..the more different sizes the better

I gathered several different sizes of jars.  Actually, I bought the two big fatties, had a few old candle jars, and dumped out two jars of salsa from my husband’s salsa collection.  He says my homemade salsa is the best in existence yet I found two half eaten jars of Pace and Chi Chi’s in the fridge.  What gives?  Anyhow, don’t tell him.

Now, go ahead and lay out some old newspapers.  This might get gluey and messy.  If you are not a mean mommy like me, this would be a great project to do with your kids! (Oh yeah, and don’t tell my husband that I used today’s paper for my messy project.  He gets funny when he doesn’t get to do his word jumble.)

Cut out pieces of tissue paper that are the lengths of your jar and maybe about 1 ½ inches wide.  It doesn’t really matter.  Cut them as thick or as thin as you want.  I purchased orange tissue paper. The store was out of white, purple, and green.  Really?  Oh the joys of living overseas.  I did find green and purple crepe paper streamers though and used Kleenex for the white.  Neither one was as easy to apply as the tissue paper, but I don’t think you can tell after they are all Podged up.

Next, brush some Mod Podge down the side of a jar with a brush.  Carefully stick your strip of tissue paper on the Podge.  You can use white glue mixed with water here too instead.  My seven year old suggested fingernail polish with sparkles, but I shot her down on that one.  Cover the whole jar with the strips, overlapping slightly as you go.  It will sort of end up looking like the lines on a pumpkin that way. Yay!

 I topped my pumpkins with little scraps of green tissue paper for the stems.   If you just lay the strips on the jar your lantern will have a wrinkly look and this is easy for the kids.  You can also put a layer Mod Podge over the strips.  This gives it a shiny and finished look at the end, but the tissue can also tear.  Maybe you should let your kids do the first part and you can come back and shine them up later?  Set them aside to dry.  Depending on how thick you lay on the Mod Podge or glue mixture, will determine how long it takes to dry.  I left mine alone for about 2 hours and we had a yummy pizza and salad night.

Now it is time to decorate your lanterns.  I used black acrylic paint on mine.  You can also cut out stencils on black paper.  I found some cool easy templates RIGHT HERE.  (They are free!)  My girls all designed their own though, because that is the part they like the best.

Finally, go and dig up some candles/tealights.  We had nothing in the house so I stuck a match in some play-doh to get the picture.  Just kidding.

  I think they turned out pretty great, don’t you?  I am going to have to go to the store now and buy some more salsa.....cuz I'm outta jars!


  1. I LOVE this, Lynne!! Thanks for sharing! You just might see a whole bunch of them around base this year!

  2. Be sure and bring them in if it rains!!!!