Easy Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Lantern Tutorial

By Jess on October 30th, 2014

glow in the dark skull lanterns

As many know, Dia de los Muertos (or the Day of the Dead) is celebrated on November 1st every year in Mexico. It’s been celebrated for over 4,000 years – long before Mexico existed! It is a celebration of life and it is a loved tradition with beautiful decorations and altars, parades and music.

If you want to teach your children about Dia de los Muertos (or learn about it yourself) this website is full of information on the history, traditions, and current celebrations. Then create these Day of the Dead lanterns to celebrate the lives of loved ones in your life that have passed on with this tutorial from Growing Up Bilingual.

What You’ll Need:

  • glass mason jars
  • black sharpie or other permanent black marker
  • glow in the dark sticks


  1. To make these lanterns, just paint a fun sugar skull or calavera design on the front of the mason jar.  You can Google ideas for inspiration.
  2. Cut a glow in the dark stick and pour the glow in the dark liquid inside the mason jar. Close the jar tightly and shake it making sure that the liquid covers all the inside of the mason jars.  Put them out in the dark and enjoy the glowing calaveras!

Note: Make sure that you use gloves when you cut the glow in the dark sticks and do not let children handle them or cut them as the chemicals inside the glow stick can irritate skin and eyes.  Some glow sticks also have glass inside so be careful when handling as there might be glass shards inside the glow stick.  Proper safety materials like safety glasses and gloves should be used when recommended to protect eyes and skin.