October is the perfect time of year to create some home-made, DIY Halloween decorations. And what’s better than a spooky glow lantern! You can make your own with affordable supplies and just a few easy steps.


  • One bag of cotton balls
  • One package of spider rings or fake spiders, snakes or anything spooky you find in the Halloween section of your local store. 
  • Mason jars
  • One package of glow sticks



  • Start by dropping a few cotton balls into the bottom of the mason jar.
  • Bend and crack your glow stick to turn it on. Place it in the middle of the jar, using more cotton balls to prop it upright.
  • Add spooky decorations — like fake rubber bats, snakes or spiders — near the sides of the jar as you continue to fill it with cotton balls.
  • Pause every so often to turn off the lights to check your design!
  • Seal the jar and add your own final details, like ribbons or colorful, creepy toppers!


  • The more space you leave in between the cotton balls, the brighter the glow and the more color you will see from your glow stick of choice.
  • I experimented with some glow bracelets to see how they would work. I ended up bunching three to four of them together and wound up with a nice effect. I do think that the traditional glow stick works much better.
  • Once you’ve cracked them and started the chemical reaction, glow sticks last from a few hours to a few days. However, you can put your glow stick in the freezer overnight, and remove it, crack it and shake it, and you will get it to glow again.



Natalie Davis is an artist and educator teaching enrichment in the Syracuse City School District. She lives with her family in Jordan.

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