We’ve booked the venue, photographer, videographer and all the other big details. Now that we have some downtime before the big day, it’s time to get started on the DIY projects! Early on I fell in love with the classic look of blue mason jar centerpieces. Perfect for our outdoor wedding. But they’re extremely rare and tend to go for about $8 or $10 per jar. A cheap bride’s best friend, also known as Google, helped me find an easy way to get the same look for a lot less. Stain the damn things blue with glass paint! If you are a broke bride or are just feeling crafty, here’s how I did it.
What you’ll need:
- Mason Jars (Purchased at Walmart for $10)
- Vitrea 160 in Turquoise (Purchased at Michaels for about $5. I also got the Indian red color to play around with)
- Vitrea 160 Paint Thinner (Also purchased at Michaels for $5)
- Fan Brush (some people have used sponge brushes, cheese cloth and rags)
- Tupperware (Preferably stain resistant!)
Close up of the paints and thinner
Depending on how many jars you want to stain, you won’t need to use a lot of paint. In order to get the transparent look, you need to use more thinner than paint. Since I stained twelve jars, I used a spoonful of paint and three spoonfuls of thinner. I mixed them together in a Tupperware bowl. If you’re only staining a couple, I would recommend a pinkie size of paint and three times as much thinner. So basically a ratio of 25% paint, 75% thinner.
I placed my jar in a separate Tupperware bowl because I don’t like making messes. I also found I could use the excess paint, a plus! I lightly dipped my fan brush into the paint and went over the jars in long strokes from top to bottom. Almost immediately I noticed some streaking, but I don’t think that’s avoidable. I tried using a rag and got the same results. Just try to brush evenly. Don’t fret if you still have lots of streaks! I’ll tell you how to fix that later.
My first one was kind of bad. I got better though.
Since red is my all time favorite color and one of our wedding colors, I tried the red paint on a couple of the jars. I didn’t like the way they came out though. I don’t know if they needed more paint, or what I just didn’t like them as much as the blue. Oh well, trial and error.
The finished pack. I’m trying to hide the red ones in the back there.
The next step was easy. I let the jars dry for a full 24 hours and in the meantime proceeded to read Christopher Pike’s latest vampire book. Vampires are never going away, people. The next day I placed the jars on a cookie sheet and let them bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 325 degrees. The heat helps set the paint and gets rid of the streaks. If after everything you still notice streaks, I wouldn’t worry too much. Once you put flowers and water in the jars, no one will even notice.
I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. Like I said before, the streaks that I did notice were pretty minuscule at this point. After the cooled off, I filled one up with water and arranged a grocery store bouquet. I kind of wish I had thought to buy the actual flowers we’re using for the wedding, but I was happy with the way these turned out. This was by far the easiest wedding project I’ve ever tackled!
Voila! “Vintage” blue mason jars!
*All photos are personal
- Long Beach/Malibu
- Quality Assurance Editor
- Wedding Date:
- April 2012
- Calamigos Ranch Malibu