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Halloween Mason Jar Lanterns

Learn how to make the cutest mason jar lanterns for Halloween using Mod Podge and tissue paper! This is perfectly easy holiday decor for kids or adults. This project is completed in four simple steps.

Skills Required: Beginner. It helps to have experience with Mod Podge since tissue paper is slightly fragile. However, ultimately any wrinkles just add charm to the project. Both kids and adults can make these, though kids might need help with cutting.

Halloween mason jar lanterns

If you’re new around here, let me introduce myself – hi, my name is Amy, and I’m addicted to Halloween. And Halloween crafts. And Halloween candy. And decorating. And really anything that is orange, black, or purple. Yes, I would love living in a world where every month is an October!

One of the things I’m going to add to my Halloween decorating this year is mason jar lanterns for my front stoop. We get a lot of trick or treaters, and I wanted a simple craft that I could make to accent the inflatables I put in the yard (I know – I’m one of those people).

I use jack o’ lantern inflatables, so I thought it would be fun to make a jack o’ lantern Halloween lantern. Then it went from there, and I made a ghost and a Dracula too! These luminaries are so, so easy to make. Even the kids will want to jump in.

DIY Halloween lanterns

Halloween Mason Jar Luminaries

One of the things I love about these Halloween mason jars is that they use tissue paper instead of paint. This is nice because when you add a tealight, the light shines through reasonably brightly – more so than if you use craft paint or spray paint.

I didn’t have any jars on hand to make these lanterns, but if you can turn this into a recycled craft, I highly encourage it. Any kind of pickle jars or similar will work for this project! Just make sure you clean them thoroughly as outlined in my post about painting mason jars. You want them clean so that the Mod Podge sticks.

In terms of the Mod Podge formula to use, this project utilizes the Satin type. But you can use any formula you like, honestly. Gloss or Matte would work as well! It really depends on the finish you would like. If you’re feeling a little bold, you could also use Sparkle. I’m going to let you get creative!

One final note before we move into the tutorial. You can use either regular tealights with a wick OR LED tealights. If you use regular tealights with a wick, keep the lid off the jar when burning. You can also leave the ring on but remove the center. The Mod Podge will not melt on the outside of the jar.


Are you ready to get the tutorial? This project is completed in four simple steps: jar prep, applying tissue paper, applying faces, and spray painting the lids. Let’s dive in!

Mason jars tissue paper Mod Podge scissors LED lights paintbrush black paper and black spray paint

Gather These Supplies

  • Mason jars
  • Mod Podge
  • Tissue paper – purple, white, orange
  • Cardstock – 1 sheet of black
  • Spray paint – black
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil or pen
  • LED tealights – 3

Prepare the Jars

Before you get started on your Halloween mason jar lanterns, you will want to clean your jars with mild soap and water or a cotton ball and some rubbing alcohol. This is to remove all the grease or oils on the sides of the jar, which you need to do for any acrylic product so that it sticks and doesn’t bubble.

Make sure the jars are dry before using them.

Apply the Tissue Paper

Use the scissors to cut tissue paper into squares or strips.

Cutting tissue paper into squares with a pair of scissors

If you want to cut the paper into rectangles or triangles too, that’s fine. The pieces don’t have to be *that* even (which is great if you are doing this with children).

Painting Mod Podge on the outside of a mason jar with a paintbrush

Apply a medium layer to the outside of the mason jar as shown. Just work with one section of the jar at a time, as Mod Podge dries somewhat quickly.

Painting Mod Podge on top of a piece of orange tissue paper with a paintbrush

Apply tissue paper pieces to the outside of the jar and Mod Podge over to the top. You don’t want to brush too hard or use too many brushstrokes; the dye starts coming off the tissue paper and it starts tearing. Less is more with tissue paper!

Mason jar covered in orange tissue paper with a bottle of Mod Podge sitting next to it

Continue applying tissue paper around the jar as shown. There will be wrinkles potentially, but that just adds to the charm of the mason jar lanterns in my opinion. I wouldn’t worry about it too much (also they simmer down as they dry).

Repeat with all the jars and tissue paper. Let dry and then apply another coat of Mod Podge. Let dry.

Apply the Faces

Decide on the faces you would like on your Halloween lanterns. Draw them on black cardstock (this part is fun for kids too) and then cut out.

Dracula ghost and pumpkin faces cut out of black cardstock

Feel free to mimic our faces above. As you can tell, these are very simple shapes!

Mod Podging a jar covered in white tissue paper

To add the face to the jar, apply Mod Podge in the area you would like to place your components.

Placing a ghost eye on a Halloween mason jar

Place them all down in the wet Mod Podge.

Placing a ghost mouth on a white mason jar

You’ll want to have enough Mod Podge to ensure that the pieces stick (you can wipe the excess away). You can also slightly bend the pieces if the cardstock is thicker so that they work with the curvature of the jars.

Adding Mod Podge to the top of a ghost mason jar

Once set, brush some Mod Podge over the top. You’re ready to finish up your Halloween mason jar lanterns!

Spray Paint the Lids

Take your lids out to an area that you can spray paint and give them a coat of black. Let dry.

DIY Halloween mason jar lanterns

Once dry, you can add the LED tealights inside! They are ready to display.

DIY Halloween lanterns

I love the glow of these Halloween lanterns. I can’t wait to make more and display them on my porch. Would you try this craft? I’d love to know in the comments!


Yield: 3 jars

Halloween Mason Jar Lanterns

Halloween lanterns feature image

Make Halloween mason jar lanterns that look like Dracula, a ghost, and a jack o' lantern! These are the perfect holiday decor craft for both kids and adults.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • Mason jars
  • Mod Podge
  • Tissue paper - purple, white, orange
  • Cardstock - 1 sheet of black
  • Spray paint - black

Tools

  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil or pen

Instructions

  1. Wash mason jars with mild soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Let dry.
  2. Cut tissue paper into squares. Cut enough squares to cover your mason jars.
  3. Draw faces on the black paper using a pencil or pen. Cut out with the scissors.
  4. Add Mod Podge to the side of the mason jar and place a piece of tissue paper down on the wet surface. Brush down carefully with a paintbrush.
  5. Repeat this process until the entire jar is covered with tissue paper. Trim excess and let dry.
  6. Coat the entire jar with Mod Podge and let dry.
  7. Apply Mod Podge to the jar and adhere the faces. Let dry and brush a layer of Mod Podge over the top.
  8. While that is drying, remove the lids and spray paint with black. Let dry.
  9. Place LED lights on the jar and screw on the tops. Display.

Did You Make This Project?

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If you enjoyed these mason jar luminaries, I hope you’ll check out these other Halloween projects and posts:

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