SMP Craft
21 Oct

How to Tuesday: Mason Jar Luminaries!

This week we were lucky enough to have the lovely Lizzie Poteet guest post for us. Lizzie is an assistant editor at St. Martin’s Press.

After years of living on top of my neighbors in a Manhattan high rise where the term “outdoor space” referred to a courtyard you share with 100 other people and where to get any sort of greenery you have to go to the often smelly park down the block—after years of this Urban Life, I’ve finally moved. To Brooklyn. The land of milk and honey for people who want to live in New York, but not live in New York. My new place is precious—high ceilings, older building, brick walls, and more importantly outdoor space. Glorious, private, just for me outdoor space. My backyard is a strip of concrete with a garden bed, but it’s mine, and so in honor of Halloween and moving, I decided what better way to share my good fortune than to host a housewarming pumpkin carving party?

Well known fact one: moving is expensive. Well known fact two: parties can be expensive. Well known fact three: crafting is fun. So in honor of Halloween and outdoor parties, let’s talk about how you can use items around your house to make some kickass party decorations for this spooky season.

Mason Jar Luminaries:

I saw an idea for this floating around Pinterest and immediately thought “I can do that.” The idea is to take mason jars—or if you’re thrifty like me and want to save those mason jars for pickling, you can upcycle that mostly empty jar of salsa in the fridge—and paint their outsides fun festive colors so that when you put a candle in them, they let off this pretty, colorful glow. Check out this one I found on the Crafts by Amanda blog.

However, most of the luminaries I saw online were very childish. Jack-o’-lanterns and ghouls, and being a twenty-something without children, I wanted something a tad classier. So I whipped out my copy of Stencil It and got to work. Once my basecoat was dried (aptly named “pumpkin spice”), I secured my stencil….and failed. Miserably.

Two things I learned: You really should invest in a stencil brush to get the best results. And if you fail, acrylic paint on glass scrapes right off.

In the end, I decided to go Banksy/creepy with a little Russian doll luminary.

What you need:

Acrylic paint of your choice
Mason Jar
Krylon Clear Glaze
Candle (one that is small enough to fit in a mason jar but large enough to stand on its own)

Step One: Paint the outside of your mason jar a solid color making sure to get an even layer of paint. When the paint dries, it’ll probably look streaky and the perfectionist in you will be severely tempted to add a second coat. Resist the temptation. Let it dry.

Step Two: Tape down your stencil of choice onto the mason jar and dab paint onto the area. Stencil It will have useful hints on how to not mess up like me.

Step Three: Let the paint dry and then spray it down with the glaze. Add the candle and enjoy!


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