Jack-o’-lantern Jars

Happy October!

It’s my favorite time of year. No other month tempts me to pick up magazines at the checkout line quite like Halloween. There are just so many cute projects and decorations to be made. For the past few years I’ve become less interested in putting up as many decorations as possible and more into choosing one project I really like and spending time on it. Last year I hand-cut, stained, and painted a wooden “Goblins Welcome” sign (shown at the top of this old blog post).

This year I thought I’d try a new one and share it with you: the adorable “Jar-o’-lanterns” by Martha Stewart. I’ve tweaked her directions a bit to suit my needs and added step by step pictures to help explain the process.

The paint inside the jars takes a long time to fully cure, so if you want to give these cuties away as party favors or teacher presents for your kids, now is the time to start. Imagine how cute they’d be stuffed with candy. Or just use them to brighten up a window sill, like I have.

What you need
Mixing cup
Stir stick
Clean, empty jars (I used baby food jars)
Glass paint in orange, yellow, and black (I used Martha Stewart opaques.)
Painter’s tape
Utility knife
Black-coated 20-gauge wire (I got mine in the jewelry section.)
Helper Hub-a-dub (optional)
Watcher cat (also optional)

Clean your jars. Get off labels by soaking the jars in hot, soapy water. Use Goo Gone to remove any residue. Wash and dry.

Mix your paint to get desired color. I made a slightly different shade of orange for each of my jars. I used Martha Stewarts opaque glass paints, which worked very well. Be sure to buy the liquid mixing agent to thin the paint out; it makes it much easier to coat the insides of the jars.

 Pour a generous amount of paint into your jar.

Slowly twist the jar to evenly coat the insides, including the lip.

Pour at as much excess paint as you can to improve drying time. Wipe any drips off the outside of the jar now with a damp paper towel. For easiest handling, let dry for several days before the next step.

Cover the front face of your jar with painter’s tape. Draw desired face.

Carefully cut out the face.

Repeat on all of the jars, varying the faces.

Paint the cut-outs with black. Peel off the tape immediately. If you wait, the edges of the paint will come up with your tape and you won’t get a clean line.

Use your pliers to cut wire to size for each jar.

Loop the ends with your finger; twist with pliers.

Slide loops onto second piece of wire; use pliers to tighten until handle stays upright. I needed a second pair of hands for this part–one to hold the jar and one to twist the wire.

Trim off excess wire and twist sharp end down/to the side.

Display! If you plan to fill with candy or tea lights, etc., be sure to let the paint fully cure (at least a week or two).

Or just display them. Now I have a row of happy little pumpkins to keep me company when I wash dishes. (Like that ever happens.)

Are you doing any crafts this month? Decorating for Halloween? Hope you all have a good one.

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  • Staci

    After Christmas, Halloween is favorite holiday! What fun ideas, great post 🙂

  • Missy Frye

    This is a great idea! You did a great job. I’ll have to bookmark this post for later. Not planning to do any craft projects because we’re hoping to move soon. 

    • Thanks Missy! Yeah, moving time is not time for crafts. But maybe someday. =)

  • -j-
    • I did see those in a magazine somehwere–very cute! I haven’t thought about real pumpkins much yet this year.

  • Oh goodness, this is such a cute idea! Thanks for sharing it, Annie!

  • TrudieMarie

    Cute!  I like the baby pumpkin the best!

    • Me tooooooo! Isn’t he cute? That jar was actually a little single-serving jam jar from a hotel where Kyle and I ordered room service for breakfast. I thought it was so cute I washed it and packed it in my suitcase, lol.

  • I haven’t done arts and crafts in ages. Maybe I’ll have to try this!

    But seriously, your cats won’t decide those jars will look better on the floor? Because my cat probably would, especially that little one. She’s a big believer in chasing falling objects!

    • Well, I’m not ruling it out, but so far so good. For whatever reason, my cats don’t seem interested in stagnant objects on shelves. They mess with stuff on tables and floors, but not so much shelves. *knocks on wood*

  • Richardsfive

    Super cute!

  • Martha? Is that you?