Summer Crafts For Kids
Make Your Own Easy & Adorable Tissue Paper Mason Jar Lanterns
If you don’t know this already, I’m a crafty person. Pretty much anything I can make with my hands I’m in to! My kids love to make stuff, too, and if I can find them something fun, easy, and engaging to do while I’m working, then that’s an epic win/win! So I did some internet searching for inspiration and found this blog post with easy to make Mason jar lanterns with festive tissue paper which seemed perfect. Another bonus of this craft is that uses only a few supplies – many of which we already had on hand (and you might too!).
Many, many years ago when I was a kid, I got roped into going to work with my parents a lot. My dad is a retired Otolaryngologist/ENT (ear nose throat) doc and when he’d drop off my brothers and me in his office while doing weekend rounds of his surgical patients – we had a grand time! Not only did he have all the fun office supplies of the 80’s like typewriters with striker arms, a photocopier, and old Highlights magazines, but also medical equipment. He had a closet full of samples (we taste tested flavored tongue depressors), otoscopes to look in ears and noses, and an audiology booth to test each other’s hearing. I can only image what his staff thought when they came in on Mondays after we’d been there!
When my kids get brought to the Mason Jar Lifestyle warehouse during the summer, it’s kinda fun but kinda lame. We have some pretty cool stuff like endless cardboard boxes, tape machines, and a slightly creepy basement. Those delights only last so long, however, and soon the kids get bored. I had the genius idea this summer to look for crafts for them to do and turn them into blog posts. So I’m calling this the Summer Crafts For Kids: 2022 Edition. This tissue paper Mason jar craft was easy enough to do that my 11 and 8 year old did it mostly on their own while I was taking product photos, and I think the results are beautiful!
One other benefit to coming to work with mama at the warehouse is we are literally across the alley from Dairy Queen (see photo). When I started working at MJL, I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t buy ice cream if the kids aren’t with me (which is a rule I’ve rarely broken over the years). But once a week in summer, I treat the kids and anyone working that afternoon to a trip to DQ! After all their hard work and willingness to pose for photos during this craft, I rewarded the kids with sundaes (and as you can see at the end of the blog – they enjoyed their payment!).
So let’s get started on this project! Here’s what you’ll need to round up and the steps to create your own beautiful (and super easy) tissue paper Mason jar lanterns.
- Mod Podge (glossy, matte, outdoor – your choice)
- Tissue Paper
- Foam Brush
- Mason Jars (your choice)
NOTE: I chose glossy Mod Podge because my kids want to use these lanterns for their rooms and wanted that stained glass look. I think glossy or matte would be fine for lanterns you’re taking outside for the evening and bringing in afterwards, but shouldn’t be left out in the elements for long. They also make outdoor Mod Podge which might work better for you if you intend to use these Mason jar lanterns on your deck or patio full time. The application for the outdoor Mod Podge is a little more cumbersome and I’ve read mixed results on the longevity.
I picked regular mouth, pint Ball Mason jars because I wanted that iconic Mason jar shape, but you could do any size that suits your needs.
Step 1: Cutting Paper
The first step is cutting up the tissue paper into the size and shape you want for your Mason jar lantern. One of my kiddos wanted her pieces to be exact and even, while the other went more freestyle. You can use straight or decorative scissors to cut out the paper depending on the look you’re trying to create.
You’ll need to cut up about 1/4 to 1/2 of a standard sheet of tissue paper (more if you’re doing few colors, less if you’re doing more). We cut up way more than we needed, but we’re saving the extras in a baggie for future crafts, putting into greeting cards for surprise confetti, or using to pack up little presents.
Step 2: Basecoat of Mod Podge
Using the foam brush (preferably a smaller one than I had on hand!), apply a basecoat of Mod Podge to the Mason jar starting under the threaded neck and down the sides. You can do the bottom as well if you want to. You don’t want to put glue on the threaded part so that you have something clean and dry to hold on to and in case you want to screw on a lid, solar light, cutout insert, or other accessory after you’re done.
I only had these giant foam brushes on hand from an old project, so we poured some Mod Podge into wide mouth, plastic storage lids to use as little painting dishes and they worked great. Get a nice even coat all over your Mason jar.
Step 3: Apply Tissue Paper
With the Mod Podge tacky, start sticking on your cut pieces of tissue paper in whatever pattern or design you desire. You can overlap the pieces a little or a lot, but the more they’re overlapped the less light that will shine through – so keep that in mind with how you want your finished project to look. Once you have all your desired pieces of paper glued on, allow your Mod Podge covered Mason jar to dry completely (we waited about 30 minutes).
NOTE: My younger kiddo learned the hard way that you need to be sure you get your pieces of tissue paper glued all the way down during this step. If you see a flap that’s lose, then be sure to dap a little more Mod Podge under the corner and glue it down. It will make applying your finishing coat much easier.
Step 4: Finishing Coat of Mod Podge
Once your first coat of Mod Podge and tissue paper are dry on your Mason jar, then you’re going to apply 1 or 2 coats of Mod Podge to seal the paper to the jar. This gives the jar its overall stained glass finished look and really adds a lot to this craft project. If you don’t get all your pieces of paper stuck down (like what happened to my kiddo), then you can go slowly, glue down corners, and seal during this step, but it’ll take longer and be a little frustrating. This was the one time I had to step in and help Catherine with her Mason jar lanterns because the paper kept pulling up and wrinkling. Once you have a coat applied to your jar, let it dry completely before adding additional coats. Since we’re going to mostly use ours indoors we only did one finishing coat of Mod Podge.
- Wire handles
- Mason jar cutout inserts
- LED candles
We decide that we wanted to light our tissue paper Mason jar lanterns with LED candles that glow through beautiful cutout inserts while being hung around the kiddos’ bedrooms. So we needed handles, cutout inserts, bands, and LED candles. I have more idea, though, and I’ll share those below!
We carry several different styles of wire handles including stainless steel, copper, gold, or with thick or thin jute rope – depending on your style and decor. These fit on regular or wide mouth jars (you pick when you order) and can be used to hang on hooks, nails, around branches, over shepherd’s hooks, and more! We also have a variety of different cutout inserts: daisy, stars, snowflakes, leaves, and hearts in finishes such as stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, and gold in regular and wide mouth. Grab a coordinating ring/band as well. LED candles are widely available at stores or online.
Other ideas – you can use our galvanized band with chain, star handle lid, or one of our tea light candle holder lids (galvanized circle, black star, oil rubber bronze heart) to hang your Mason jar lanterns. Use your lantern to carry around on your next after dark adventure with a single jar or single chicken wire caddy. Create a floral display or use your tissue paper Mason jars to organize your desk with frog/flower lids! The possibilities are endless!
Finished Mason Jar Lanterns
This project was super easy to do, and the results are adorable! You could easily make lanterns for different holidays, seasons, special events, even a wedding. They have a classic stained glass charm to them that works for all occasions, with every decorating style, and can be personalized in so many ways. I hope you enjoy this project as much as we did! I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got other ideas or suggestions or show us your finished lanterns – so feel free to share in the comments or come hang out with us on social media. I’d love to connect with you : ) Join the conversations going on right now on our Facebook business page, Mason Jar Lifestyle, or Facebook group, Living The Mason Jar Lifestyle! We are also on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok. Looking forward to connecting with you soon!