Jack O’ Lantern Jars

I had the privilege of organizing both kids’ class Halloween parties this year, so I of course had to find the perfect crafts. My daughter is in 4th grade, so I didn’t want to do anything too “preschool,” and I’m sorry to say I am not a fan of the paper crafts that come home and get thrown away.

I knew I wanted something the kids and parents would like, something they could reuse, and something fairly inexpensive. Born was the idea for jack o’ lantern jars. I do see now on Pinterest that this is not really an original idea, but I did put my own twist on it.

Jack O Lantern JarsJackolantern Jars

You can get plain 16-ounce canning jars from the dollar store. I bought extra so we could make a bunch of our own and line our driveway on Halloween night.

– Jars (a variety of sizes might be fun!)
– Acrylic Paint
– Mod Podge
– Paintbrushes (I used cheap foam brushes)
– Permanent adhesive vinyl (or a permanent marker)
– Battery-operated tealight candles (you can use real candles if you are painting the outside)

Step 1 – Drop a dime-size amount of paint and the same amount of Mod Podge in the bottom of the jar. (Do NOT pour too much. You can always add more, but if you add too much the glass will be coated too thickly and it will lose the glowing effect when you put your candle in. I added a bit too much on a couple of these since I was in a hurry.)
Step 2 – Mix the paint and glue a little bit with your brush, then start dragging the mixture up the inside of the jar, evenly coating all around. Note: you can also paint the outside, but I did the inside for a couple of reasons: 1) the paint will be better protected from outdoor elements (with a lid on), and 2) while the paint is drying, the kids can decorate the outside of the jar with faces. I’m all about using time wisely!

Step 3 – While the inside is drying, you can add the face to the outside. I used my Cricut to cut shapes on permanent adhesive vinyl. It gave the jars a “stronger” look. If you want to get really creative, use a permanent marker to draw your own face. (The vinyl is going to be easy for the students to use, and they can mix and match eyes, noses, and mouths.)

Step 4 – Allow 15 minutes to dry and add your candle!

This is a super easy, cheap, and fun craft with a neat look for Halloween. With paint, vinyl, glue, etc., each jar is under $1.25.

I did try to get extra creative with a few other jars, but they didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. I’m hoping to still salvage them and post pictures of them later.

On my next blog (tonight or tomorrow morning), I will post the craft for my son’s kindergarten class! I decided to stay away from painting with 5- and 6-year-olds. 🙂


As promised, here are the jars I tried to get creative with. I used my Cricut and removable labels to do stencils, but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped. BUT….my kids like them, and they are still kind of fun. Very clearly homemade, but isn’t that what makes them more special? From left to right: Mickey outline, black cat with green eyes, Tinkerbell, and a ghost.

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