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Friday, October 27, 2017

October 27: Ghost Lights

I realized I've barely done any crafts this year-- besides the beautiful tree art from the painting party thing and my kids making those $1 AC Moore things -- so I thought I should change that.

I saw a photo on Pinterest late last week for this little ghost light activity, so I started saving milk and water jugs to make it. (I think it was through this trendxyz post. I went by the picture only. I don't know if they explained how to do it.) I was going to wait to share it until I had more jugs, but I realized that if I wait too long, you won't have time to make it before Halloween. So I decided to just go ahead with the two I had.

You need only 4 things to make these:

- black permanent marker(s) (a thin marker is good for drawing the outline, thicker is best to shade in) 
- tea light
- scissors/a razor (to cut a hole in the back of the jug)
- gallon sized milk or water jug (I tried it with both a white milk jug and a clear water jug and both worked. However, I like the white jug slightly more because the coating does a better job diffusing the candle light.)
- (optional) cat litter or sand (to line your jug)
I'll take you through the step-by-step of what I did.

Start with a clean, dry gallon-sized jug. Remove the lid. Choose the better of the two clear sides of the jug. (I.e. not one of the sides impacted by the handle.) One side usually has the label. I peeled mine off, but some of the sticky stuff was still on there. So I drew on the other clear side.

 Use a permanent marker to draw a face. (Thin markers work better for this step.)
 Color in the outline. (Thicker markers work best for this step.)
Use scissors or a razor to cut a hole in the back of the jug (across from the face you drew) which will serve as an insertion point for your candle and also as a vent.
Insert a tea light into that hole and light it.

Note: Although I listed it as optional and didn't do it myself, you should line the bottom of the jug with cat litter or sand - about an inch high should do it. This serves to weigh down your jug (so it doesn't blow away with a gust of wind, for instance) and also allows for a more solid base for your candle to nest within and, if applicable, drip into. Plus, it buffers the heat from the bottom of the plastic jug.

That said, because it wasn't at all windy and I was placing these under an awning (and not lining my driveway or something), and because the tea lights I have are in their own little tins (such that the candle itself wasn't touching the plastic), I didn't line mine. Luckily, I had no issues.

Here's what it looks like in the daylight. (If I'd lined mine with the sand/litter, you would be able to see that through the clear jug.)
Here's what it looks like in the darkness. (As you can see, the right jug shows the candlelight through it, which I find less appealing than the jug that doesn't show it through.)
 I prefer the softer glow of the white jug on the left.

These were quick, easy, and a fun way to recycle.  A row of these would look cool lining the path to your house on Halloween, along the curb (if you could organize as a neighborhood!), or as a porch decoration next to your carved pumpkins.

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