Introduction: DIY Nightmare Before Christmas Jars

Picture of DIY Nightmare Before Christmas Jars

Today I'm going to show you how to recreate these rad Nightmare Before Christmas jars (aka canisters).These are replicas of the ones Sally uses in the soup to poison Dr. Finkelstein.

Disney released an actual set several years ago. They aren't very big, though. They're hard to find nowadays and on ebay they go for around $300... uh, no thanks. Let's save some freakin' money!

I want you to see them, so click here! I'm going to take you to a simple google image search so you can see what our goal is!

The method is simple: it's just Sculpey over glass jars. I picked up the glass jars during a 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby. I got the Sculpey with a 40% off coupon that day as well. You can use any jars, any size you'd like. I, of course, chose the jars for their shapes.

*Warning: Super Sculpey is not food safe, so don't store actual edible things in the jars. Use them to store change, or random odds and ends! Sewing supplies, , concert tickets, the possibilities are endless! I just want to keep you safe!*


Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

What You'll Need

Step 2: Prep Your Jars!

Picture of Prep Your Jars!
  • Clean the glass on the outside with alcohol or soap and water if alcohol is unavailable.

  • Be sure to remove any price tags or labels. Don't leave any residue behind!

  • Next, remove the plastic piece from the underside of the lid.

  • If using canisters, remove the metal pieces.

  • Don't forget to clean the lid as well.

  • Wait until dry.

Step 3: Apply a Layer of Clay to the Body!

Picture of Apply a Layer of Clay to the Body!

Roll out a strip of clay that is the approximate length and width of your jar. If you have a bit that overlaps, like I did, remove the excess with a sharp clay tool and smooth out the seam with your finger.

Then, use your sharp clay tool and remove the clay that overlaps on the top and bottom. I had so much clay I was able to fold it over and trim it easily. Now it looks neat!

Step 4: Cover the Lid in Clay

Picture of Cover the Lid in Clay

Time to cover your lids in clay! Roll out another strip of clay with a rolling pin so that it's smooth. Then cover your lid.

For Worm's Wort and Deadly Night Shade: the lids have a bit of a dome. I put a ball of clay on the top and smoothed it out. If you're trying to conserve clay, you can use foil for this to bulk it out a bit.

For Frog's Breath: the lid is different. The top is flat and the edges are flat. So you'll roll the lid on the table to give it a sharper more defined edge.

Step 5: Add the Shapes, Scrolls, and Lettering.

Picture of Add the Shapes, Scrolls, and Lettering.

For Worm's Wort and Deadly Night Shade: You'll need to draw an oval, your scrolls and lettering will go inside this oval. Both jars have a scroll at the top and bottom. They aren't perfect! Neither is the font!

For Frog's Breath: You'll need to create a rectangular frame for the lettering. I did this using two longer "snakes" of clay, and two smaller "snakes" and put them together to form a rectangle. Once I got them in place, I flattened them a bit and scored them with x's for texture.

The text was made using the stone stamps from my Pet Memorial tutorial. It just made it easier for me, these are not required.

The lid was given ridges, and I did this with a wooden chopstick. A pencil or pen will do for that!

Step 6: Bake Your Clay.

Now it's time to bake it!

I used my toaster oven, and I put in for 20 minutes at 275 F. The length of time it takes depends on your clay's thickness. According to the Super Sculpey packaging, it needs 15 minutes at 275 F for every 1/4mm of thickness. Please read your packaging for accurate baking times. Yours could be different!

*Deadly Night Shade is too big for the toaster oven, I had to put that one in my big oven*

Once it's done baking, let it cool completely. The clay is still a bit soft when you take it out of the oven, but it hardens as it cools.

Step 7: Painting

Picture of Painting

For all jars and lids: The first thing you'll do is paint the entire thing with a dark gray color. I mixed up my colors using black and white paint. For Frog's Breath I used a little bit of Payne's Gray to change things up.

Once that layer dries, with a light hand and a soft brush lightly paint the areas outside the oval/square a medium gray. You're going to do this so light that some of the darker color shows through (see photos). This makes it look creepy, and aged. I love this look!

