Want the spooky and coziness of a jacko' lantern, but too lazy to carve a new one every single year? Make one, that will last you forever! One time deal, but can be used year after year!
This lantern will be painted from the inside, meaning it will keep a nice glossy look.
Step 1: You Will Need
- A glass container of any kind - optional: a fitting lid
- Tape of any kind
- Spray paint - orange, black and/or gold. Ideally also clear varnish
- Plastic bag
- Patience for paint to dry in between layers ....
Tip for cleaning a glass container:
If you got the perfect glass jar, but stubborn label glue that just won't come off, I found that making a paste of cooking oil and baking powder is very effective! Leave it on for a few hours and clean it off with dish soap, and you got a nice shiny glass jar, ready for use!
Step 2: Make a Face
Use some paper and sketch a face for your lantern, in whatever design you like. Do some googling to get some inspiration if you like. I choose the iconic 'few toothed smile' and triangle eyes and nose.
Draw it on your tape, and cut off the tape. Stick it on your fingers over and over again to dull a bit of the glue. Depending on how strong your tape is, you might need to weaken it a bit. Do some tests if you like, as some tape (like mine) will leave glue residue on the glass.
Main point is, it has to be strong enough to stick strongly enough to withhold liquid for a short period of time, but not too strong so it won't come off, or wont come off without leaving a mess of glue behind.
I learned that my cheap duct tape wasn't ideal, even after being weakened. Only when I screw up a few pieces (nose and eyes) and used "Liquid" glue, meant to glue shoe soles and stuff, did I get something that stuck tightly, but didn't leave much behind. So its worth checking out if glue could be an option for you (let it dry a bit on the pieces before sticking it on the glass, and make sure to put glue to the very edge)
Step 3: Stick It INSIDE the Glass Jar
This is key! Put the tape pieces inside the jar, not outside!
It can be pretty tricky to get it all right and have them placed exactly where they should. A few do-overs might be necessary. I used the tip of a nail file to hold the pieces, so it doesn't stick on much surface when you're about to place them inside the jar. Use your finger to press the pieces against the glass, and pull away whatever you use to hold it with (if you hold it with your fingers, meaning more surface, it can be hard to have the tape pieces let go)
Step 4: Paint It
Cut a hole in a plastic bag, approximately the size of the glass opening (maybe a bit smaller), and place the jar inside the bag, leaving the opening sticking out of the hole. Use a bit of masking tape to keep it tight.
This way you won't get any mess on the outside of the glass, while spray painting the inside!
Start by using the orange spray paint to spray a nice thin layer on the inside of the glass jar. Be careful not to make it too thick, or leave the spray nozzle too close to the glass, otherwise it will drip!
Wait for it to dry for 10-15 minutes, and give it another coat.
Do the same with the black paint. Depending on how well it covers, you can also use gold paint instead of black (or both, if the black covers better, then gold on top). I used black paint, but I think gold will be pretty good too, as it will light up more, even when there is no lit candle in.
Let it dry completely for at least an hour or two. Preferably longer..
Keep the plastic bag for later use.
Step 5: Clean Up and Varnish
Gently remove the tape pieces making the face. Depending on how thick a layer of paint you got, you might experience a few cracks in the paint!
Once carefully removed, you might experience that some of the paint has soaked underneath a bit. Using a q-tip and some acetone (or nailpolish remover), you can clean it up and get some more even edges. Clean the clear glass part as much as you can, it might take several q-tips and tissues to clean it all up.
Finish it all up by spraying a thin layer of varnish inside the jar (reuse the plastic bag to protect the outside of the jar)
Step 6: Fix Up the Lid, and You're Done!
If you have a lid, give it some paint to match. I decorated mine with a piece of a stick I gave a bit of varnish, and some moldable plastic I molded into a leaf and glued on after painting it.
Remember not to use a lid if you're using a real tealight candle! Otherwise use a small battery driven light chain or LED tealight candle.
Happy Halloween everyone!