One of my favorite parts of the fall and Halloween is lighting candles. These Halloween themed candle holders are perfect decorations for your front porch on Halloween, a Halloween party, or for simply relaxing at home with a Halloween-themed movie. Keep reading to see how easy it is to make these jack-o-lantern and cauldron candle holders!
Basic materials to make the glass candle holders:
You probably already have more than half at home.
- Round glass candle holders like these from the dollar store
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paper towels or a rag
- Elmer’s glue
- Paint brush/stirring stick (for stirring and rubbing paint around)
- Parchment paper
- Small squirt bottle or bottle with a small opening at the top
- A few small pieces of cardboard
- Sand (I used regular tan colored sand for the jack-o-lantern and black sand for the cauldron, but anything works)
- Electric tea lights
Supplies for the Jack-O-Lantern candle:
- Food coloring (red and yellow) OR orange paint
- Painters tape or masking tape
Supplies for the Cauldron candle:
- Black paint
- Black string, wire, or hemp (I used hemp)
- Hot glue gun
How to make the Jack-O-Lantern candle:
Start by cleaning your glass jars with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel or a rag. This will remove all fingerprints and smudges from the glass. Once it is clean, try not to touch the outside of your glass jars! I held mine by sticking my hand inside the opening at the top.
Once your glass is clean, you can start making the paint mixture. To do this, mix together equal parts Elmer’s glue and water in your squirt bottle. Then add about 2 drops of yellow and 2 drops of red food coloring to make it orange. Stir this using the back of a paint brush or stir stick. Stir gently and try not to shake because shaking will cause bubbles to form and when you pour the paint on the glass, the bubbles will be very obvious and the surface won’t look smooth. If you do shake, don’t fret! Just stir gently and let the mixture settle for about 10-15 minutes, stirring gently occasionally during this time. You want the mixture to be runny; if it doesn’t drip off the edge of your stir stick, you should add a tiny bit more water.
Take your painters tape or masking tape, and cut out triangles for the eyes, a smaller triangle for the nose, and a fun shape for the mouth. I made the mouth by taping two pieces of masking tape together and laying them gently on the parchment paper. I then drew out a mouth in pencil and cut it out. Stick the facial features to your glass jar carefully and press them down to ensure all the edges are stuck on but don’t push too hard that you can’t get it back up easily.
Next, roll out a piece of parchment paper and lay it on your table. Put a small piece of cardboard (like in the cauldron supplies image above) on the parchment to hold up the jar. Starting at the top of the vase, carefully pour your paint, letting it run down the sides. I found it useful to put my hand in the top of the jar and tilt and turn the jar around so the paint would run evenly around it. I also used the tip of my squirt bottle to help drag the paint around to coat evenly as you go. Try to work semi-quickly so the coating doesn’t start to dry as you work. Also, try to avoid coating too much paint around the jack-o-lantern features because it will be slightly harder to get them off after. Once the entire vase is evenly coated, set it down on the cardboard and let it dry completely (about 3-5 hours).
Once the paint is dry, carefully pull the cardboard off the bottom and be sure not to accidently peel up the orange coating from the rest of the jar. Then take a sharpie and outline the features. I found it helpful to go over each one twice. This helps make the face stand out once the tape is off, but also makes it easier to get the tape off because the sharpie helps break down the coating around the edges.
Now that everything is outlined, use your fingernail to run along the edges of the tape where you just drew sharpie lines to break the tape away from the orange coating, otherwise you risk peeling up the whole coating off your jar. Then carefully pull up the tape and reveal your beautiful jack-o-lantern!
All that’s left to do is pour a little bit of sand in the bottom and set your electric tea light on top and you’re ready for your Halloween party or your night in watching Netflix!
How to make the Cauldron candle:
Again, start by cleaning your glass with rubbing alcohol, as described thoroughly above. Once the glass is clean make another mixture of equal parts glue and water in your other squirt bottle and add a few squirts of black paint and stir gently. If the paint looks too grey to you, add more black paint and a drop of water. See instructions above for details about making the mixture.
Just like with the jack-o-lantern, lay down parchment paper and a piece of cardboard. Starting at the top of the jar, pour the paint, turning the jar around and using the back of the tip of your squirt bottle or your stir stick to rub the paint around between drips to coat evenly. Once the jar is evenly coated in black, set the jar on the cardboard and let dry for 3-5 hours until it looks matte and dry.
While your cauldron is drying, use your black paint and the paintbrush to paint your string or hemp black if it isn’t already and let dry!
Once everything is dry, gently remove the cardboard from the bottom of your jar and start heating up your hot glue gun. I used a post-it note to hold the black string in place while I glued the other side to be sure it stayed where I wanted it (pictured above). DO NOT USE TAPE or you will peel off your black coating. Use the hot glue gun to glue your string in place to look like the cauldron handle. Once that’s secured, fill your cauldron with black sand (or regular sand). I filled mine more than half way so you could see the light from the candle glowing out the top. And you’re all finished!
Now that you have two festive Halloween candles to decorate your home for the season, text your friends and invite them over for a festive party or a spooky movie. Let us know in the comments what other Halloween creatures you’d like to make into candle holders!