DIY Halloween: Mr. Bones & Milk Jug-o-Lanterns Tutorial

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DIY Halloween: Re-Purposing before Re-Cycling for a Spooky-Doo Halloween

Jug-O-LanternsI love, love, love Halloween … the scarier the better! Not gruesome scary where there is a lot of blood and gore but the fun scary. For instance, I never carved a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern unless it had a scary face. When my children were little, I dressed up right along side them. One year, my sister Shaula and I used an old black cashmere coat and a sturdy wooden hanger to spook everyone who came to the door. She held the hanger upside-down in front of her face. When the doorbell rang, I draped the coat over the hanger and therefore over her head and body. I was living in an old house with a huge and creaky wooden door. From behind, I opened the door and there she stood … the headless door man!

Mt. Bones, aka Mr. Bottle Bones

At around the same time … we’re talking at least 18-years ago when my daughter was 5 and my son 3, I used to subscribe to a magazine called Family Fun. It’s still around but I haven’t cracked one open in years. By far, one of the best projects we ever did was building Mr. Bones. Mr. Bones was crafted out of plastic milk jugs.

Mr. Bottle Bones copy

I have a picture in a box somewhere in my basement of Mr. Bones hanging outside my front door for Halloween 1995. Mr. Bones was a huge hit, although when I excitedly brought him over to show my neighbor, her 5 year old son Paul came to the door. I scared the sh*t out of him! That’s the only way I can put it as the poor kid looked at Mr. Bones, opened his mouth as wide as I’ve ever seen on a child and screamed bloody hell. I was mortified. I was sure then and remained convinced I scarred him … for life. I had lunch with his mother a few months ago and regrettably, she confirmed it.

If you are like most families, your milk comes in (those horrid) plastic gallon jugs. Until the milkman begins making his rounds again or we buy a cow, we’re stuck with them. As we approach Halloween, start saving those jugs.

I searched the internet for the magazine’s instructions but could not come up with them, however, here’s a pretty good tutorial, directly from Family Fun.

Jug-O-Lanterns Tutorial

These milk jug luminaries are too easy, too much fun and no doubt a hug success! Just start saving those milk jugs NOW!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Milk Jugs, the more the better     J-O-L Jugs
  • Permanent black markers
  • Utility knife or a box cutter – mom or dad or an adult should handle these
  • LED tea-lights or a string of white Christmas lights, *orange bulbs might be fun too

Here’s what you do:

1. As I always transfer my milk into glass bottles, start there. Milk will keep and taste a lot better in a glass container.

J-O-L Pouring

J-O-L pouring 2





2. Thoroughly rinse out the plastic jugs

3. With your markers, draw goofy or scary or what-have-you faces on one side of the jug. 

J-O-L markers

4. Cut a hole, about one inch wide in the back of the jug at its base

J-O-L Hole

5. Insert an LED tea-light or, if using Christmas lights, insert 4 – 6 bulbs inside each jug.

And you’re done! Line you’re driveway or set the jugs along the path leading up to your front door and now that I think about it, hang them from trees to create a really spooky scene where ghosts appear to be hovering without a body. Ooooo, I LIKE that idea! I just wish my little one … who are 21 and 23 were still little so that I can do what I do best on Halloween – go overboard!


About the author / 

Green Diva Mizar'

Green Diva Mizar is a former co-host of the GD show. GD Mizar is also dedicated to providing safe, clean water to all through her company Pur2o Water Filtration & Purification.

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    Michael October 3, 2014 at 9:47 am -  Reply

    Not sure when you posted this but the link to Mr. Bones is gone. It takes you to a Disney page and when I search that page, it shows no results.

    Got any idea where it is?

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