Skip to Content

How to Make Simple Halloween Milk Jug Luminaries

Milk jug luminaries are a simple and affordable craft! Easy enough to do with kids, they’re the perfect way to illuminate the path for trick or treaters.

row of milk jug luminaries for Halloween with scary faces drawn by kids lining a sidewalk

When my husband was growing up, Halloween was a big deal in his family. His mom even wore a costume to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters! He really preferred handing out candy to the actual trick-or-treating.


I may have married a weirdo…

But I digress. Because Halloween was a big deal in his home, he’s made it a big deal in ours too. We were that house on Halloween night. Spooky porch, colored lights, creepy music playing. Yup. That was us when our kids were young.

My house was the one where we took our group photos with neighborhood friends before trick or treating.

Our kids loved decorating for Halloween! And one year we started making milk jug luminaries and lined our sidewalk with them. They were such a fun and easy addition!

row of milk jug luminaries for Halloween with scary faces drawn by kids lining a sidewalk

Making Milk Jug Luminaries

When my kids were growing, we drank a LOT of milk. I began saving milk jugs when school started and would have enough to line our long sidewalk by the end of October.

Be sure to rinse the jugs well before you start stockpiling them… No one wants sour milk spills or drips in the house (or the garage!). To keep it easy, peel the label off when rinsing the jug.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read our full disclosure policy.


three children drawing faces on milk jug luminaries with sharpie markers

First, cut the tops and backs off the jugs. This might be a task best done by an adult.

If you’re using burning candles, I recommend that you follow the shape of the milk jug (see above). If you’re using battery-powered candles, you can just cut the tops off and leave the handles attached.

Next, let your kids get creative with the markers! Scary faces, animal faces, funny faces. Let them use their imagination.

You may want to spread out the face drawing over several days. My kids would get sloppy tired of decorating them after doing two or three.

Displaying your Milk Jug Luminaries

The afternoon before you want to display your milk jug luminaries, fill the bottoms with sand to keep them from falling over. This is fun for the kids to do! After this first year, I learned to have them do this part outside… ?

two kids filling milk jug luminaries with sand and votive candles

Line up your luminaries along your walkway. Spacing will depend on how many you have. We had 24 luminaries and were able to space them every 2 feet. Turn them so the faces greet your trick or treaters!

row of milk jug luminaries for Halloween with scary faces drawn by kids lining a sidewalk

Next, place a candle in the sand. The new LED candles that can be turned on and off by remote control are amazing!

little girl checking unlit candles in milk jug luminaries

And that’s it! You have a simple (and CHEAP!) Halloween decoration to light up the night. And you’ve made some fun memories with your kids.

Be sure to share pictures of YOUR milk jug luminaries with us if you decide to give it a try! Tag us on social media with @simply2moms. Let us know what you think or if you have any questions in the comments.

More posts you will enjoy:

Pin it to Remember it:

pinterest graphic