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I love reading Pallets, Paper, and Paint. My husband jokes that I’d paint him if he stood in one place too long… so I guess you could say that I love all things crafting.
So, when Misty asked if I’d do a guest post, I jumped at the opportunity!
Thank you for inviting me into the Pallets, Paper, and Paint community!
I Hope You Enjoy Our Ghost Jar Craft!
With the older three kids off to school, I’m home with our 2 year old and 4 year old all day.
I never before thought having two young kids home would be “easy,” but apparently that’s all about perspective. It sure feels easy compared to all five home!
(yes, you read that right- I have five kiddos)
I have big plans for us this school year. I’m not really worried about them learning academic stuff, but I would like to work on some different skills with them.
I figure that we can do different projects to learn about things like cutting, following step by step directions, and having patience (ha! good luck, me!)
Sometimes, I really feel like my life is an “expectations vs reality” meme…
For example, we did some water colors- what a simple thing to occupy them.
And while I don’t care about how many letters they know, I would like them to know how to spell their names, so we combined the fun of paint with their names.
Yeah… it started out just fine, and it ended with water colors all over the kitchen cabinets.
Lucky for the kids, having so many kids has taught me to calm down about the things that are not a big deal in life (such as paint that washes right off).
We’ll continue doing stuff, but I just know not to expect anything to be clean or perfect when we’re done.
Okay, so these two little boys are obsessed with ghosts. They love all things “spooky,” so I’m really looking forward to their reactions at Halloween this year.
And since it’s September, that means it’s okay to start our Halloween projects, right?
I decided we would make some ghost jars to enjoy!
You could do these same things as jack-o-lanterns or a monster of Frankenstein head, too. Be creative!
I tried to make one a mummy, but it didn’t turn out like I wanted…
Maybe it’s his face? I have fun with crafts, and I think I have a talent for them.
But when it comes to actual artistic ability (like for drawing on face), I have absolutely none.
Maybe someone with a little more artistic talent would be able to pull off a mummy, too!
What You Need
So, I did this project in two ways as a test. I did one with Mod Podge (I’ve actually done this before and used Mod Podge) and one with school glue.
Honestly, both worked great.
Mod Podge is a little thinner, which can make it easier or harder, depending on how your kiddo handles this stuff, lol.
Glue seemed to dry a little more quickly, which can be easier or harder, too.
Our 4 year old used the Mod Podge, and the 2 year old used the glue. That’s just kind of how it happened, but it worked out well.
Alright. Here’s what you need:
- empty and clean glass jar (I just used old pizza sauce jars)
- glue or Mod Podge (you can choose a matte finish or a gloss finish)
- tissue paper (we used white for our ghosts)
- paint brush (we used foam brushes)
- black sharpie marker
Suggestion: Have a couple of damp towels handy. Fingers get pretty sticky.
Cleaning Your Jars
You could probably find some jars (or even glass cups) from the dollar store, but we just used old glass jars from pizza sauce.
I took off the label and threw them in the dishwasher to clean.
There was still a little bit of glue left after cleaning. I ran them under some hot water and used a Magic Eraser (tip: generic ones like these from Amazon have worked just as well as the “real thing” for me!)
Cutting Your Tissue Paper
Using scissors is a great skill to work on with kids before they go off to school, because it requires hand strength (which will also help their grasp of a pencil or crayon) and coordination.
Besides, kids sure have fun cutting.
This is one of the skills that I’m going to be working on with the little boys this year, so I thought I would start with this project.
I mean… I basically gave them each a half sheet of tissue paper and scissors. I let them do what they wanted while I cut the actual tissue paper squares.
Their “cuttings” all ended up in the garbage… but it was some practice, so I’m still calling it a win.
I’m hopeful that they’d actually be helpful with this part by the end of the school year (fingers crossed).
So, for the actual tissue paper that you’ll be using, it just needs to be cut into squares. They don’t need to be perfect (part of the beauty of this project!).
I cut strips then started at the end to cut squares.
I put them into bowls (to attempt some sort of order to this project!)
Glue or Mod Podge
I just used some of our plastic plates to pour out some glue/Mod Podge to make it easier to use.
You can also use paper plates, I just didn’t have any.
It does wash away easily, so using plastic wasn’t a problem.
I didn’t lay anything down on the table, but you could also use a table cloth if you’re worried about spills (as you can see from our table, it’s well-used, so I wasn’t worried about it).
What you’ll be doing is applying a thin layer of glue/Mod Podge then placing one piece of tissue paper over it.
We used foam brushes, mostly because they’re cheap and easy for the littles. You could use a regular paint brush, too.
This craft is pretty flexible, so do what works for you with what you have!
There are pretty much two ways to help a kiddo get started.
You can either show them to apply a small dot then apply the tissue paper OR you can have them apply a thin layer to a larger area then place a thin layer of tissue paper squares all at once.
Our two year old did better with a small amount at a time, and the four year old did better with a larger area. This part will just depend on your kiddo.
Helping the Kiddos
Don’t worry if your kids aren’t able to get all of the tissue paper on there perfectly.
Remember, it’s about the journey, haha.
Seriously, though, I focus on letting the kids have fun.
Crafts go much more “smoothly” once I come to terms with the fact that it will be a mess and it won’t look perfect.
At one point (okay, a lot of points), a portion of their jar looked like this….
… I took it and fixed it a bit. I just took a bit of the glue/Mod Podge and smoothed it out.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Repeat until the whole jar is covered.
As you can see, my guys lost interest about half way through this project.
No worries- part of my goal with these projects is to teach them patience. It’s a process!
I just finished off their jars for them.
For the top, I applied a thin layer of glue/Mod Podge around the mouth of the jar and placed tissue paper squares around.
Then I applied a thin layer of glue/Mod Podge to the inside of the mouth and folded the tissue paper into the mouth.
Since I had been “fixing” what the boys were doing all along, most of the tissue paper already had a layer of glue/Mod Podge over it.
Here is where I went over it to make sure. I applied a thin layer over any parts that weren’t already covered.
This gave the jars a nice, uniform look.
I let the jars dry for a few hours, then we were ready for faces!
I drew them on with a Sharpie (cheating? Maybe. But that’s how I roll).
The jar on the right is a little more transparent, because the two year old actually did one layer of tissue paper.
The four year old had a little more fun adding the tissue paper, so his is not quite so transparent.
Also, you could totally use black tissue paper to glue/Mod Podge the face on, if you’re less lazy than I am (or if your kiddo has more patience than mine).
Have fun with it!
What crafts do you like to do with your kids?
Is anyone else already in the Halloween mood?
I’m Stephanie, and I’d love for you to come check out my blog at RacingElephants.com.
I’m a stay at home mom to five kiddos… I blog about motherhood and managing our household (in an imperfect way that seems to work out). I have some recipes, diy projects, and some of our “systems” (like meal planning and laundry) that work around our house.