Tinting Mason Jars

Going on the third week in a row, I am without a car.  Without a second car, I should say.  Our van is still broken.  Something to do with an axle or a rotor or a bearing, I’m not really sure.  But apparently it’s a really big deal.  Meaning I can’t drive it.

To be fair, my hubby offered to have me get up early with all the kiddos, pile in the car he uses and drop him off at work so I can have the car during the day.  Then pile back in the car and pick him up from work at the end of the day.  That was lovely of him to offer and I do appreciate him thinking of me but, um, heck no!  It’s hard enough getting three kids up, dressed, fed and out to the bus stop in time.  I think I’d go crazy if I had to get him to work in the morning too.

So, while we wait for the van to be fixed or for the hubs to cave and buy a Honda Odyssey already, I’m stuck here at our gloriously small house with the little man. I’ve been trying to organize my project space, get the ball rolling on some stuff I want to put on etsy and move forward on projects I have in the works, but with no transportation it is very difficult.  I didn’t realize how much freedom my car gave me.

With the homeboundness comes a new need to finish what I’ve already started here.  I work on a project here and a project there.  I have been doing what I can.  I have about ten things started and paused at the very spot where I need to go to the hardware store and get the next part/paint/supply.  It’s beginning to make me feel a little spastic.  Like I am incapable of finishing anything.

So when I found a tutorial for tinting mason jars on Pinterest (you knew I’d say that, didn’t you?) I jumped on it.  I A) had all the supplies, B) thought it looked cool and C) thought one or more of my kids would want to help.  I was right on A and B.  :-) My kids wanted no part of the stinky process though.  Bummer.

I also love each and every vintage blue glass mason jar I see in antique stores, but I have a hard time paying $8 for an old canning jar.  I know.  I’m cheap.  I’d rather make a knock off so I won’t be upset when my kids break it.  And they will.  By accident, of course.

A few weeks ago my neighbor brought over a box of mason jars he’d been saving for me.  He knows I love jars and canning and making crazy things out of household items.  He’s great.  He also is in the process of fixing our van so he’s extra super duper great in my book.

As I searched through the jars I found some that looked pretty cool.  Some perfectly round ones (without the squarish corners), some brands I’d never seen and some with cool imprints.  So I pulled out the ones I really liked (that happened to be all quart sized) and some others to have a variety of sizes and went to work.

First off, I cleaned and dried the jars well.  Then I prepped my area.  I covered my kitchen counter with waxed paper to catch the inevitable huge spill.

Hi, I’m Heidi and I’m a spiller.  I spill everything.  Usually on other people.  I can’t ever seem to be careful enough.  I think it’s genetic.  My daughter is the same way.

Moving on.  Next, I mixed my paint.  1tsp Mod Podge + 2 drops blue food coloring + 1 drop green food coloring + 1/2 tsp. water.  It will seem really runny.  That’s good.

I turned the jars upside down on the waxed paper and painted them with smooth strokes from top to bottom (well, I started with the bottom of the jar, which was on top, and painted to the mouth of the jar, which was resting on the wax paper.  Confusing?).  When I finished the sides I painted the flat bottom (which is facing up). I used a sponge brush, which seemed to work very well and is super cheap ($1.99 for 20).

This is what the jars looked like just after I painted them.  The paint gets more transparent as it dries (like glue).  The important things about painting the jars are 1) don’t use too much paint or it will drip and 2) don’t try to fix drips or repaint or it will streak.  Just be patient and wait for the results.

My first results were…not good.  I used too much paint.

Luckily, the paint is totally washable.  If you mess up, simply throw the jars in some hot soapy water (don’t actually throw them, ok?) and the coating will come off like a giant string of white snot.  Literally.  It thoroughly grossed out my kids.

I didn’t get a picture of the snot, but you can imagine.

My second try was much more successful.  It’s all about trial and error with these things.  Only two of my jars made it through the first round.  The rest had to be redone.

Here’s the final product:

You may be asking why I didn’t just pour the paint into the jar and swirl it around to coat it.  Well, that’s because it’s water soluble – meaning it will wash off.  If I ever want to use these as vases or floating candle holders, I’ll need the paint to be on the outside instead of the inside.  Now, my jars didn’t turn out perfect.  But if I was more persistent and patient (and willing to try again) I’m sure they’d have gotten close.

It’s a pretty easy project and you could tint the paint any color you wanted.  Such a great way to create decor for a party.  You could paint jars to match your theme and use them to hold straws, treats, utensils, flowers, candles, anything!  Just don’t use them as drinking glasses as people’s lips would be touching the outside and disolving the Mod Podge in their mouths.  Gross!

When you’re done with your party/event/decor you can wash the paint off and use the jars for something else.  Being able to repurpose decor items is so important in my world.  I can’t always afford to buy new stuff, but if I can temporarily make something match one room, then move it to another room and change the color of it…that’s excellent.

Original tutorial found at Craftberry Bush.

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24 thoughts on “Tinting Mason Jars

  1. So, we’re thinking about getting rid of a car (the Civic). Your post made me a little more hesitant, though. I hear you about feeling trapped. It sucks! Hope the van is feeling better soon! Love you!

  2. These are beautiful! You persevered and grossed out your kids, too. That’s a win win! :o ) I will be trying this out and soon since this blue shade matches my craft studio redo. Kudos!

  3. I am making these for my Winter Blues party I am hosting in THAT color! I wished we lived close. I would just beg to borrow ;) I host a Tuesday Pinterest Inspiration party and would love for you to link up. Thanks for posting this. I’m sorry you are without your van :(

  4. Hi, stopping by from Get your craft on link party. Those jars turned out great! They’re really nice! I love them. Thanks for sharing.
    Greetings from Spain

  5. Pingback: DIY: Tinting Mason Jars « The Catch My Party Blog

  6. Pingback: Wedding Bell Talk » Can’t find the right color Mason Jars? DIY!

  7. I would also like to know if you could use a sealant or permanent colors? Please get back to me as soon as possible!! I love this idea and want to try it as soon as I can!

  8. Pingback: 140 Diy Mason Jar – Crafts, Lights, Storage, Vases, Glitter | Rilane - We Aspire to Inspire

  9. Hello! I love the jars. They turned out beautiful…1 question before I try this… is there a certain type of paint to use?? :)

  10. I don’t have a website.but I super like these jars . Love your instructions. Was fun to read and learn. Trying soon. Thank you for sharing.

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