The boys were in the mood to do some fall crafts this week after I started decorating for the season!  We started with Fall Leaf Candle Jars from Kids Activities Blog.  I saw this idea pinned on Pinterest, and our first attempt pretty much qualified as a pinstrosity!

To make one, you need:

  • A jar (we got a smooth mason jar from Hobby Lobby)
  •  Mod Podge (the instructions said to use matte, but I didn’t read them closely enough and bought glossy)
  •  A paint brush
  •  Fake fall leaves (or real ones, if you live somewhere other than Texas!)

We bought some beautiful fall leaf garland from Hobby Lobby.  Unfortunately, the leaves would not stick to the jar, even with generous amounts of Mod Podge!  Then the color started bleeding out of the leaves, and the Mod Podge turned orange and pink.  By this point, Gresham had run off to play, and I was covered in Mod Podge, so I didn’t get a picture.  Since I’ve never used Mod Podge, I tried Mod Podging (is that a word?) some construction paper to the jar.  It worked fine, so I figured the problem was the leaves.

Since I’m stubborn determined, we went to Walmart later that evening and bought some thinner fake leaves with a flatter texture.  This time, I also peeled off the fake veins from the leaves.  This was the key to the project’s success – you have to peel off the fake stems and veins!

The boys had a lot of fun with the project once we had the right leaves:

We coated the leaves with Mod Podge, let it dry, and then added a second coat.

While I was at Walmart, I bought some red, orange, and yellow tissue paper because I figured we could make a candle jar with that if the second leaves didn’t work either.  Aidan made a jar with colored tissue paper, and it turned out great!  (See top picture)  He used an applesauce jar for that one.

Aidan also make a Jar-o-lantern (idea from Family Fun magazine).  For this one, we recycled a salsa jar.  We cut masking tape eyes, nose, and mouth for the jar-o-lantern, and stuck them to the inside of the jar.  Then Aidan painted the inside of the jar with orange acrylic paint.  When the paint was dry, we peeled off the tape.

We had a little bit of trouble peeling off the tape without peeling off the paint, but overall we were very happy with the way it turned out!

We bought battery operated tea lights at Hobby Lobby, and I’m so glad we did!  They were about $1.00 each, and the boys are enjoying being able to “turn on” their own jars, and I don’t have to worry about flames.  A real candle would probably be okay for the leaf jars, but I would definitely not recommend using a real flame with the jar-o-lantern since there is paint on the inside of the jar.

These candle jars would make great gifts!


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  1. Lauren Aug 8, 2013

    These are great! I've been pinning all kinds of stuff on your blog that I can use this year, but this is going to be our grandparents day project! Love it!


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