Light the path to your haunted mansion with these clever milk jug luminarias.

June 09, 2015

For little investment, you can make enough characters to line your drive on Halloween night.

What You Need:

Illuminate a haunting path with this spooky characters. Click to enlarge.
  • Patterns
  • Gallon plastic jugs rinsed with labels removed
  • Utility knife
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Paint markers in silver, orange, green, yellow, red, and black
  • Goo Be Gone
  • Paper towels and cotton swabs
  • Thick white crafts glue
  • Monster: 2 each of bolts, nuts, washers; white and black crafting foam scraps, such as Fun Foam
  • Cat: 2 12-inch lengths of 20-gauge steel wire
  • Darning needle and pliers
  • Sand and candles, flashlight, or a string of lights


1. Download the free patterns. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat.)

Cat pattern

Frankenstein pattern

Skeleton pattern

Download Adobe Acrobat

2. Carefully cut the spout and handle off the jug. Enlarge and trace the patterns. Cut out face patterns and tape to the inside of the jugs.

3. Outline the skeleton with silver; the monster head with green; and the cat with black. To spread the color over the face of the jug, squeeze a few drops of Goo Be Gone onto a folded paper towel and rub it over the paint marker. Continue working around the edges, wiping the paint toward the center of your design. If you're working on the skull, you'll need to draw an additional line of orange around the skull and then spread it outward with the paper towel and Goo Be Gone. Let dry.

4. After the paint has dried, add eyes, nose, teeth, hair, and scar with the different colored paint markers. Remove any mistakes or unwanted marks by squeezing Goo Be Gone onto the end of a cotton swab and then wiping away the problem spot (use paper towel for larger areas). Once you're pleased with your design, outline the features with the black paint marker.

5. To insert the bolts in the monster's neck, prepoke a hole on each side of his neck with scissors. Thread a washer onto the bolt and push it through the hole. Reaching inside the jug, screw a nut onto the end of the bolt. Use the cat ear, collar, and bow tie patterns to cut pieces from foam. Slip the collar under the washers and glue the bow tie to the center of the collar. Glue the cat ears in place.

6. To thread the whiskers onto the cat, prepoke two holes on each side of the nose with a needle and poke the wire into a hole on one side of the nose and out the hole on the other side. Repeat the process with the second wire. Use pliers to make curls on ends of the wires.

7. If using candles to light the luminarias, pour 2 to 3 inches of sand in the bottom of each jug. Place a candle in the center. Note: Never leave a burning candle unattended.


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