Halloween would not be complete without pumpkins, Jack O Lanterns, costumes and things that glow in the dark. Glow sticks are inexpensive and can be used to make lots of things light up the night! It’s temporary though, so if you want to make these glowing Jack O Lantern jars, wait until the night of your Halloween party or trick or treating.
Easy to Make Glowing Jack O Lantern Jars
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind before you get started. Let’s begin with the fact that these aren’t just for kids. There are lots of Halloween craft ideas like this that are great for adults too!
Some colors are better than others
First of all, green and yellow glow sticks work better than pink and purple. The green and yellow appeared much brighter. I didn’t test the blue but based off of the hues, I would guess it would be the same as the purple. I could be wrong though so if you try blue, please leave me a comment and let me know how it did!
Cutting the glow stick
Second, cutting a glow stick open is something that a grown up should do. I used an Exacto knife and was able to hold the glow stick in my hand and simply apply pressure to the plastic and it went through. Now here’s the thing… I originally saw this idea last year on this site. The instructions there said to cut open the glow stick, dump the liquid, remove the glass tube, break open that tube and combine the liquids. Either I’m a real weakling or the glass in glow sticks is not all created equal. I couldn’t break the glass tube without freaking myself out thinking liquid was going to go flying everywhere.
So instead I activated the glow stick by bending it and making it glow, THEN I sliced off the top and poured the glowing liquid into the jar. That means that I ended up with pieces of glass inside the jar. This is the second reason this is a job for an adult. Unless you can do it easily, don’t bother removing the glass, just close the lid.
Supplied needed for glowing Jack O Lantern jars
*I tested a black Sharpie on my glow stick pumpkin jars, but it didn’t work as well as the glass paint pens. However, you can certainly use a black Sharpie, there’s no need to go to the craft store if you don’t think you’ll use it again. I use my glass paint pens all the time. Be aware that a black Sharpie will not be as “black” (if that makes sense) and will leave pen lines that a candle may shine through. So it seriously depends on your level of perfectionism. Mine’s kinda high, I’ll admit it. But kids could care less and their glowing Jack O Lantern jars will still look super cool!
Draw some fun faces onto the jars with your glass paint pen or Sharpie and color them in. You can get some facial expression ideas from my Jack O Lantern felt board.
Guess what? You’re almost done making your glowing Jack O Lantern jars!
In fact you can do this part as far ahead and you like. It’s just the glow stick step that needs to wait until the night of. Glow sticks last anywhere from 4 hours to 24 hours. Keep that in mind before you activate the sticks.
Activate each glow stick by following the directions on the package. Once the liquid is glowing, hold the glow stick upright so that there is air at the top of the stick. Use your other hand to press the Exacto knife into the top of the glow stick and slowly and carefully remove the top. Pour the liquid into one of your jars and seal the lid. Turn the jar, allowing the glowing liquid to coat the inside of the jar. If you are worried that a small child will open the jar, use some E6000 to glue the lid on.
Your finished glowing jars may appear to be fading within several minutes. Pick them up and repeat the rolling and coating process. You can do this throughout the evening to help keep them glowing. If you let them sit they will be fine too. A fine layer of the glowing liquid will adhere to the glass, but the rest will drip down and pool in the bottom of the jar. Crafting is not perfect!
You may recognize some of these faces from my Halloween luminaries I made several years ago. In fact, you can get even more face ideas on that post! Oh and hey, if you like this you might like my wooden Jack O Lantern craft too.
- Clean glass jars
- Glow sticks
- Exacto knife
- Glass paint pen
- Draw some fun faces on with your glass paint pen or Sharpie and color them in. You can get some facial expression ideas from my Jack O Lantern felt board.
- In fact you can do this part as far ahead and you like. It's just the glow stick step that needs to wait until the night of. Glow sticks last anywhere from 4 hours to 24 hours. Keep that in mind before you activate the sticks.
- As I mentioned above, activate the glow stick by following the directions on the package. Once the liquid is glowing, hold the glow stick upright so that there is air at the top of the stick. Use you other hand to press the Exacto knife into the top of the flow stick and slowly and carefully remove the top. Pour the liquid into one of your jars and seal the lid. Turn the jar, allowing the glowing liquid to coat the inside of the jar.