In any case, I tend to not decorate for Halloween (which again may change as David gets older). Still, something about these jars was screaming pumpkin (which I reasoned could also just be autumn decor). So I made some cute little pumpkins. Cute little pumpkins then begged for cute little faces. From pumpkins came the obvious idea for other Halloween decor of Frankenstein monster heads and ghost faces.
I am not surprised to find out I am not exactly the first to come up with the baby food jar jack-o-lantern. I liked this one from Sometimes Crafty that was filled with treats for the orange background better than mine; it had more purpose. This post from Connecticut Working Moms shows one way to make all three of the above mentioned projects. They used regular size jars, but the same principle applies. It also has good ideas for kids doing the project. You could also employ the technique I used on the candle holders from Day 1 of this week for the faces and then, after they dry, use the painting technique I will detail below for the background colors once the face is dry.
Then came another slightly less obvious move to apples. Apples definitely qualify as autumn decor, and they actually have about the same shape as a pumpkin. I first made my red apples, but by themselves they screamed "back to school." While that is a great look, it was not exactly what I was going for in this case. I was inspired by the colors in my fruit bowl; I made some golden delicious and granny smith to join them and I was back in business. Aren't they darling?
What is great is they are actually really easy to make. I used baby food jars, acrylic paint, and two things from the dollar store--"craft sticks," which are apparently popsicle-shaped pieces of colorful foam and floral picks.You could also use green construction paper and wooden skewers (painted green). I also used a hammer and nail for poking holes in the lids. Oh, and a paint brush for painting.
The hardest part of this project was mixing the right colors. None of my apples are a color I took straight from the bottle. The red was too bright, so I darkened it with just the tiniest bit of black. The yellow has just a little green mixed in and the green has a fair bit of yellow and a tiny bit of red (and I mean a tiny bit). I am sure you could find the right colors in the bottle somewhere, but I actually prefer to mix my own.
Once I had the right color, I poured some paint into a jar and rolled it around until the whole jar was coated. Then, I put the jar upside down over the mouth of the next jar and let it sit for at least a good half hour. After the paint had dripped into the next jar, I repeated the process. I only made two of each color, so the jar it dripped into now became the storage container for the color. After all the apples were colored, I set them aside to dry. My red was thicker and dried really fast, but the yellow and green took a lot longer. I can't say why, exactly. Be patient.
While the jars were drying I made the lids. I assembled them first and then painted them because I liked how stem provided a great handle while I painted. On the other hand, I had to very carefully paint around the stem and leaf and I did get a little paint on a few of the leaves.
To assemble the lids I first poked a hole in the lid with the nail. I used a finishing nail which ended up being exactly the right size to hold my floral pick securely without glue. I cut leaves out of the foam and placed one corner of a leaf over the hole. I then cut the floral pick so that it was just slightly longer than I wanted my stem to be and tapped it with the hammer through the leaf and into the hole. I then painted the lids the desired color.
See the rest of Baby Food Jar Week:
Tea Candle Holders
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