Fun & Easy Glow-in-the-Dark Gift Jars

By freshlyplanted - 7:42 AM

Inside: These easy glow-in-the-dark kid art jars are great for holiday gifting! A creative kid activity that's perfect for the classroom, homeschool or multi-age kid setting.

Lining up at the door in matching red boots, they wait with a bucket in each hand. 

Can we have water, please?
Their expectant faces watch me internally debate the pros and cons of busy play outside with our recent cooler temperatures. 

It's not that cold, I decide (and the half-unloaded dishwasher could use a few more minutes).
So each bucket receives a little cold water and they run off into the dry leaves to finish their project. They're great gatherers of containers these day. Amazon cardboard boxes for tables. Empty ice cream containers for leaf bins. And buckets for everything else: rocks, wood pieces, snail shells- and water.

A container is a wonderful thing- especially when it has a present in it! 

Handmade Gift Jars for the Holidays

Our oldest is already thumbing through holiday cookbooks, so we're definitely needing more gift jars this year! Giving away homemade treats is a favorite family tradition. It's a thoughtful, inexpensive gift to share kindness with:
  • local library workers 
  • school staff
  • mail carriers or package deliverers (or both!)
  • neighbors
  • a nursing home
  • and many more! 
While planning these jars, our kids wanted to try glow-in-dark paint

Their reasoning: It's getting dark so much earlier!

Which is very true. 

They were also inspired by Creepy Pair of Underwear!, a recent favorite. It's a clever book with a central message about overcoming fear and embracing what once seemed scary. A great lesson for kids- and a handy reminder for adults, too! 

Easy Kid Art Painted Gift Jars

Glow-in-the-Dark Kid Art Gift Jars 

This post includes affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission- at no extra cost to you- for link purchases. We only share what we love. (full disclosure)



  1. Carefully wash & dry jars. Rubbing alcohol can be used to prep surface and remove any residue so paint sticks better. Have adult wipe on with clean cloth or cotton ball. 
  2. Draw pictures on jar surface with Sharpies and let dry. These can be hand tracings, leaf tracings, book-inspired drawings, or anything else. Erase any mistakes with dampened paper towel.
  3. Outline drawings with multi-surface paint, making sure to use just a little water on your brush to not dilute the paint*
  4. Outline or fill in drawings with glow-in-the-dark paint.
  5. Dry according to package instructions. 
  6. For extra protection, apply waterproof sealant over it. 

*For smaller kids, a parent can outline their drawings with paint later :) 
*Written words also look nice 

Easy Kid Art Painted Gift Jars

Easy Kid Art Painted Gift Jars
Our Creepy Pair of Underwear! Glow-in-the-Dark Jar

Now we're a bit more ready for the holidays! The best part will be baking goodies & filling them soon. Because jars are wonderful things- 

especially when there are holiday treats inside :) 

This post is a part of the annual kid-made ornaments and gift ideas inspired by children’s books. A few other gifts inspired by children’s books can be found below. Pop over to check out all of the other amazing creations HERE!

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