How to Make Decorative Mason Jars for Halloween

Lead Image
  • 1 hour
  • Beginner
  • 10
What You'll Need
Card stock paper
Mod podge
Foam brushes
Tissue paper

With fall upon us, it’s the perfect time to make some simple and fun seasonal designs with mason jars. This is an easy craft for adults and kids alike that provides your home with some festive decor for a minimal cost.

Step 1 - Decide on Your Theme

You can make these jars to fit any theme or season. Maybe you even recycle your jars throughout the year! For the fall, you can go with more of an autumn theme or one that embodies the spirit of Halloween. Decide which you’re going with to set the tone for the rest of the project.

Step 2 - Gather Materials

You don’t need anything fancy to complete this craft. Mason jars of practically any size, tissue paper, scissors, mod podge, card stock paper, foam brushes, and paint are pretty much all you’ll need to make as many jars as your heart desires. You’ll also want to lay down newspaper or some type of paper on the table or counter to avoid a mess.

Step 3 - Cut Strips of Tissue Paper

Cut strips of tissue paper so that they’re ready to be used in covering your jars. They don’t all have to be the same size or the exact length of your jars, so don’t worry about measurements. Depending on how many jars you’re planning on making, you’ll want to cut quite a few strips in varying lengths and widths. Set them aside.

colorful tissue paper

Step 4 - Cover Jar in Mod Podge

Now, Turn the first jar upside down and cover it in a thin layer of mod podge using your foam brush. This will help you in easily adhering your tissue paper to the jar. You want to do this right before you begin placing tissue paper on the jar as it dries quickly.

Step 5 - Cover the Jar in Tissue Paper Strips

Put the strips of tissue paper you cut to good use! Cover the jar with these strips by lightly placing them - vertically - on the jar. They should easily stick on the thin layer of mod podge you brushed on in the previous step. Overlap these slightly. If you have to fold the strips onto the bottom of the jar, that is totally fine. If, on the other hand, the strips aren’t long enough to cover the full length of the jar, don’t worry about that for now. Continue layering strips until the whole jar is covered. If needed, layer a few tissue paper strips horizontally around the bottom of the jar to fill any blank space.

Step 6 - Brush Mod Podge Over the Jar

Using a foam brush, apply more mod podge on top of the tissue paper strips to fully adhere them onto the jar and to make sure they’re flat on the jar. If there are some wrinkles in gluing the strips down, it’s nothing to worry about. Also don’t worry if some of the mod podge looks clumpy and white as it will dry clear.

hands attaching decoration to glass mason jar

Step 7 - Cut Cardstock Shapes

You’re now going to leave the jar you covered upside down to dry for a few minutes while you cut your shapes. You can either do this manually or use a die cutting machine to do so. If you’re going with a Halloween theme, cut out jack-o-lantern faces. For an autumn theme, cut out leaf shapes or acorns and squirrels. This is your chance to get creative! You can also cut out ghosts, spiders, bats, or black cats. If desired, you can use large googly eyes on these jars for a fun effect.

Step 8 - Glue Down Your Shapes

Now it’s time to use mod podge again to glue down your shapes onto your jar. Put a thin spot of mod podge where you’ll be adhering the shape on the jar. Then - one piece at a time - stick your shapes onto the mod podge spot and put more mod podge on top of it to glue it down completely. Especially if you’re using thick card stock, you may need to use quite a bit of mod podge to get the job done. Again, don’t worry about any “puddles” of glue on the jar - it will dry clear.

decorative Halloween mason jars

Step 9 - Let Jar Dry

Now, let your jar dry completely. It shouldn’t take much more than an hour.

Step 10 - Paint the Top

Now, paint the mouth of your jar to finish off the project. On Halloween jars, a bright green or purple accents the jars nicely. For an autumn jar, a maroon or olive green would be a great choice. You can paint the mouth of the jar using a foam brush.

Now, just allow the paint on your jar to dry and your project is complete! These look great lined up next to each other with varying designs. The thinness of the tissue paper makes it easy to put a battery-operated votive in each jar to give a flickering effect.

marker and paint on lighted halloween mason jar

For a different kind of effect, you can skip the tissue paper in favor of paint and marker, then leave the jar open at the end and place a candle inside to create a magical glow and throw spooky or beautiful shadows. Use common sense in deciding where to place your jar-o-lantern—dried corn stalks or loose fabric can go up in a blaze quickly, creating a scarier situation than you were going for.