Saturday, October 25, 2014

Easy Homemade Luminaries for Halloween

Matthew loves arts and crafts. It is so awesome to see how excited he gets to complete a project from start to finish. He takes a lot of pride in everything he creates - which is why we are collecting quite the large pile of drawings, finger paintings, and other art projects he has been madly creating over the past few months. We probably need to start throwing at least some of these away - without him knowing, of course! There has been more than one occasion when he has spotted a masterpiece of his in the garbage that his not-so-sneaky Mom tried to toss. He'll just pick off the chicken scraps, carrot peels, and whatever else was thrown on top of it in the garbage and come running to me, declaring: "Look Mommy! Thank goodness I found my picture!" He'll then stick it back on the fridge where it will remain on display, food stains and all, until bedtime when I'll have another chance to dispose of it again.

When I was little, I also enjoyed arts and crafts. I used to subscribe to a magazine that was filled with all kinds of seasonal crafts and I would bug my Mom until she would help me collect the materials necessary to complete the project. Like the one year when I made a Jack-in-the-Box costume to wear on Halloween. Or the time I tried to make a window seat for my bedroom out of cardboard boxes and leftover fabric. That one did not go over so well. Anyway, the point is that I really enjoy Matthew's creative spirit. So, whenever I see an easy craft idea that I know we can successfully execute, I do not hesitate to make plans to create with my little guy.

Enter these super easy Halloween luminaries. If you are anything like me, you have a difficult time throwing away any of the glass jars that food items come in. These include spaghetti sauce jars, jam jars, and pickle jars. I always think that they have such storage potential that I have been hoarding them for years now - I have an entire shelf full of glass jars just waiting to be used. While reading a magazine at a dental appointment, I saw an idea for turning glass jars into seasonal luminaries. The article detailed gluing pieces of colorful tissue paper onto the jars to make different designs. Using the basic idea of the article, I chose to take an easier route in making our luminaries. Instead of tediously gluing paper to the inside, I let Matthew coat the outside of the jars with a thin layer of acrylic paint. The little guy loves to paint and he did a great job! In honor of Halloween,we painted the jars orange for pumpkins, white for ghosts, and green for monsters. After the outer layer of paint had dried, I painted different silly faces on the outside (following Matthew's careful instruction) using black acrylic and in less than two hours we had a fine assortment of Halloween luminaries!

Matthew was so excited to light them for the first time! He had to give each one a kiss just because he's strange like that.

They turned out super cute and we had a great time making them! It was a fun afternoon of crafting with my little guy. I can't wait to make more around Christmas time! Only they'll be Christmas-themed. No more ghosts, goblins, and pumpkins!


  1. These are adorable! I saved jars for a long time but then ended up recycling them all during a cleaning spree. I need to start again so by the time Luke can do this much painting I have some saved up!

    1. I was about to get rid of all mine too! Then I saw this idea and changed my mind! Luke will love doing this someday! I had to paint these with Matthew while Emma was down for a nap so she wouldn't feel left out/make a huge mess. Maybe next year she and Luke will be ready!