News to the world – I’m actually not a very good crafter. I am actually totally clumsy and most crafts I end up doing come out completely wrong the first time.
It’s weird, because a lot of entries on this blog have ended up being DIY stuff! (See: Small Life, Slow Life: How to Make a Vision Board, Small Life, Slow Life: Marimekko Pinboard DIY, and Small Life, Slow Life: A Kick of Creativity.) Making crafts isn’t really in my comfort zone. But I really like to make gifts for people I love, so it’s become kind of a habit!
If you’re feeling uncrafty, just go for it! The mistakes make it sweeter, I think.
So when my BFF Darcy told me she was feeling in a crafty mood, I didn’t hesitate for a second to jump in on this fun colored mason jar project with her!
These are SUPER beautiful and so unbelievably easy to make – they’re foolproof, even for a nerd like me. Here’s what to do:
You’ll need a paper plate, popsicle sticks, a foil-lined baking sheet, an oven pre-heated to 200-degrees, food coloring and gloss-finish Mod Podge.
Mod Podge is a sort of tacky glue; other types of glue may work just fine, but all of the tutorials we looked at recommended the Mod, so that’s what we used.
Gather the jars you want to use. A variety is fun, or plain old mason jars will work just fine. I went to a restaurant supply store and bought glass salt and pepper shakers and a bud vase to try out. Total cost? About $3!
To begin, take the first jar you want to use and add the Mod Podge to the bottom. Just pour it on in. Some websites told us to use about two tablespoons, but I think I used a bit more in my jars. Some websites also said that adding a tiny (like, a teaspoon or less) amount of water can help the Mod Podge roll around smoothly. We did not do that, though I would consider trying it next time.
You don’t want to overdo it too much, since you could end up with streaky jars. Just add a bit at a time and you’ll figure out the right amount as you go.
Next, you’ll add your food coloring. Darcy picked out some pretty colors, but feel free to mix up your colors too. I think the prettiest jar of the bunch was a turquoise one that Darcy mixed herself with blue and green.
Websites told us to add just a few drops of food coloring.
Yeah, I didn’t listen to them – I added a ton! And my jars turned out super vibrant. I love them!
Use a popsicle stick to mix your food coloring and Mod Podge. Mix it really well – you want a nice, even color. Unmixed color/glue will show up as streaks in your final product.
Now, it’s time to tilt the jar so that your mixture covers all of the inside. This is where you’ll find out if you used too little Mod Podge, or too much. You can correct at this stage by adding more Mod Podge if you need to.
Once you’ve got the inside all covered (any mixture that ended up on the outer rim of the glass can simply be wiped off with a paper towel), place the jar upside down on a paper or styrofoam plate. This will rid your jar of the excess mixture before baking.
Repeat the process until you’ve Mod-Podged as many jars as you want. Darcy and I made a bunch, but in retrospect, these came out so pretty that we wished we’d made many more! Plus, you can expect to have some duds in your first batch.
Once you’ve finished all the jars you want, it’s time to bake!
Put your jars upside down on a foil-lined baking sheet (you don’t want glue on your baking sheet; it’ll never come off). Place in a pre-heated 200-degree oven.
Very important step: Ten minutes into the baking, pull them (carefully) out with an oven mitt, turn over and wipe off the excess goop around the outer rim of the jar.
You have to turn them over mid-bake, or you’ll end up with an ugly one like this.
After about 2o total minutes, you’ll be able to tell that your jars are done. If there are any streaks or bubbling goo, you can leave them in a bit longer. We left one batch in for almost 40 minutes, so don’t sweat it if you think they need more time. Just make sure you turn them over halfway through so you don’t end up with a dud.
Aren’t they gorgeous?!
You’re all done!
Note: If you want to use your jars as flower vases or drinking cups, you’ll need to add a clear sealer to them. Otherwise, water will affect the glue. These are not safe to drink out of unless you add a sealer, so keep that in mind. Mod Podge is non-toxic, but I don’t think any of us want our drinks flavored with glue!
Darcy is using her jars for dried flowers and bobby pins. I use mine for Q-tips or just as a pretty arrangement in the window. We know there are so many fun uses for these and can’t wait to give some away as gifts!