DIYdiy projects

diy project: katie’s glass-jar moroccan lanterns

by Kate Pruitt

I’m getting a little tired of the winter weather and will take just about any opportunity to daydream about the sunny warm days ahead. These Moroccan-inspired lanterns by Ohdeedoh contributor and DIY expert Katie Steuernagle are the perfect antidote to the winter blues; I love the glow of the rich jewel tones and the intricate gold designs. If you have any old sauce jars lying around, this is the perfect way to make good use of them and get yourself psyched for spring— it will be here before we know it! —Kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • old glass jars (spaghetti jars, jam jars or any plain glass jar will work)
  • gold dimensional puff paint
  • glass paint (Delta or Pebeo Vitrea glass paint are great options)
  • paintbrush
  • wire (optional, for hanging lanterns)


1. Remove labels and any glue residue from the glass jars and allow them to dry completely.

2. Apply the gold dimensional paint in various patterns. You can use the applicator tip to create small stud-like dots, draw various decorative patterns or push around the paint to create solid areas of gold. Let dry.

3. Pour a small amount of glass paint inside the jar and use your paintbrush to drag the paint up the sides of the jar, coating all of the jar’s interior. Let dry.

4. Your lanterns are now ready to enjoy indoors or out! Simply fill them with candles or add loops of fine-gauge wire to the tops for easy hanging.

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  • I am a HUGE fan of Moroccan inspired decor so I am absolutely in love with this fab DIY lantern idea!


  • Wouldn’t have thought of this in a million years. FABULOUS!

    I have GOT to host a party with a theme based around this DIY. Thanks!

  • I’m going for an Indo-Moroccan theme in one of my rooms and this would be a fun project! I didn’t realize the dimensional paint would work so well on glass…I’ll have to give it a try.

  • man, oh man… I have a Moroccan-themed bedroom and I have JUST told myself NO MORE LANTERNS. Gaahhh! these don’t count, right? Looks like I have a new project this weekend!

  • How! Cool! I am SO trying this.

    They make translucent, colored spray paint for glass now, too – this would be the perfect project for trying that stuff out. : )

  • OMG, I wish you had posted this two weeks ago. I just had a Moroccan dinner! I host them every few years so I’ll just file this idea away for next time. Love it. Might have to make some for the back yard.

  • I’ve been saving spaghetti jars and mushroom jars and now I can finally do something cute with them! Hooray!

  • Love lanterns and love Moroccan design, and here is both! Will try to do this:) Could you please give a name of the gold paint you used? Thank you!

  • Thanks so much! They’re so fun to make. Somewhat addictive, actually. I used Tulip brand dimensional paint in gold (their Metallics series). If you do several thick layers at the top, you can actually completely hide the threaded part of the jar if you want to.
    I’m not sure about using gold leaf. Maybe test a small amount and see how it looks?
    Have fun with it and thanks again!

  • Wow! Great job, and very fun and inexpensive project to change things up! Awesome for a patio.
    Is there any issue with painting the inside of the jar, and then placing the candles inside? – just wondering if the paint is flammable (even when dry) or might catch fire, etc, or peel from the heat of the candle.
    Yea, I know, I’m such worrier, and candle fire safety nerd!


  • I only just decided this morning that I would have an Moroccan theme for by 30th birthday and then I see this. It’s fate!! Thanks for the great tutorial :)

  • Pip, I’ve I had them lit for about 45 minutes about 3 times now without any problems. The paint did, however, take a very long time (more than a day) to dry before I could put the candles in.

  • I love the idea and totally plan on making some, but my main concern would be heating up paint on the inside of the jar. I agree with the previous comment on flammable, but would be more concerned about fumes. Couldn’t you just paint outside the jar then top with the gold and get the same effect?

  • I just can’t keep up with all the amazing projects that I get emailed from Design Sponge. And the thing I love the most is that it shows how they all care about our enviroment….keep up the good work

  • brilliant. i now have my project for the weekend. but i definitely want to hang these. does anyone have any creative suggestions for hanging these outside on my front porch, so they can withstand wind and rain? these DIYs are my favorite part of this site. I made the log caddy last weekend. THANK YOU!!!

  • These are a great project, I can just picture them with wire wrapped around the top to hang them in trees or the porch for outdoor lighting this summer.

  • Oh, these are so beautiful to look at! and this diy couldn’t have come at a better time since i’m planning on giving my room a moroccan theme! I feel all giddy just thinking about making these! Thank you.

  • I love this. I cant wait to try this. I guess I am going to an arts and crafts store to get paint!

  • I love love love this idea. Seems so easy and the result is perfect. These are going to be perfect for those summer backyard BBQs. Michael’s here I come!

