Halloween Mason Jar Lighting Ideas

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Since so many Halloween parties and celebrations take place at night, lighted decorations are especially striking. Create some haunting lights with the Mason jars you may already have in your kitchen.

Lighting Options

You’ve got lots of options for lighting your Mason jars from within. Here are a few that may work for your craft projects:

  • Tea lights or other small candles
  • LED tea lights
  • Strings of lights, either battery operated or conventional electric

Flickering candlelight adds an air of mystery to any Halloween decoration, but if you’ve got lots of kids around, you might feel safer with LED or battery operated lights that will keep your craft project cool to the touch.

Glowing Pumpkin Mason Jar Lantern

This super-easy Jack-o-Lantern project won’t rot away like one made from a real pumpkin, so you’ll be able to use it year after year. These are the materials you’ll need:

  • Large Mason jar
  • Acrylic craft paint in orange, white or yellow, and black
  • Black sharpie marker
  • Spray glaze
  • Flame or LED tea light

To make the Jack-o-Lantern:

  1. Paint the outside of the jar with an even layer of acrylic paint in orange, yellow or white.
  2. Paint the jar lid black.
  3. Allow at least a half an hour for paint to dry.
  4. Use your sharpie marker to design and outline any type of Jack-o-Lantern face you like. If you’re uncomfortable drawing freehand, consider cutting out some paper or cardboard templates you can trace.
  5. Paint in the outlines of the facial features with black paint.
  6. After the paint is dry, spray the jar with two to three coats of clear glaze.
  7. Let the jar dry for at least three to four hours.
  8. When glaze is completely dry, put a tea light inside, screw on the lid (if you’re using a flameless candle) and display.

Haunted Village Luminary

Your Mason jar will look like the skyline of a haunted town under a glowing sky with a layered decoupage technique. You’ll need these basic supplies:

  • Mason jar
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors
  • Sponge brushes
  • Scrapbooking paper in various Halloween colors
  • Black scrapbooking paper
  • Tea light

To create the luminary:

  1. Cut the colorful paper into pieces of various sizes and shapes.
  2. Using a sponge brush, coat a cutout paper piece with Mod Podge and press it onto jar, smoothing out any bubbles you find.
  3. Repeat with the remaining pieces and strips of colorful paper, overlapping to create a nice abstract collage design to cover entire jar. This design will become your Halloween sky.
  4. Next, cut out the silhouettes of old mansions, haunted cottages and other spooky homes from black paper. Use Mod Podge to attach the silhouettes all around the lower part of the jar. You might also want to add a silhouette of a witch on a broomstick above the buildings or a headless horseman to place between two houses.
  5. When your design is complete and your silhouettes go all the way around the jar, brush on another coat of Mod Podge. When this layer dries, add one more final coat of Mod Podge to seal and protect your work.
  6. Drop in a tea light and watch your haunted village glow.

Spooky String Light Luminary

This gothic looking jar craft is safe and cool to handle for kids of all ages. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mason jar
  • Acrylic paint in purple or gray
  • Spray sealant
  • Silver glitter
  • Black lace or fishnet stocking
  • Black ribbon
  • Battery operated string lights
  • Floral wire (optional)

To assemble the luminary:

  1. Apply a thin coat of paint to the Mason jar and lid, and allow them to dry completely.
  2. Spray a coat of clear glaze on jar and lid.
  3. While glaze is still wet, sprinkle some silver glitter sparingly on the jar and more liberally on the lid.
  4. Apply two more coats of clear glaze.
  5. When jar is dry, wrap in black lace or part of a black fishnet stocking and tie with a black ribbon.
  6. Arrange a string of battery operated lights inside and screw on the lid.
  7. If you wish, create a handle with floral wire so you can carry the jar around like a lantern.

More Mason Jar Lighting Ideas

You and your family may also want to try these other fun lighted Mason jar crafts:

  • Glow in the Dark Jar: Spatter glow in the dark paint in Halloween colors on your jar for a firefly effect or paint on Halloween themed designs.
  • Vampire’s Vase: Fill jar with water and red food coloring, then light from within using a submersible, waterproof LED tea light. Arrange some black faux roses in the Mason jar vase and wind some faux spider webbing around the flowers. For added effect, attach some plastic spiders and bats to the webs.
  • Halloween Jar Tree: Fill jar with black and orange glass beads or marbles and stand LED lighted branches up in the beads to look like a tree. Hang toy pumpkins, ghosts or monsters from the branches with string and drape some thin chains around the branches.

Glass Mason jars and subtle lights are perfect partners for Halloween, enhancing the fun and spine chilling themes of this holiday. You’ll be able to use many of these crafts year after year, building your own glowing family Halloween tradition.

Last Updated: September 9, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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