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Halloween Pathway and Swamp Lanterns
Hours of work
Approx. 2
I'm new to Halloween Forum and new to writing but am very passionate about Halloween and wanted to share some lanterns I thought turned out pretty cool!

This year I decided to do a different yard set up for my annual Halloween party at Cottonwood Corner Terror House. This set up involves multiple theme areas throughout my yard and I needed a pathway that would guide guests from one theme to the next. Although I did purchase some solar pathway lights that look like torches, I decided I wanted the majority of the lights to have an older, creepier look.

I made some mason jar lanterns a few years ago to hang from my witch's cauldron set up and decided I wanted to use these as my pathway lanterns. I also wanted some lighting in my "Cotton Woods" theme area so decided to make "swamp lanterns" to hang from branches.

• Pint size mason jars
• Sandpaper
• Mod podge
• Sponge brush
• Brown acrylic paint
• Black acrylic paint
• Small stiff paint brush or toothbrush
• Cranberry alcohol ink
• Butterscotch alcohol ink
• Green creepy cloth
• Jute cord
• Oil rubbed bronze spray paint
• Battery operated tea light candles

First and foremost, I removed all the lids and outer bands from the mason jars and set them aside.

Distressing the Jars
In order to get rid of the "new" look of the jars I roughed them up a bit by using 60 or 80 grit sandpaper all over the outside. I sanded the glass going in various directions.

Next, I painted mod podge with a foam brush all over both the inside and outside of the jar. Just as I did with the sanding process, I painted this on in various directions. As a result, this gives the jar a cloudy appearance.

Following this I mixed some brown acrylic paint with water to make the paint runny, similar to a mud puddle. Dipping a regular paint brush in my "mud puddle" I then used a few different techniques to make the jar look old and gross. I tapped the brush back & forth on the inside to splatter it around. I also tried just pouring a little in the bottom then turning the jar upside down to let it run up the sides. Dabbing a little on the outside of the glass also adds to the desired "dirty effect".

Once the “mud” was dry, I used an old toothbrush to dip in black acrylic paint. I flicked the bristles with my finger to spatter small specks of black on the outside of the jar as well as dap small amounts in a few areas to give the jar an even dirtier look.

Blood/Glowing Effects
When the black was dry, I used alcohol ink on the glass. I poured cranberry alcohol ink in a small spray bottle and butterscotch ink in another. Using the spray bottles to spray from farther away will cover more area in a thin layer. Spraying from up close will make it run down the side. With the cranberry color I did both of these techniques inside and outside. I only sprayed from a distance with the butterscotch both inside and outside. The cranberry color gives the appearance of blood, and the butterscotch makes the jar glow a bit.

Pathway Lantern Final Touch
You can leave the jars like this or go a step further by spray painting the outer band of the lid and screwing it on the jar for your pathway lights. I left mine without the band and set aside to use as my pathway lanterns. The rest I made into "swamp lanterns".

"Swamp Lanterns"
Outer Band

For the swamp lanterns I spray painted the top and outsides of the outer band of the mason jar lid. I used Rustoleum paint and primer oil rubbed bronze but other dark colors would work just as well. (Disregard the small caps in the picture below. Those are for a future "potion bottle" tutorial).

Creepy Cloth
To give the jars a swampy look I cut pieces of green creepy cloth to place over the jar. The cloth can be cut as long or as short as you want. I didn't measure because I wanted them to all look different. I draped the cloth over the jar.

I pushed the creepy cloth covering the opening to the sides so a candle could be placed in the jar.

Jute Cord
Next I screwed the painted band onto the jar, then cut 2 pieces of 50" jute for each jar. Then, I wrapped the middle of the first piece of jute under the lid band, then tied it in a knot. Make sure the knot is tight and secure or the jar will slip out and break. (Yes, I know from experience).

I tied the jute three times for security. You could also use a little hot glue to secure it in place. The final knot I combined both ends of the string and did a wrap around knot.

I took the other piece of jute & did the same thing on the opposite side before bringing all the jute together at the top & tying this in a knot to hang the lantern with.

Wrapping Up the Swamp Lantern
I placed battery operated tea light candles that had a remote in the bottom of the jars. The remote isn’t truly necessary but it makes it much easier to turn them off and on as well as to put on a timer (especially when you have a lot of these).

Check out my other tutorials at Terror House Haunt!



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