  • How did I not know about this glass paint? I have hundreds of glass jars, and this tutorial is inspiring me to make them beautiful! Thank you. :) Plus, nothing is more fun than puffy-paint…

  • Love the colors, looks easy to do. This would be lovely as a rainy day project, a virtual escape to somewhere warm and exotic!

  • So excited to have a reason to break out the puff paint again – these are beautiful! Used to cover my shoes in it when i was 14 – never living that down.

  • dang. if i would have known this was design “sponge worthy” (haha, get it?) i would have submitted mine 3 years ago. tips hat to another genius.

  • I love this idea so much! I can also see doing it with silver puff paint and cool colors on the inside for the holidays. Gonna start gathering jars now! Fabulous!

  • So cute, what a brilliant idea to transform old glass jars into wonderful lights! Definitely goes on my ideas-to-make list, thank you!

  • We are just starting to decorate our bedroom with an arabic “feel” and I just found these beauties! Isn’t it typical, though, that only last week I threw away 6 jars that would have been perfect???? : )

  • What exact brand paint did you use on the inside?? I’m having a heck of a time finding something suitable, either it’s too translucent or it’s too opaque.

  • I, too, am having a hard time finding the paint to use on the inside. There is some that says “transparent”, some that says “irridescent”-any chance you can post a photo of the bottle you used, or at least the exact name on the bottle?

  • Loved this and having travelled in Morocco, I thought it would be fun to do with my class. Just wondering what brand of puff paint you used as I am having a hard time finding any in Australia. The only type I can get is not ‘puffy’ and very expensive (in small tubes). As I want to do this with a whole class of kids, I need to find a something economical.

  • My mom told me about this and we ended up doing our own jars. I love this and I think that it’s a great idea for decoration around the house or in a art classroom!

  • Great project!!! I’m in the middle of making one right now and having lots of fun doing it. But i’m having problems getting the right consistency for the paint. It’s either too dry and streaky or too watery that the color looks insipid. I can’t seem to get it to go on like you have in the pictures. Any suggestions??

  • Sometimes it is possible to buy gold coloured glue sticks for your glue gun…I imagine you’d get a similar result. Great idea by the way….guess what I’m doing this weekend.
    Lianne, New Zealand

  • About the inconsistencies in the paint — I had the same problem when I used a brush. Then I cleaned it out to try again. This time I put the paint in the bottom with some isopropyl alcohol(I had 91% but I dont see why it wouldnt work with less) and put the lid on and shook it up. Perfectly coated and clear :)

  • This is fabulous! They sell similar looking lanterns at World Market… for (I think) around $12 each! No way. LOVE this!

  • Hey guys,
    Sorry for the delay in responding…the glass paint I used is Delta Transparent Glass Paint. I bought yellow, red, and blue, and mixed them inside the jars. To avoid the streaks, use a really soft brush and think of it more like spreading icing than painting, ie, thick and smooth and don’t press the brush too hard against the glass. Hope that helps!

  • My roommate and I are making these right now, we’re having so much fun! We’re using the foam craft sponges (mainly because they were less than $1 at walmart) and it’s coming out great. We also painted the inside first.

  • I adore these lanterns!! They are so beautiful. I’ve just started making a couple and I’ve finished the outside of them. I was reading the other comments and I read about the fire issue. I’ve bought the vitrail transparent paint and it says it’s flammable but is this still the case when the paint is dry? I’ve gone onto the pebeo website and it just says that the vitrail paints are for decorative purposes only and should not be used for practical usage. Maybe I should paint the outside to be safe?? Any opinions?

  • I bought the Pebeo vitrea 160 paint and I think that it is supposed to be baked on in an oven after the paint dries. Perhaps that helps with the flammability issue. I’m making mine for my dorm room so I can’t burn candles anyway. Instead I’m using battery operated tea lights which should eliminate the issue of the paint catching on fire all together.

  • Where can I buy dimensional puff paint in the Philippines???? :( I need it ASAP!

  • Hi Kate, this is beyond beautiful! Quick question though, I tried doing the same thing with the pebeo vitrea glass paint you recommended but for some reason my lanterns come out streaky inside. Could it be the paint or my technique? And which brush did you use? I’d greatly appreciate your advice :)

  • Wow what a brilliant idea! Look amazing! Does it work just as well on plastic jars/boxes?

  • As we’ll move to a roomier tenement soon I was looking for some DIY decorations, and these moroccan lanterns are just great! Now I’ve already created three of them and I totally love them! Best regards from Germany :-)

  • I’m using these as table decorations for my wedding! Super cute and way cheaper than some of the other ideas I had :)

  • I’m making three of these for my new apartment’s Middle Eastern/Indian/Moroccan-themed living room! Thanks SO much for this idea!! Love it! :)

  • I love it! I’m making it for my Moroccan themed wedding in August. Thank you so much for this AWESOME idea!!

