Katie's Craft Corner: Ball Mason Jars

In the past few years, Ball Mason jars have been elevated from a humble jelly container to the hottest thing in crafts and decorating. No longer just for Grandma’s famous bread and butter pickles, Mason jars are used for holding everything from flowers to cocktails, painted a rainbow of colors and wrapped in everything from lace to twine.

When designing this Craft Corner, I first tried Mason’s translucent glass paints, then metallic acrylic paint to make fun and fancy Thanksgiving centerpieces. The paint dripped, streaked and gummed up, and the process was time-consuming and the results less than stellar.

I realized that all that effort was undermining the simplicity that makes Mason jars charming in the first place, and a new approach was just the thing for whipping up Thanksgiving morning if you were so inclined. A tiny dab of glue, no paint, no mess, just self-adhesive gems and some twine or yarn.

I show you two versions of the “Simple Sparkle Mason Jar” here: a country-chic cotton jar and an unapologetically glamorous rhinestone jar. Both take about five minutes to make and about $12, most of that cost being that the jars are $7.99 for 12 at Meijer’s and most grocery stores. Try to find the limited edition blue Mason jars put out by Ball earlier this year if you can, for a more vintage look.

If you didn’t already know, Mason jars come in a wide variety of sizes, from tiny squat jelly jars about 2 inches tall, to huge quart jars. I used half-pint jars, the perfect size to hold votive candles.
You won’t necessarily need the lids for this project, although you can use battery-operated candles and poke holes in the lids with a drill to make pretty lanterns for the table.

You’ll need:

Mason half-pint jars

Darice Self-Stick Gems

Votive candles

For cotton-wrapped jar: 2-3 yards cotton yarn or twine

Project steps:

Rhinestone jar – Use tweezers to place rhinestones in whatever pattern you want around perimeter of the jar. Use a piece of double-stick tape on the bottom of the candle to secure in jar.

Cotton-wrapped jar – Using a tiny drop of glue, attach one end of yarn 1/3 of the way up the jar.
Carefully wrap yarn tightly around the jar, making sure there are no gaps between wraps. Wrap until cotton portion measures about 1 inch or wider if you want. Clip excess yarn. Use tiny dab of glue to secure the yarn end to the jar. Using tweezers, place self-adhesive gems where desired around cotton wrap. Use a piece of double-stick tape on the bottom of the candle to secure in jar.

Instead of wrapping with yarn, you could wrap with leather cord or ribbon, or even torn fabric strips. Just be careful not to wrap anything near the rim if using candles to reduce risk of fire.
Instead of candles, you could fill jars with faux flowers and leaves, sparking twigs, candy or try this holiday mix – water and fresh cranberries (screw the lid on to prevent spills).

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