DIY Colored Mason Jars

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.

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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)
  • Spoon
  • Tupperware (Preferably stain resistant!)

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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.

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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.

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Meh

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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.

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Baking jars

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!

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Voila! “Vintage” blue mason jars!

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*All photos are personal

BLOGGER

Mrs. Warbler

Location:
Long Beach/Malibu
Wedding Date:
April 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    TLH21 289 posts, Helper bee @ 2:27 pm

    That’s pretty creative, I like the idea, plus an inexpensive way to get decorations completed.

  2. Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:38 pm

    Yay! I’ve seen this and was so curious if it really worked…and it did! They look awesome, you did a great job!

  3. Member
    mole 1242 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:46 pm

    This is a really helpful post! Thanks, Warbler! I love the color that your mason jars turned out.

  4. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 4:15 pm

    These look great, I never knew of such a technique.

  5. Member
    StarryNight2011 3249 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:37 pm

    I did this for my wedding, although I used a different shade of blue. Way cheaper than buying the blue mason jars and it was not hard to do. I spread wax paper on the counter and let the jars dry on wax paper instead of using tupperware. Mine jars had streaks too, but it was less noticeable when the water was added. :)

  6. Member
    MsPanda 4644 posts, Honey bee @ 5:00 pm

    i didnt know it was that easy thanks for sharing!

  7. Member
    bridesmomma 458 posts, Helper bee @ 5:32 pm

    WOW!! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Member
    WILLIAKELLLB 283 posts, Helper bee @ 6:15 pm

    those streaks had me worried, but they turned out great!!!

  9. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:22 pm

    The finished ones are awesome. Very cool.

  10. Member
    bunting 687 posts, Busy bee @ 6:32 pm

    Wow, what a clever and crafty alternative! I was fortunate to find enough blue jars in our area at no more than $2 each, but I’d be all over this if they were $8-10 each.

  11. Member
    misschickpea 3620 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:52 pm

    Love this!!

  12. Member
    msdoe 639 posts, Busy bee @ 9:14 pm

    Wow! So creative!!! They look lovely!

  13. Member
    blleach 71 posts, Worker bee @ 3:56 am

    They turned out great! Thanks for the directions, I plan on trying this for my wedding as well :)

  14. Member
    MapleMoose 6294 posts, Bee Keeper @ 4:50 am

    Thanks for posting this tutorial!

  15. Member
    hisbahamamama 994 posts, Busy bee @ 5:00 am

    Your awesome for posting this! I had no idea they were this easy! I plan to try thanks to you!

  16. Member
    futuremrscpt 955 posts, Busy bee @ 6:41 am

    Those are awesome Miss Warbler! I might try this just to have some at home for decorations… :-)

  17. Member
    mindylynn39 98 posts, Worker bee @ 9:01 pm

    i am thinking of doing this for my western wedding with white daisys in them love it cant wait to try it thanks

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Bella, Guest @ 6:20 pm

    Wow thats wonderful! i love the colors! Thank you for sharing it….

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    kjbell3, Guest @ 6:13 pm

    this is so creative, I really want to have blue mason jars for center pieces for my wedding but was unsure where to get them! Thanks for sharing, I will definitely mention this to my mom, maybe I can get started with them over my break.

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    1heatherd, Guest @ 3:32 pm

    Once you bake them, are these dishwasher safe then? Will the paint ever come off. Ad did yours come out streak free? I’m pretty anal about stuff like that so if it doens’t come out perfect I might not be happy. lol.

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    heather, Guest @ 12:43 pm

    if you want it not to streak the chew has a great recipe use 2 tablespoons of modpodge glue then add a tablespoon of any color food coloring and dump in mason jar and swirl tell inside is coated and wall la let dry comes out perfect and streak free every time

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    sarah, Guest @ 11:38 am

    I just wanted to know if you preheated the oven or if you put the jars in & then allowed the oven to heat up? I am just thinking that if i put the glass in an already heated oven it might crack?

  23. Member
    warbler 249 posts, Helper bee @ 9:18 am

    @sarah: No, I didn’t preheat :)

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    pinkkitty11, Guest @ 1:09 pm

    I was just wondering if anyone has used these for glasses, I can’t afford a bunch of glasses but have a whole bunch of jars so thought I would use these since I have never had matching glasses in my 23 years of married life. Love the idea of being able to have colored glasses, but wonder if you would be able to drink out of them (obviously I wouldn’t use the recipe that says to put paint inside, only outside), so does anyone know if I could use these to drink out of???

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Laura, Guest @ 1:01 pm

    Did you paint the inside or outside? Was there any bubbling? Can I drink out of it? Can it be used out doors?
    Thanks,
    Laura

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Tracy, Guest @ 1:01 pm

    Cool….I may try this method instead. I saw a tutorial for the modge podge and food coloring but seems like someone said you could not put water in those jars because the color wouldn’t stay. Not sure if thats true or not. These are cute tho.

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Dyna, Guest @ 8:58 am

    I have done quite a bit of research on this, because I hope to be selling these online at Etsy. The Vitreo 160 is not food safe. Therefore, I am not taking it up to the full rim of the mason jar. It is supposed to be safe for a diswasher, but will be suggesting handwashing (why take the chance).

    I did some yesterday and are waiting the 24 hrs to pop in the oven.

    If you go to the manufacturer, you will find they do not claim foodsafe (many on youtube will allude to the fact that it is).

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