A cheap and easy way to make a glitter light up jack o lantern!
Hey Friends, we are closing in on Halloween which means creating some new pumpkin decor! Last year one of my most popular posts was of cute a glass bowl DIY snowman, so this year I decided I wanted to try to make a jack o lantern with glitter and a glass bowl.
I tried this DIY glass bowl Jack O Lantern two different ways and I will let you know the pros and cons of each. You can make this without any fancy cutting machines too!
I’ll give you some tips on how to do that. So read on, my friends!
Materials for DIY Glass Bowl Jack O Lantern
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- glass bowls – I got mine from the Dollar Tree. These are about 4.5″ across.
- glitter – I used this one found here
- Mod Podge or Polyacrylic – I’ll show you how to make with either one of these
- removable vinyl or contact paper for stencil – I used Oracal 631
- Cricut or another cutting machine – or you can just cut out stencils by hand
- card stock to make hat – you can decorate with cut-outs or stickers
DIY Easy Inexpensive Halloween Decor
First thing you want to do is cut your stencil. I googled “jack o lantern png” files and my six-year-old picked out the two designs he liked best.
I uploaded them to Cricut Design Space and sized them to about 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches, mirrored them (since they will be backward, but it really doesn’t matter for jack o lanterns if you forget!) and cut them out on Oracal 631.
If you don’t have a Cricut, you can always print one out, cut the pieces out, and trace it on the back of vinyl or contact paper and then cut. Add transfer tape to the top or you can use press n seal too.
Cut the design as small as you can and cut some slices up around the eyes so it will flatter down better on a rounded surface. Then peel the paper off back and stick in bowl and center where you want it.
I found it easiest to start from the bottom and start pushing the smile down first. Then slowly move up pressing the vinyl with your fingers. If you need to cut more slices in transfer paper that puckers up, do so without cutting into vinyl!
Make sure everything is pressed down well and then peel off the transfer tape. Press the vinyl down really good again with your fingers.
Adding Glitter to the Jack-o-Lantern!
This is where you have a choice of how you want to add your glitter. I did one with Mod Podge and the other with Polyacrylic. NOTE: Polyacrylic is flammable. Make sure to only use battery-operated candles in these!!!
It might depend on what you have on hand and might depend on how dark you want it. The poly makes a darker/thicker layer than the mod podge does.
You can always add a second coat of mod podge but it might make it more difficult to take the vinyl off. Honestly, I didn’t try it that way so I’m not sure how it will turn out. If you do, let me know if it works well to add two layers!
So after you have decided what medium you want to use apply it all over the inside of the jar. It is easiest to apply the mod podge with a paintbrush. This the same technique I used for making glitter brush holders and cute party favors!
For the polyacrylic, just pour a little in the bowl and slowly swirl the bowl round and round on its side until all is covered.
Hold the bowl upside down for about 30 – 60 sec for the extra to drain out. This stuff is stinky which is another drawback of this method! This is very similar to how to make glitter Christmas ornaments.
So, once you have your medium applied, you are just going to dump some glitter in the bowl and slowly start to rotate the bowl around on its side so the glitter covers the entire inside.
You will probably have to add a little more glitter as go. When it’s completely covered dump the extra back in the glitter container – no need to waste glitter!
I do have a full video tutorial on how I add glitter inside glass bowls on my DIY Easter bunny tutorial if you’d like to watch it.
Removing the Vinyl!
Let the glitter dry for a while. I am super impatient so I only waited 15 minutes or so. The poly takes a lot longer to dry so you should probably wait quite a while if you’re using that.
I was fine taking the vinyl out but if you rub any part when it’s wet it will move the glitter. Now, this is a little tricky!
Using a weeding tool or tweezers, peel the vinyl up from inside the glass. Once you get an edge lifted, I grabbed it with tweezers to pull it off if it was a big piece.
For a little piece, I just stuck my weeding tool in the middle and pulled it off. If you nick a few places you can move the glitter around a little with the weeding tool or you can wait till the next day when it’s completely dry, apply a dot of the medium, and a little more glitter to that area.
That’s it for the pumpkin part! Let it fully dry for about 24 hours before you start sticking candles inside it (like I did..ugh:() since that will scratch some of the glitter off.
I made a little hat out of card stock. I cut a 5.5 inch circle and then made a cone with a piece of cardstock and glued it on.
Nothing fancy, here! I cut a few things out with my Cricut and glued them on but you could use stickers or ribbon or whatever you have on hand.
There’s one more part that you can do a couple of ways. If you like seeing the candle inside, you are done. This is what mine turned out like with just the candle:
I don’t really like seeing the candle so I was trying to figure out ways to diffuse the light a bit. I came up with two ways. One was to apply Armour Etch to the front to make the eyes and mouth frosty looking. For a full tutorial on how to use Armour Etch, click here.
The other cheaper way was to add a piece of vellum inside. I cut an oval shape 3.25 tall by 4.25 wide.
Then put that inside the bowl in front of the battery-operated candle. Make sure to wait until the glitter is dry before putting it in or it will scratch it up ( I learned the hard way…eek!!)
Make sure you only use battery-operated candles in these!! No fires please!!!
The finished products came out like this! If I did it again, I’d probably use Mod Podge and the vellum cut out. That is probably the easiest and most cost-efficient way if you don’t have Poly or Armour Etch on hand.
These first ones are with mod podge and Armour Etch.
And this one is the one I used poly and placed a piece of vellum inside.
So if you compare the two side to side you can see how the vellum paper makes the light scatter more and covers the candle.
There you have it for an easy cheap DIY Halloween decor. If you make one, I’d love to see some pictures! What ideas do you have for the hat or top???
If you want to make a wood pumpkin with a FREE SVG cut file, click here to read the tutorial!
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Thanks so much for stopping by!
Have a creative day,