Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Manning Makes Stuff - Halloween decorations, paper mache masks, costumes, party ideas, and more

Super-easy Halloween decoration: jars full of doll parts and bugs


Published by Manning on June 24th, 2015

How to make an easy Halloween prop; jars of baby heads and spiders

This was a fun and easy decorating project for my insane asylum Halloween party in 2014. I filled up two wide kitchen cabinets with these things, and propped the doors open.

These were just about the easiest decorations I’ve ever made. I asked my mom if she had any old mason jars or other kinds of jars lying around in the garage, and she ended up bringing me a few dozens, in all sizes! Then I shopped around for baby dolls, but it turns out they’re not cheap, even at dollar-store type stores. So I asked around, and a friend who lives out in the country got me a bunch from a thrift store for practically nothing. I encouraged her to chop them up for easier shipping! And she sure did.

Along with the doll parts, I dumped in lots of plastic spiders and roaches and other weird little Halloween odds and ends I had floating around at the bottom of boxes of Halloween stuff. I added a wine bottle, a rubber zombie hand, a rat, etc.

The lighting is what really makes this effect! I used a couple of cheap clamp lights from the hardware store — something like these. I removed the whole clamp part, so all that remained was the light socket, the metal shell around it, and the cord. I put bright yellow party bulbs in, and set them down at the corners of the cabinets, facing inward, in order to project as much light as possible across the cabinet and through all the jars. I ran the cords out the side and plugged them in nearby. Easy! And with modern spiral-shaped fluorescent bulbs, you don’t have to worry about any of these materials or surfaces getting too hot.

One thing I did not do here, but I might try some other time, is to put water and food coloring in some of the jars. I didn’t have lids for most of these, and I was worried that some drunk moron would knock them over.

These eerie glow in the cabinets really made the kitchen look cool. I’ll definitely be doing other variations of this setup for future parties.

Halloween party idea, jars with baby doll heads

Update: We did an even more elaborate version of this for our Voodoo Bayou Halloween party. Some pics:

Kitchen cabinets with jars and curiosities

Kitchen cabinets with spooky jars

Zombie dust, snake juice, etc

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