Milk Jug Jack-O-Lantern Halloween Craft
Cheap and Simple Jack-O-Lanterns
These spooky milk jug Jack-O-Lanterns are cheap and simple to make. Easy enough for kids to do, they'd be a fun group project for a classroom or a scout troop.
Kids can make up their own funny or scary faces. These warmly glowing luminaries would make great decorations lining the walk for a Halloween party, or just set them on the front porch to add to the ambiance for trick or treaters.
Materials You'll Need
- 2 Milk Jugs
- 2 Sheets of Orange Tissue Paper
- 1/4 cup of White Glue
- 1 Pencil
- 1 Sharpie Pen
- Embellishments as desired
Step 1: Cover the Milk Jugs
- First, use a sharp knife to cut the tops out of the milk jugs.
- Then make a mixture of half white glue and half water (1:1 ratio).
- Tear the tissue paper into strips, then paste the strips onto your milk jugs with the glue mixture. Lay the strips on vertically and overlap them slightly to get pumpkin-like stripes on the jugs. Fold the ends over at the cut edge of the jug. Continue until the whole jug is covered.
I covered the handle to disguise it in an attempt to make it look more like a pumpkin. Just wrap it if you want the handle to show.
I placed the first jug upside down on an empty wine bottle to dry. For the second one I used a full vinegar bottle. The full bottle worked better as it had more weight to it, and I used it to hold the jug while I worked on it.
I started out using a paint brush to apply the glue mixture, but soon found out that it was easier to just use my hands. Dip the end of the tissue paper into the glue and stick it on, then just apply the rest smoothing with your fingers as you go. I like the way it looks when it’s a little rough and wrinkled.
Step 2: Make the Jack-O-Lantern Lids
- I put the caps on the jug tops and covered them with several layers of tissue paper to give them a more stem-like appearance. The lid on the left was the second one I did, and I cut it a little smaller, I think that was better, it leaves the handle intact.
- I painted the stems and twisted together a bit of raffia and ribbon to tie around them. You could add a few artificial autumn leaves or whatever else you can dream up.
- The Jack-O-Lanterns actually look pretty good without the lids, so you could just leave them off if you want to save time and effort.
- I cut the tops off the jugs so I could put little battery operated candles inside the Jack-O-Lanterns, but I noticed after I was all through that the lanterns have a lovely glow when lit from behind. If you wanted to do that you could just leave the jugs intact.
Step 3: Draw the Face
I used a Sharpie pen to draw on the faces. I drew them out on paper first, and colored them in, then I put the drawing inside the jug. You can see the face through the plastic and tissue. I traced around the outside of the lines with a pencil, then colored the faces in.
If you chose not to cut the top out, you would not be able to put the face inside the jug to trace, but you could draw them on freehand, or cut the pieces out and use them as templates to trace the faces on. You could even cut them out of black paper and paste them directly onto the jug.
Jack-O-Lantern Face Templates
Make your own funny or scary faces, or simply print out the faces below to use as templates when you make your own milk jug Jack-O-Lanterns.
With these basic ideas, I am sure you can think of lots of way to make your own beautiful, glowing, and scary jack-o-lanterns from old milk jugs.
Battery-powered Tealight Candles
I used these battery powered tea lights in my jack-o-lanterns. They are safe, inexpensive, and long lasting.
© 2014 Sherry Hewins