When Halloween rolls around, one safety tip is to make sure the path to your door is well lit. Lanterns such as the one pictured will cast a soft glow on the path to help little ones see tripping hazards. It is a beginning glass painting project that can be made by students in fifth grade and older. It can be used by scouts to make something from glass or wire, to make a decoration for your home, or to make something from recycled materials. To make it, you will need:
- Quart glass jar from mayonnaise or spaghetti sauce
- Two wire coat hangers
- Pliers with wire cutter
- Glass paint: red and yellow or orange plus black
- Soft paint brush and liner brush
The jar pictured here were painted with a special kind of paint made for painting on glass. There are two kinds of this paint. Both are water soluble and available at crafts stores. One brand needs to be baked at 350 degrees in a standard oven for twenty minutes to set the paint. The other brand does not need to be baked, but in my experience, the paint sticks to the glass better when it is baked anyway. Do not mix the brands together because they have different ingredients.
Both brands come in a variety of colors, but because of the cost, I bought the three main primary colors, white and black. I mix the colors I want. You will also need a top glaze if the paint calls for it (some brands are glossy, some are matte).
A little dab will do ya! One drop of paint will cover two or three square inches of area. It is best to mix the smallest amount possible.
Be sure to let a coat dry for several hours before touching it up or applying a second coat. The paint gets a skin on the top that seems to be dry, but the paint hasn’t dried on the bottom. If touched up too soon, the skin will scoot around on the wet under layer, causing a blemish that is hard to touch up. If this project is being made at a group meeting or class, a good action plan is to paint the orange part, and while it is drying, make the wire candle holder. Then, come back and add the black details.
Make sure the jar is clean. Handle the outer surface as little as possible.
Draw a pumpkin face on a piece of paper. Cut the paper to fit inside the jar, and tape it in place. Use the picture like a coloring book, and color in the orange parts, leaving the eyes, nose and mouth unpainted. Let dry. Outline the eyes, nose and mouth with black. Add the wrinkle marks on a pumpkin with thin black or brown lines. (brown is a mixture of black and orange)
If the paint being used calls for a glaze, let the paint dry for 24 hours, and then finish the product according to the package directions.
To make the handle, you will need two wire coat hangers. The handle is optional, but the candle holder isn’t.
Cut the hook off of one hanger, at the place where the wires twist together. Curl a small loop in one end of the wire. Bend the wire to make it the same shape as the top of the jar. Find the spot that is opposite the first loop, and make another loop the same size. Continue bending the wire around the top of the jar, back to the first loop. Cut the wire, and make a third loop.
Bend the rest of the wire into a C. Make an open loop in each end. Put one loop through the first and third loops on the first piece. Put the other loop through the second loop. Close the loops.
To make the candle holder that allows you to raise the candle for lighting, cut another piece of wire from a coat hanger. Make a loop in one end that is slightly smaller than the aluminum pan on a tea light candle. It should fit snugly around the candle. Bend the wire up, perpendicular to this loop. Place the loop into the jar to see how tall the wire needs to be. Bend the wire at a right angle about one inch taller that the lip of the jar to make a handle. Cut off the excess wire.
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