  • Perfect way to decorate wine bottles that have lights in them. Thanks for solving my dilemma.

  • Hi Katie,
    What a fun tutorial. You mention using the Delta glass paints. Did you use the surface conditioner or just straight out of the tube?

  • Wow !!! such a great idea! let me know if u decide to sell them i will be right there in the beginning …….such a great job !!!

  • I am married to a moroccan so I love the idea of touches of morocanish things around the house <3

  • I tried to go buy puff paint at jo ann’s and the person i asked there said they dont have and and i didnt understand the stuff I was looking at in the aisle

  • I’m thinking about making these, but I can’t seem to find any Delta Transparent Glass Paint other then in a small kit? What other paint would you recommend using that could be found at Joann’s or Michaels (since these are the only craft stores around me).

  • i just did this project and used the tulip brand dimensional paint and wasted 38 dollars. the big gold bottle is 4 and the smaller bottles are 2. lots of fun for sure came out so cute. we are using these for my bff bollywood inspired bridal shower.

  • I’m obsessed with these. I made them as favors for my daughter’s shower. I had some problems with the earlier ones streaking, but now I have it down pat. Add food coloring to modpodge until you have the color you like. Now pour modpodge on the inside of a clean jar. Swirl it around until all the sides are covered. Don’t use a paintbrush. Don’t worry about the bottom. Now drain for five minutes upside down. Place in a 250 preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove with a pot holder. No streaks, perfectly covered, and no, they won’t break in the oven.

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have collected ton of pix on Pinterest to gaze at Morrocan laterns just to gaze at the longingly because the are so expensive! I can’t believe how simple you made this for me!! I am going to make a bunch for a ‘Gypsy Summer Night’ party for my Mother’s 90th birthday! She will love it. AND I will check out your advertisers and tell I came to their website because of you. Liz Q of Quakertown

  • I’m also having trouble finding the paints mentioned here. I have the puff paint but the glass paint is trickier.. I went to joann’s and they were afraid that whatever kind they had (that had to be baked) would be flammable… the instructions here didn’t mention baking the jars but I assume they were..? Is the paint flammable? Anyone know anything about DecoArt brand paint? That’s what I saw at the store..

  • This will never work unless you make a hole near the bottom. A candle needs air supply to keep burning. How do you make a hole on a glass jar?

  • Michael’s Arts & Crafts do sell the Tulip brand of puff paint and they also sell the Martha Stewart brand of glass paint.

  • Wow!!!! Love these lanterns – they are so awesome! Thank you so much for sharing- I’d love to create some soon! xoxoxo

  • I know that trick. I decorated baby food jars a bit like that. I slipped behind the wall Celtic petterns, fix it with tape, and I traced with the liner.

  • I did a project similar to this but my jars were already tinted. I found a large lot of various colored jars (50 for 25.00)
    I love the look but had a hard time finding puff paint that wouldn’t run and I kept smearing it before it dried. I was just about to give up and found temporary henna body art in gold and silver at the craft store… I made sure to use a sealer and threw on some stick on gems and a touch of fairy glitter on the first coat of sealant (while it was still tacky)… A second coat and they were done.
    I bought LED tea lights… at the dollar store…

  • I used a Dremmel to drill a hole in the bottom of the jars, wired them up and hung them from the ceiling as pendant lamps. I staggered them in a bunch of three and used chain over the electrical cord to disguise the cord a bit and for ease of hanging. They look absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much!

  • My local dollar store has glitter glue that can also be applied with a paint brush, also from the dollar store, or wooden skewers. It takes about 24 hours to dry but is beautiful. Try taping graph paper to the inside of the container to give guidelines if you don’t have an artist’s eye.
    I have also added a layer of sand in the bottom for the candle to sit on, which keeps it stable and helps prevent the jar breaking if the candle burns all the way to the bottom.

  • I will definitely try these for a couple of friends as well as my own upcoming birthday/housewarming parties n Im going to go with LED tealights as well.. Thank you for sharing this awesome n beautiful idea to recycle glass jars!

  • Oooh, I bet you could do something like a string of lights using baby food jars with small holes drilled in the lids! My only concern would be the weight of the jars, but but I want to try! How awesome would a string of little Moroccan lights be?

    • Switch out the baby food jars for small plastic mason-jar shaped storage jars ( I found some at in the art section of michaels and have seen similar at the dollar tree)

  • I found the cover image for this post on Pinterest & I love it so much that I’m already 2 jars and 1 bottle of puff paint into the project. I could not for the life of me find glass paint, so I’m trying all surface paint thinned with a bit of water and textile medium. Will update comment when I find out if it works…