The frame for Frog's breath is painted with the darker color. Make a note of that!

Now for the insides of the ovals and square, these are going to be done a light gray. Again, use a light hand because you want the dark within the letters and crevices to remain intact!

Don't forget to paint your lids! :)

Step 8: The Finishing Touches

Picture of The Finishing Touches

Once your paint dries, take it outside or into well ventilated area and spray it with a coat of clear acrylic spray paint to finish it off. You can choose to do this in either glossy or matte, I chose glossy. That will dry in 30 minutes or so.

The final step: replace all plastic pieces under the lids, then stand back and admire your work!

If you liked this tutorial, please vote for me in the Halloween contest this year! :)

Thanks for reading! Check out what I've been up to at www.thehauntedhousewife.com!

Comments

AshleyF23 (author)2015-11-22

Why can't you put food in the jars is the clay is on the outside?

NathanSellers (author)2014-11-15

Looks great. What a fun project. How well is the sculpey staying together? I have had problems with it cracking in the past.

cynthia.kinslow.7 made it! (author)2014-11-11

Super fun and quick! Great addition to my desk at work. Will be using them as sugar and sprinkle jars at home. My kiddo is confused why the sprinkles are now called frog's breath. Do they taste like frogs?? Ha ha! Thanks for the great instructable!

Cindy Semrau (author)2014-10-14

What kind of paint did you use?

Erchan (author)2014-10-06

i just mean to put some led tealights inside that when i see your project. But you should us very thinner clay on some parts for light effects. Or dont use clay everywhere...

Horef (author)2014-10-06

i'd use those any day! they look beautiful!

mschase2u (author)2014-10-05

I was one who refused to pay $300 for a set no matter how much i loved them, lol. Couple of questions that weren't clear for me (maybe they're here I just didn't see)

1. were the whole bottoms covered in clay, just a small edge under the bottom or was it all glass at the bottom?

2. the lids - it looked like on one you covered the whole lid, even the bottom of it? Also how were you able to fit the plastic piece on after adding the clay?

thanks! love the jars, thanks for sharing.

No, the bottoms are not covered in clay. It's all glass at the bottom. With the lids, I covered them in clay 'til just under the bottom edge, not enough to interfere with the plastic. I had no trouble getting the plastic to slip back on. Thank you :)

ty! :)

mschase2u (author)2014-10-05

I was one who refused to pay $300 for a set no matter how much i loved them, lol. Couple of questions that weren't clear for me (maybe they're here I just didn't see)

1. were the whole bottoms covered in clay, just a small edge under the bottom or was it all glass at the bottom?

2. the lids - it looked like on one you covered the whole lid, even the bottom of it? Also how were you able to fit the plastic piece on after adding the clay?

thanks! love the jars, thanks for sharing.

montizalee (author)2014-10-05

what a cute idea! I will try it out, thanks!

seankreynolds (author)2014-10-05

Nice work! :)

Teisha (author)2014-10-05

So neat! I love Nightmare Before Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

thebeatonpath (author)2014-10-05

These are incredible! I am so making some! Great job!

SkyProductions (author)2014-10-04

Totally rad idea!!! Love this

Scumm7 (author)2014-10-02

These jars came put awesome! This technique could be adapted to quite a number of projects. Thanks for taking the time to document and share the process! I looked over your blog you should write an instructable for the cloth paper towels! I bet Halloween is a blast at your place!

Gilly (author)2014-10-02

Not sure if it is my server playing up but the link above to your haunted housewife site didn't work - just though I would tell you in case there is a problem. I will try again later - sounds interesting!

hauntedhousewife (author)Gilly2014-10-02

Thank you! I fixed it. Apparently, I mistyped the url :)

Mielameri (author)2014-10-02

These look really cool

Gilly (author)2014-10-02

Wow what a brilliant idea! Different - I love them.

Kiteman (author)2014-10-02

These are awesome.

On the subject of food safety, the Sculpey isn't on the inside of the jars, and most sweets come in wrappers, so these would be ideal for handing out treats on Hallowe'en.

hauntedhousewife (author)Kiteman2014-10-02

you're exactly right. And that's a fabulous idea!

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