Jug O' Lanterns




My wife came up with a quick and easy decoration for a friend's upcoming Halloween party. We call them Jug O' Lanterns. I’ve seen them used as ghosts before with white lights in them, but we had orange lights so we used jack o’ lantern patterns.

All you need is:

Some empty water jugs (we used 7)

A string of orange “Halloween lights”

Some Jack O’ Lantern stencils (resized to fit the jugs)

Black marker


Sharp knife


Alcohol and paper towels


Please don’t forget to vote for my project!


Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Get Some Water Jugs and Maybe a Helper...

Water jugs work best because there's no residue to clean out.

Step 2: Clean the Exterior

Carefully remove the label on the front of the jug. Then clean the back with rubbing alcohol to remove any residue. If there's a date stamp on the back, be sure to clean it off too.

Step 3: Print Your Patterns

Print up your favorite jack o' lantern carving patterns, or you can skip this step and free-hand a classic "Jack O' " face. I found mine at: pumpkinmasters.com. I had to rescale them to fit the jugs though. You can do that in the print set-up window.

Step 4: Time for Tape!

First you'll need to cut out the shaded areas on the template with a craft knife. (exacto or olfa knife) Then tape the pattern to the jug, making sure to secure it in several places to keep it from puckering and moving.

Step 5: Mark Away!

Now, carefully trace around the stencil with a black permanent marker. My wife's first attempt was free handed with a blue marker. (middle jug) So I filled it in with the black, but left him with blue eyes...

Step 6: Carefully!

Carefully!! Use a knife to poke a hole, or two into the back of the jug just big enough to push the lights into the back of the jug. They should snap into place, not fall in, so twist the knife into the holes a little at a time, checking fitment as you go. I've found the need to add some sand to the bottom of the jugs to keep them from tipping over. Then all that's left is to put the lights into the back, leaving 2 or 3 lights in between the jugs to give them a little space. Enjoy!

Halloween Decorations Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Decorations Contest

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest
    • Maps Challenge

      Maps Challenge

    10 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe next time I use them I might put some like sand or Kitty litter in the bottom to help them stay upright

    1 reply

    I'm sorry that I left out the need for sand, definitely need to be weighted down. I'm glad they were so popular!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I was grateful to find this DIY. I made my own and they were a hit with the neighborhood kids. Couldn't keep them off my porch for two weeks. Thanks!

    1 reply

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I made a set of these and had them out on the walk Recived a few comments about them. Thanks for the idea


    5 years ago

    Me ensina.hugo q está falando nao o papai rodrigo !!!!

    1 reply