By TMoM Team Member Sandy Harper

Creating a Halloween lantern is a craft that is fun for kids and adults – and an ideal way to celebrate the Halloween season. What I love most about this craft is its creative versatility, simplicity, and affordability! You do not have to be “crafty” to create it, but when you’re done, you’ll be able to enjoy it as a decoration in your home all season-long. Even better, use your Halloween lantern on a family neighborhood walk!

Material List:

  • Mason jars
  • Tissue paper
  • White school glue (like Elmer’s)
  • Water
  • Small bowl or plastic cup
  • Paintbrush
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • String or twine
  • LED tea light

First, gather all of the materials. Then make your glue paste by mixing glue and water in a bowl, with a 1:1 ratio. This creates a Mod Podge type mixture.

In the spirit of Halloween, my kiddos wanted to create a jack-o-lantern design. We cutout the eyes, nose and mouth from black construction paper. Next, we tore the orange tissue paper into pieces. I find this works better than trying to wrap a whole piece around the jar. Moreover, the patchwork appearance looks more like a pumpkin.

Now that you have your paper ready, it is time to put it all together! Paint the glue mixture onto the Mason jar, with a paintbrush. Try to paint it on evenly, avoiding large clomps of glue. It takes it longer to dry the more glue you use. I found it was easier for the kids to do this when I placed my fingers inside the jar. This helped the jar stay still while they worked.

Paint about ¼ of the jar and start placing the tissue pieces all along the outside of the jar. Follow this step until the entire outside of jar is covered with tissue paper. I suggest avoiding placing it on the bottom of the jar. When you have completely covered the jar, let it sit for about an hour to dry.

Time to add your jack-o-lantern face! Simply glue it onto the tissue paper.

If you want to add a handle to your lantern, cut an 18” piece of sting or twine. Take off the Mason jar lid and remove the flat middle piece. Tie the sting on two, opposite sides of the lid ring. Replace the lid ring on the jar.

Turn on and place tea light inside the jar. You are done!!

I have also used fallen leaves instead of tissue paper. I used the same gluing technique and arranged the leaves in different patterns. These make beautiful center pieces and porch decorations for the entire fall season.

How creative can you and your family get with this craft? See who can make the most unique design or use other fun decorative materials, like googly eyes, pompoms, nature treasures, etc. I hope you all have fun making this simple craft. Show us your creative designs and ways you used your lantern!

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