Introduction: Chinese New Year Mason Jar Lanterns

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. Part of the celebration is to hang red lanterns decorated with messages of luck and good fortune for the New Year. In this project we gave new life to some old jars to help us light our way in 2014.

Step 1: Let's Get Started!

Mason Jars or other glass jars- remove old labels and clean well.
Piñata Paints - We used #7 Santa Fe Red
Lumiere 3D Paints - We used #204 Warm Gold, #224 Black, #222 Emerald
Color Coded Plastic Tips - Size #5 or Assorted sizes
Foam Brush - 1"
Heat Tool or hair dryer

Step 2: Paint the Inside of the Jars

Make sure your jars are squeaky clean. Any oily residue from foods can cause the paint to pull away from the glass.

Put on your gloves and make sure you have some newsprint or paper towels down on your work area.

Pour about a teaspoon of the Piñata paint into a jar. (We carry this paint because it works great as a transparent paint on leather, but it also works fantastic on glass and other slick surfaces!) Tip the jar so the paint runs up/down the inside of the jar, and start turning the jar. As you turn the jar the paint will coat the inside.

Tilt and turn so the paint coats the entire inside of the jar. Add paint if necessary, and use the foam brush to help get the paint around the lip. Keep turning!

Grab your heat tool or hair dryer, and using the “low” setting, blow into the jar to help dry the paint.

Pro-Tip: Don’t blow right into the jar. A hard stream of air can mess up your smooth coat. Tilting the jar with the mouth side down (over your paper towels) helps to keep streaks from forming while the Pinata colors dry, and also allows excess paint to drop onto your covered surface.

Step 3: Decorate the Outside of the Jars

Time to decorate the outside of our lanterns! We browsed around and found different motifs to decorate the outside of the jars. 2014 is the Year of the Horse so we found a simple, traditional horse as well as Chinese character banners for Happy New Year. 

Gold is the color of choice for lettering on New Year banners, so we used the #204 Warm Gold as our main color in the Lumiere 3D paints. These paints are glue based, very metallic looking, and stick to almost any clean surface!

Pro-Tip: Print or draw out your design on paper and put it inside the jar so you can trace it from the outside.

Step 4: Let It Dry and Light Them Up!

Let it all set up for a few hours or overnight. Once your paint is dry, add an LED tea light for a warm glow.

Happy New Year!