Halloween Luminaries

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Originally published October 16, 2013. Updated July 11, 2019.
Halloween luminaries can easily be made from upcycled plastic bottles and jars. This is a great kids’ craft. It costs only pennies to make and requires only beginner’s level crafting skills. 
one photo of repurposed plastic bottle monster faces and one of Halloween luminaries in the dark with title text reading Halloween Luminaries from repurposed bottles & jars
The first thing you need to know about me is that I hate to throw away (whether in the recycle or in the trash) anything that can be repurposed.  The second thing you need to know is that my family loves Halloween.  And the third thing to know is that I enjoy doing easy craft projects with my kids.  So, I’m a happy, happy mama when I can combine the three-in-one plastic bottle decoration for Halloween.

Halloween Luminaries

With a family of 5, we produce a lot of empty food containers.  I really hate to just throw them away if I can find a way to repurpose them.  Why not save money and the landfill at the same time?
5 different kitchen items in plastic jars
I love Halloween luminaries and outdoor Halloween decorations.  I wanted to make ones that I knew would be safe for the little trick-or-treaters.  I worry about candles and breakable decorations with little ones walking up to the door in the dark on Halloween. Plastic bottle decorations are great because they’re not breakable and can be used around younger children.

How to Make Halloween Decorations


Step One

Clean recycled plastic jars and bottles from food products. Be sure to clean well so you don’t attract bugs when your Halloween luminaries are sitting out on your porch. 

Step Two

Cut the vinyl to make fun or scary faces for your containers.  Use your imagination to create different faces for your containers.  My children had fun creating and making their own luminary faces. 

Step Three

You can use paint pens or permanent markers to create the faces on the luminaries, if you’d prefer.

Step Four

Add bolts or other embellishment. I added bolts to this cute little Frankenstein.  I used the scissors to carefully poke a hole in the can and then added the bolt.   
These were bolts I had left over from another repurposed project when I used a table I’d found on Freecycle to make an Upcycled Sign. I was thrilled I’d found a use for those left over bolts.
blue plastic can decorated like Frankenstein

Step Five

If you choose non-opaque containers, then you can add a candle to make your Halloween luminary.  I recommend a battery-operated for safety purposes. You can imagine how great these will look on my front walk-way lit up on Halloween night. 
3 decorated plastic jars with battery candles lighting them up
5 decorated plastic jars in front of brick wall
This project is as quick and easy or as complicated as you want to make it, so it’s perfect for children of all different ages. They can be as creative as their imaginations take them.
How fun and how easy, and how repurposed! Have a happy and green Halloween. Pin these Halloween Luminaries for your later Halloween inspiration.
one photos of repurposed plastic bottle monster faces and one of Halloween luminaries in the dark with title text reading Halloween Luminaries from repurposed bottles & jars

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  1. These are too darn cute! I spent many years in the Southwest and we put luminaries out for Christmas. I loved them, I will have to try this for Halloween too!

  2. How cute are these? I love a frugal craft project! This would be great to link up to Create It Thursday #25…it’s live now! Hope to see you there!

  3. I love all your ideas! We are actually using milk jugs this year for our cul-de-sac lanterns on Halloween! I love all the different containers you used though; great idea! πŸ™‚

  4. I’m the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your lantern project! You can see it here:


    If you have other kid-friendly crafts, we’d love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a cool project idea!

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