DIY: Milk Carton Ghosts

DIY: Milk Carton Ghosts


We love a fun project for Halloween! Milk Carton Ghost Luminaries are officially spooky.

We've been saving the milk jugs for this project for a while, and we're happy to get them put to work and out of the storage area.

We have another tip.... rinse stored milk jugs.

Thankfully, our video did not include audio. *inhale, gasp, ewwww*


  • Milk Cartons/Jugs
  • A string of C7 or C9 lights
  • Permanent Marker
  • Crafting scissors, box cutter, or Exacto knife
  • Paper for the ghost templates


We used permanent markers throughout this project. I hope you have a handful of them in a miscellaneous drawer in the kitchen. If not, head to a big box store and make that happen with a multi-pack. So handy.

We prefer a medium sized tip on the markers instead of a fine tip for projects.

Start by making a template for each of your ghosts using a marker and paper.

Use the same one for all or vary it up. It's all up to you.

We found that pre-sketching out a template kept us from wasting our milk cartons. Be inspired by traditional ghost images and jack-o-lanterns.

Collect your rinsed milk jugs. Choose to soak off the labels or not.

Transfer designs to the jugs.

Enlist a friend.

The jug needs a bulb. Make an X low on the side of the jug opposite the ghost face.

Use the best thing you have on hand to cut through the X. A super sharp pair of craft scissors works well.

If you plan to leave your luminaries outside for more than a few hours, consider poking holes in the bottom of the milk cartons to allow any rainwater to drain out. Also, be sure to plug your project into a GFCI outlet.

For this project, any C7 or C9 bulb and cord assembly will work - either incandescent or LED.

We chose a 24-foot long C9 cord that has a socket every 3 feet (total of 8 sockets) that's perfect for spacing out luminaries. At under $10, this cord is perfect for projects like this and is super magical for lighting trees up in the leaves, as well.

We filled the cord with C9 incandescent bulbs.

Just insert the bulb and socket into the X you cut out earlier.

We found that our bulbs stayed in fine without any type of adhesive by the tension of the cut triangles.

Our happy ghosts.

We look forward to seeing photos of yours. Post them to instagram or facebook! @christmaslightsource #christmaslightsource

At 3-foot spacing.


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