Halloween Lanterns

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I’m always on the lookout for fun holiday projects in keeping with the Thrive Philosophy:  

No money. No shopping.  No problem.

And just in time for Halloween, check out these frightfully cute lanterns!


Perfect for adding some whimsy to your mantel, piano or shelf …


… and rocking out a mitten tree until the snow starts to fall …

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… and especially for  keeping your little monsters safe and easy to spot on Halloween night!


Ready to make your own?

(and a battery-operated tea light that I forgot to include)

As always, I hope you’ll

Rock What Ya Got

and adapt the materials I used to make what you have on hand work.  With a little creativity, you’ll probably be able to make this project without a run to the store.

Cut a small piece of sticky back Velcro (mine is 1/2” wide) and attach one side to the inside of the jar and the other to a battery operated tea light. Set tea light aside.

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Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge (or a mix of half water, half white school glue) starting at any left over seam from the label.

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Trim craft tissue to the same width of the jar plus an extra 1/2” inch.  Line top of tissue up with the top of the jar and very gently press into place, working from the center out.  Careful—tissue will tear very easily.
Work around the jar one small area at a time, thoroughly covering the entire jar surface,  and overlap tissue along back seam by a 1/4 – 1/2” inch, trimming if necessary.

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Don’t worry if there’s a slight gap along the back (like in the pumpkin above) or a few tears.  Just cover any gaps with more Mod Podge …

… place a small tissue patch over top …


… and cover with a thin coat of Mod Podge.  Easy peasy. 

Cover the entire top of the tissue with a good coat of the glue as well to make sure all the tissue is good and stuck.

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To finish, cut a small circle of tissue slightly smaller than the bottom of the jar, coat bottom of jar with glue, place circle down, smooth in place …


… and finish bottom with a coat of glue as well.  Let these dry upside down for an hour or so—until completely dry to the touch.

While the kiddos are waiting for their lanterns to dry …

… and waiting …


It’s time to work on the lids!  Mark your handle holes … 


… and drill through with a drill bit large enough for your handle. (I used a 7/16” bit for the lids with pipe cleaner handles and 9/16” for the lids with glow sticks).
Trim away any rough plastic on the holes with a craft knife …

… and paint lids whatever color you’d like.  I had black paint so I used black.  White for the ghost and orange for the pumpkin would have been cute, too.
After the lids and jars are dry, turn the kids loose!

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You could use craft paint, vinyl face shapes from a Cricut or Silhouette machine or plain ‘ol Sharpies like we did.

And the best part is the fun faces that appear … like the “Scribble Monster” and the “Vampire Guy With A Bloody Nose and Furry Teeth.”

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And your kiddos will be so proud of themselves for making something so totally awesome.


To attach the handle, thread your ribbon/pipe cleaner/glow stick through the holes and tie, glue or attach the ends for form a loop.

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Then pop your tea light into the jar …
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… screw the lid on and, voila!

Houston, we have Halloween Lanterns!


These fun lanterns are sure to bring out the spooky and the silly in your little goblins:

Day …
 Oct 20107

… or night!

Oct 20104   
Thanks for stopping by!
Hope you all have a safe and wonderful Halloween!
Linking up to:
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  1. These are so creative and fun for the kids! Don't you just LOOOOVVE Mod Podge?
    Thanks for the cute idea, I'm going to post a link on our Facebook page for all the young families who follow us!

  2. you are very creative! i love that this is a craft that can be done with the kids and is very inexpensive!!! thanks for sharing!

  3. These came out super-cute! I love Mod Podge projects.

    I am a teacher and one year we did something similar but instead we let the kids paint the insides of the jars orange, then they made faces on the outside.

  4. These are so cute! LOVE the glow stick necklace idea. Great project!

  5. Love this project! Now I am asking myself why do we not save peanut butter jars???!! Mr. Rainbow Creek makes peanut butter sandwiches every day for himself and the kids, and I have never wondered where the jars go until now. I will have to have a word with him about that.

  6. My daughter and I made one with crepe paper and a glass jar, but I love that this is made with a plastic jar and so fun for the kids to carry! Joni

  7. Nike, How adorable! These are such a super cute way to light your trick or treating path. I'll be featuring this today - stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase - I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  8. SO cute!! I am hosting a JAR projects party over at Sassy Sites! I would love for you to come by and link up with us!! :)

  9. So cute!! I just did something similar actually, but with electric lights, come and see if you like:
    Happy Halloween to you too!

  10. What a great idea, I love it, these are so stinking cute! I'd love for you to link up at Texas Monkey for All About You and show this off. http://texasmonkey.blogspot.com/2010/10/all-about-you-monday-link-up_25.html

  11. Those are seriously cute! I am going to have to make some with the kids. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  12. those are so cute! And what a great project for the kids! Thanks so much for coming to link up @ Ladybug Blessings Handmade Tuesdays!!

  13. What a neat idea!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. those are adorable, practical! Perfect!

  15. My kids would love to carry those around on Halloween (and the 4th of july and every other night activity!) I am featuring this at somedaycrafts.blgospot.com. grab my 'featured" button.

  16. Saving this idea for next year. This is so unique and looks like a lot of fun for the kiddos to help assemble. Thanks for posting :)


  17. They turned out so cute and I love the glowing necklace handle!

    Any chance you can show more of your mitten tree? I have never seen one quite like that and it is adorable! I'm wondering what the base looks like to keep it upright.

  18. Great ideas. Saw your guest post at thriftydecorchick and love you ingenuity! I'm already a follower... laura

  19. Seriously, this is going to be done this Halloween at my house. I love this idea!

  20. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  21. I love this idea I will this on halloween this year with my two thank u for all your wonderful ideas

  22. omigosh! I LOVE your blog. You're amazing. I'm saving peanut butter jars 4 sure now.

  23. I have linked to this post here: Frugal Road Trip with Kids – Fun in the Dark http://www.morewithlessmom.com/index.php/2013/06/05/frugal-road-trip-with-kids-fun-in-the-dark/. I think we will make little bug shapes to paste on, to use for our road trip.


Thanks so much for the comment love! I do cartwheels when I read each one. Well, I imagine my pre-pregnancy self doing cartwheels, but you get the idea ...