Halloween Jars

Josh and I have been in our house for just over a year now, and it’s finally hitting me the I need to get a move on with holiday decorating.  I’ve been putting it off because of the HUGE PRICE TAG of holiday decor. But there’s Halloween coming up- so I’m really looking into doing some craft projects to help me decorate for it. I found on Pinterest (where else? lol) people who had painted jars, and I really liked this idea. Many of the people however used oil-based paint as to adhere onto the glass. Well I have a 4 1/2 month old kid who I’m not putting around those fumes, and I don’t want to leave him inside by himself while I go outside to do crafts, so that idea wasn’t happening. Then I found that if you color Elmer’s glue with food coloring and paint it on glass, the glue dries clear but leaves the color. Brilliant! And non-toxic! (So this could even be a project for kids to do to!).  Josh and I decided to decorate for Halloween all Nightmare Before Christmas style, but you can adapt this idea for any theme!


Empty glass jars (preferably plain, without “Ball” logos and so forth)

Food coloring

Paper to sketch on and tracing paper (optional)

Flame-less candle or glow stick

Step 1 – Clean your jars! Make sure to get of any adhesive residue from the label.

Step 2: Prep your colored glue. I just used Elmer’s glue. I put mine in a little glass dish and a drop or two of coloring for the first coat.

Step 3: Using a medium-size paintbrush, paint on the first coat. You want it thick, but not thick enough that it will start to drip, I realized this later 😛

Step 3: Continue to layer it one, no more than 2 or 3 coats. The above picture shows how I started with colors way lighter then I should have. More coats makes the jars more opaque. (The white jar I just used straight glue, it doesn’t dry COMPLETELY clear)

Step 4: Draw your characters or prepare your stencils for your designs.

Step 5: Transfer your images onto the jars. I had a really hard time with this- I was planning on sliding the sheets of paper into the jars and tracing them with sharpies on the outside, but the thickness of the glass distorts the image so it doesn’t work that well. I ended up just re-drawing the images onto thin paper and putting them into the jars- I’ll probably put glow-sticks into the jars to light them up.

I’m… satisfied with the jars. I think I could do better a second time. But I wanted to post about these jars to give inspiration for others to use their own ideas. They would be really cute with stripes, or little plastic spiders hot-glued outside them and so on. Do you know of any cheap Halloween crafts?

This entry was posted in Domesticity, Frugal Craftiness, Provident Living and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Halloween Jars

  1. here2havefun says:

    Great idea! They look fantastic…always nice to find an affordable way to decorate for Halloween.

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