With the Kids

Creature Votive Candles to Spook on Halloween

Guest post by Candace of Naturally Educational

Making mini Jack O’ Lantern Votives out of baby food jars has become a family tradition.  This year, I thought we would shake things up a bit and make a Frankenstein Monster and a Ghost out of jars of varying sizes.
 Working with kids is always a little unpredictable.  My daughter was not interested in Frankenstein or a Ghost–she wanted to make a “Rainbow Monster”.  So, she made a rainbow monster while I made Frank.

  • one glass jar (we use jam, baby food, pasta sauce jars–whatever we have around; just make sure your tea light will fit in the jar)
  • cut-out squares of appropriate color tissue paper (greens for Frankenstein, orange and green for a Jack O’ Lantern, white for a ghost)
  • black construction paper
  • inexpensive white school glue mixed with a little water
  • scissors
  • paintbrush or spounge
  • tea light


1. Lay your jar down on its side on the black construction paper and trace the outline.  Set this aside.
2. Coat a portion of your jar with the glue and water mixture.
3. Add squares of the tissue paper where there is glue and then continue until the entire jar is covered.
(I like to use slightly varying hues and shades of a color, even when making a monochromatic jar.)
4. Coat the surface with the glue and water mixture.
5. Now you are going to make the features of your creature, using the outline you traced in step 1 to give you an idea of the size and shape of the “face”.  This is a good place to adjust for different age levels and abilities.  You can pre-cut several funny or spooky eyes, mouths, and noses and very young children can choose from these.  Slightly older children can draw their own face and you can “interpret” the drawing and cut it out (this is the method we used for the smallest Jack O’Lantern when my daughter was 3).  Older children will be able to draw and cut-out their own faces.
 For Frankenstein, I also added in a thick unibrow and a bad haircut.
6. Coat the features again with the glue & water mixture.

My daughter decided at this point to make a “frowny-face Jack O’ Lantern”, which is also in the photograph.

Let dry, add a votive, and light up the night!

Candace Lindemann is an educational consultant, recognized expert on topics in education, a published children’s writer, an active community volunteer, and a happily married mom of three children, ages 5, 3, and newborn. She shares educational crafts and activities for kids and ideas in education at NaturallyEducational.com. With her co-editor at Mamanista.com, Candace also founded Bloganthropy.org to promote social media philanthropy.


  1. Super cute idea! We have done a similar craft/gift for Spring and Mother’s day, decorating those tall white religious candles you find in the ethnic food aisle at the grocery store, with tissue paper, using shapes cut from a die cut (flowers etc.), but I really love the reusing of the jars and the Halloween theme. I guess you could do an elf and snowman and such for Christmas.

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