Halloween is just around the corner so why not make your own jack o lantern craft while learning about where the jack o lantern came from! You can make your very own easy paper plate jack o lantern by following our super easy guide. This craft is great for kids of all ages and will easily get them into the Halloween spirit! Kids can learn all about Halloween while learning how to paint and practicing their creativity.
Easy Paper plate jack o lantern craft
Come make your own super easy paper plate Jack o Lantern for Halloween and learn all about the history of Jack o Lanterns!
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supplies needed to make your own paper plate jack o lantern
How to make a paper plate jack o lantern craft
Gather all your supplies together and prepare your area for the craft.
Draw the stem of the pumpkin on the upper half of the plate. Cut out the area around the stem so that the plate is pumpkin shaped.
Draw on two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. You can make your jack o lantern smiling, frowning, give it sharp teeth, or you can give it square teeth.
Feel free to get creative with the face of your jack o lantern! I made mine look like a smiling vampire!
Take your orange paint and paint the body of the pumpkin orange making sure to paint around the eyes and mouth. Let it dry.
Paint the stem of the green and let it dry.
Next, paint the eyes, nose, and mouth black. Let the paint dry.
Once all the paint has dried, use some darker orange paint to add some shading and details onto the pumpkin. This gives it some dimension and makes it look more real.
Finsihed paper plate jack o lantern
The jack o lantern looks awesome! It’s gonna be such a cool Halloween decoration!
tips to make your own paper plate jack o lantern
- Use a hair dryer to help the paint dry faster.
- Look up some pictures of jack o lanterns and use those as inspiration for your own jack o lantern!
- Use the tip of your paint brush to create less mess and keep paintbrushes clean.
- Use a medium sized paint brush to paint your jack o lantern’s since it will be easier to color within the lines and avoid getting paint everywhere.
VideO: History of the jack o lantern video
Here’s a fun and educational video that takes a look at what most historians think to be the history and origins of the jack o lantern!
History of the jack o lantern
Long, long ago in the early days of Ireland there was a group of people called the Celts or Celtic people. Around modern day Halloween the Celtic people celebrated a holiday called Samhain on October 31st and November 1st.
The Celts believed that on the night of October 31st the veil between the living and spirit world became thin enough for ghosts and spirits to come through. Most of the spirits were honored as ancestors, but some were believed to be restless and in some cases evil. To ward off the bad spirits, the Celts would take potatoes, turnips, beats, and other abundant produce and carve them into the shapes of human faces. By placing a candle into the carved vegetables and then putting it on their windowsill or by their door, the Celts believed it would ward off evil spirits.
In Irish folklore, there’s a story about a man named Stingy Jack who was a trickster, con artist, and a man who did not like to spend his money. When some of the Irish immigrated to the United States, they brought this story with them:
One night, Stingy Jack was out having a good time and getting some beverages with none other than the Devil. When the night was over and it came time to pay, Stingy Jack did not want to spend his money, so he asked the Devil if he had any coins. The Devil did not, but he offered to turn into a coin to help Stingy Jack pay.
The Devil turned himself into a coin, but rather than paying, Stingy Jack put the coin into his pocket next to his silver cross. The Devil could not get out nor transform back!
Eventually, though, Stingy Jack freed the Devil under one condition. The Devil must promise that he will not bother Stringy Jack for one whole year, and that if Stringy Jack passes away in that time, he will not claim his soul.
The next year, Stingy Jack and the Devil had met up again. This time, they were walking through a forest. Stringy Jack saw a fruit tree and decided he wanted some of the fruit, so he asked the Devil to climb up into the tree and get some of the fruit for him. While the Devil was up in the tree, Stringy Jack drew a cross onto the tree back, trapping the devil.
The Devil wanted to come down, but couldn’t until Stingy Jack erased the cross. Being the trickster he is, Stringy Jack told the Devil that he would not erase the cross unless the Devil promised to not bother him for another ten years. The Devil agreed and Stingy Jack let him come down.
Many years later, Stingy Jack passes away. Neither Heaven nor the Devil wanted Stingy Jack’s soul, so his ghost was left to wander the earth with nothing but a piece of coal put inside of a hollowed out turnip.
- Paper plate
- Orange, dark orange, green, and black paint
- Paint brushes
- paint brushes
1. Gather supplies and prepare area
2. Draw the stem of the pumpkin on the upper half of the plate. Cut out the area around the stem so that the plate is pumpkin shaped.
3. Draw on two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. You can make your jack o lantern smiling, frowning, give it sharp teeth, or you can give it square teeth. Feel free to get creative with the face of your jack o lantern!
4. Take your orange paint and paint the body of the pumpkin orange making sure to paint around the eyes and mouth. Let it dry.
5. Paint the stem of the green and let it dry.
6. Next, paint the eyes, nose, and mouth black. Let the paint dry.
7. Once all the paint has dried, use some darker orange paint to add some shading and details onto the pumpkin. This gives it some dimension and makes it look more real.
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- Check out our Halloween trick or treat coloring pages.
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- Learn Halloween safety for kids!
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- How do you prevent scared kids on Halloween?
- This hospital dressed up the NICU babies in Halloween costumes, they’re so cute!
Bachelor, Blane. 2021. “The History of American Jack-o’-Lanterns.” Travel. National Geographic. May 3. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/the-twisted-transatlantic-tale-of-american-jack-o-lanterns.
“How Jack O’Lanterns Originated in Irish Myth.” 2023. History.Com. A&E Television Networks. Accessed August 30. https://www.history.com/news/history-of-the-jack-o-lantern-irish-origins.
“Visit.” 2023. Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Accessed August 30. https://carnegiemnh.org/the-jack-o-lanterns-origins/.