DIY: Halloween Lanterns

Posted on

Hello there Saturday readers!

Like I said last week when I posted (here) how to make witch’s apothecary bottles, I plan on posting a few festively frightening Halloween posts with lots of decorating ideas – this is the second.  I also, in the past, wrote a post on making mason jar lanterns with yarn and paint, and I’m going to present to you an interesting and different twist on that idea.

So, may I present, mason jar lanterns. Part two, I guess.  I love finding decor ideas that work really well for small space living, as not all of us have full homes to decorate. Let me tell you, some of us apartment dwellers have festive inclinations that go beyond the available space.

Image taken from

This is a very very easy tutorial that can be done in a few different ways for a few different effects. You just need a few materials and some artistic inclination and you’re set to go!  All you need are some mason (or any glass) jars, of whatever size you want. You will need mod podge (which you can get in a local craft store) a painting sponge or brush for the mod podge, some tissue paper (whatever colours you’d like as the base colour on the jar) and some black construction paper.  If you have a love of glitter, you can use that too, but that is only if you’re at peace with having glitter follow you around for weeks. You can find the full tutorial with photos here. There’s other materials for the second technique that I’ll detail later.

Courtesy of

I love how easy this is. Once you have all your materials all you need to do is rip the tissue paper into small bits (you can cut it too for a different look.  After you have lots ready, you can paint the jars on the outside with the modge podge and glue a layer of tissue paper. Make sure to paint a second layer over the tissue to seal it down. Do this as many times as you’d like to make the colour as dark as you want. Just be aware that only one or two layers will let the light shine through better.

Courtesy of

Next, while everything is drying, you will need to cut out your accents in black construction paper. You can cut out pumpkin faces, ghosts, spiders… really whatever you would like!  The last step is to glue these in the places that you’d like them to be and coat it with a final layer of modge podge.  You may use glitter on your black construction paper before you apply or around the lids. But BEWARE … you use this at your own risk. Glitter will be in every crease in every place for weeks.


The second method is just as easy, though a little messier if you don’t have a garage or back yard.  You only need your jars, spray paint and a paint marker. You’ll also need a printer and some google fu to find some images to trace if you are like me and can only draw stick figures.

Courtesy of

Again, you can find the full tutorial here, but it’s very simple. First you need to clean your jars of glue and labels, and once that is done, you can spray paint the outside of the jars. Put down newspaper for the sanity of everyone. Do one fine coat of spray paint and let it dry so you can see how it looks. It’s important to keep the paint coats thin enough that you can see the light through it. You might want to test it – but feel free to continue to spray until you’re happy with the colour.

Your last step, once your paint is dry, is to use the paint marker to draw your scenes on the outside. You can use your skills to draw whatever you’d like – a graveyard, a spider web, a witch. Remember that they need to be silhouettes, so they can be details but you need to make good use of the negative space.  Of  course you can use the internet to find a suitable scene. Just try search terms like “Halloween silhouettes”, or something like that to find the type of image you need. To make it easy, you can tape the image to where you would like it on the inside of the jar so that you can basically trace the images (see the above image for a picture representation of the steps).

Once you’ve done either of these, you can use a tealight inside, or a battery operated tealight if you’re concerned about open flames.  Another interesting option, is to use small strings of battery operated Christmas lights (many stores will have mini strings to use on teeny tiny Christmas trees), and this will give an effect of fireflies in the jar. Your light source doesn’t matter too much, but it will just give you a different kind of effect and a different kind of light.


Be creative, have fun and have a fantastic Saturday!



Leave a Reply