DIY Pumpkin or Sugar Skull Halloween Treat Jar
These Halloween treat jars are a fun crafting project to celebrate this spooky season. The pumpkin jar is an easy project for young children and adults. The sugar skull jar has more steps, but can be decorated in many ways to learn about the Day of the Dead celebration. These jars can then be filled with treats like candy corn, M&M's, pumpkin seeds, or raisins.
Pumpkin Treat Jar
- A clean, clear jar with screw on lid or cork (any size) - you can use plastic or glass
- An artificial pumpkin that fits on the top of your lid or cork - you could also use a skull or witch's head, or any Halloween-themed item of your choice. Be sure your item has a flat bottom that will adhere to your lid.
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Washi tape in Halloween colors to decorate your jar - available at most craft stores
- glitter glue or paint to decorate pumpkin
- twine, ribbon, fabric, paint or washi tape to cover jar lid
Clean and remove any labels from your jar and lid. I was able to soak my glass jar in warm water for about an hour, then use a dish scrubber to scrap off my labels. Let your jar and lid dry completely.
(Optional) Use paint, washi tape, fabric, or twine to cover your jar lid. I wrapped my lid with twine, then used some paper packing material to create a little nest for my pumpkin to rest in. I attached my twine and packing material with hot glue.
If you decide to decorate your lid, be sure that your embellishments do not interfere with your lid fitting and screwing on your jar.
Step 3 (Optional)
I sketched a jack-o'-lantern face on my pumpkin using a pencil. You can also just leave your pumpkin undecorated.
When drawing or painting on small objects, I find it helpful to lay them in an old t-shirt or something similar, so they don't roll or move around.
Then I filled in my jack-o'-lantern face with black glitter glue. You could also use acrylic paint. I used a common pin to move the glitter glue into the corners of the face that can be hard to fill in.
While your pumpkin is drying, begin to decorate your jar. I wrapped my jar in different designs of washi tape, but I have listed some other ways to decorate your jar at the bottom of this tutorial.
I made sure that all my lines of tape began and ended at the same place so the seams wouldn't show. I also left a space between some of my layers of tape so that the jar's contents could be seen.
When your pumpkin is dry, use a generous amount of hot glue to stick your pumpkin to the top of your jar lid or cork.
Fill your jar with a fun treat and enjoy!
How Do You Make a Sugar Skull for Day of the Dead?
This tutorial uses a foam ball, a piece of cardboard, and some paper mache to make a sugar skull for celebrating the Day of the Dead.
- A clean jar with a screw on lid or cork and a long neck—you can use plastic or glass. Your jar can be any size but will need a long neck to accommodate your sugar skull face.
- A foam ball that is the roughly that same size around as your lid or cork to make your skull.
- White tissue paper or newspaper for paper mache to form the head.
- A small piece of bendable cardboard - an empty roll of toilet paper or paper towels would work best.
- Paint and glitter glue to decorate your sugar skull.
- Assorted gems, sequin, beads, or artificial flowers to embellish your skull head.
- White craft glue, masking tape, and a pair of scissors.
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks.
- Washi tape in Halloween colors to decorate your jar.
Using a table knife or utility knife, shave off a little bit of your foam ball so that it has a flat bottom and sits flush with your jar lid or cork (see above).
Use hot glue to stick your foam ball to the top of your jar lid.
Cut a small piece of bendable cardboard that is shaped like the letter "U". This cardboard should be as wide as your ball of foam and long enough to form the jaw for your skull. I suggest using an empty toilet paper roll or paper towel roll, so your cardboard is already rounded like your foam head.
Trim the bottom of your cardboard piece so that it has the angles of a jawline.
Put your jar lid with the foam ball back on your container. Use some masking tape to position the cardboard jaw on your foam ball to create a skull (see above). Be sure that your cardboard jaw does not interfere with your lid fitting on your jar. If it does, trim down your jaw or reposition it on your skull.
Tear or cut your tissue paper or newspaper into thin strips. Stir together an equal mixture of white craft glue and water. Then dip your paper strips into the mixture for paper mache.
Carefully place your paper mache strips on your foam head to adhere the cardboard jaw to your skull and the ball to your jar lid. Smooth your strips as you go to avoid bumps and ridges. As you work, be sure not to get any paper mache under your lid or under your skull's jaw. Be sure that your lid will still screw on your jar.
Keep adding layers of paper mache until your foam ball is completely covered and there is no ridge between your cardboard jaw and skull. Make sure there is a smooth transition between your jar lid and foam head. Then let your skull dry completely.
While your head is drying, you can look online for ideas to decorate your sugar skull.
When your skull is dry, use acrylic paint to put a base coat on your entire head. Your base coat does not need to be white. The background colors of sugar skulls are a variety of pastel colors, like pink, yellow, light blue, or green.
When you paint is dry, sketch the features on your skull. There are many ideas for creating the details of your skull. Sugar skulls often have flowers for their eyes, an upside-down heart for a nose, and a wide smile of bare teeth.
I added some glitter glue for more decoration to my skull, along with some plastic gems for the eyes, and some artificial flowers for a crown on the head. Then I let my skull dry completely.
While your skull is drying, you can begin to decorate your jar. I used washi tape to cover my jar following the directions in step 5 of the pumpkin tutorial above.
Then fill your jar with treats and top it off with your sugar skull lid.
Other Ways to Decorate Your Treat Jars
I used washi tape to decorate my jars, but there are other ways to embellish your empty jar:
- Use Halloween stickers.
- Wrap them with twine.
- Paint designs on them using acrylic paint.
- Leave them bare and just add a ribbon around the neck.
© 2018 Donna Herron