Monday, September 14, 2015

DIY Try: Upcycled Monogramed Glass Jars

My roommate had some leftover glass jars that she was going to recycle, and while I was sorting the recycling, I decided that they would be perfect for a craft project. I had been looking for a new home for my paint brushes, preferably one that was taller and heavier so that it wouldn't tip over when I put some of my longer brushes in it and these fit the bill!

  • Glass Jars (I used a pickle jar and a sauerkraut jar, Make sure your jars are flat on the sides so that decorations will apply easier (i.e. no elevated writing on the glass))
  • Dish Soap and Sponge
  • Scrapbook Paper (I recommend using a thinner paper)
  • Fabric Tape
  • Pencil and Eraser
  • Rhinestones
  • Acrylic Paint (I used black) 
  • Double-Sided Tape
  • Tacky Glue
  • Metallic Marker 
  • Any Other Supplies That You Want To Decorate With!

All of the glass jar tutorials on Pinterest were about how to tint your glass jars with paint, but those required an oven and my dorm room doesn't have an oven, sadly. I decided to do things my own way (And also use up some more of those rhinestones that I have laying around). I'd like to apologize in advance for the quality of the photos because my camera still won't focus unless it's super close up.

I had two jars for this project, a sauerkraut jar that was taller and thinner, and also a pickle jar that was more short and squat. I begin by peeling the labels off of the jars, this proved kind of hard, especially on the sauerkraut jar. (Side note: While reading the sauerkraut label, I noticed that they had listed 'Artisanal Tap Water' as one of the ingredients and I found that hilarious.) I originally tried peeling the labels off the jars with my fingernails, but I found that it was much easier to remove them if they soaked in water for a couple minutes because the glue weakened.

After I had removed the labels to the best of my ability, I cleaned the jars out with a sponge and some dish soap. I washed them until they stopped smelling like the food that they once contained. The glue that held the label on the sauerkraut jar wouldn't come off, so I left it and will cover it up later in the process.

I start with my sauerkraut jar and decide what pattern of scrapbook paper I wanted it to be. For this jar, I thought that since it would be holding paintbrushes, a brushstroke pattern would only be appropriate. I made sure to use a thinner scrapbook paper because it wrapped the jar easier and wouldn't peel up on its own. Once I measured the height that the paper needed to be, I cut the paper into a strip and flipped it upside down. I made sure to clear all other sheets of scrapbook paper out of my way, so that I wouldn't get them mixed up.

Starting at one end of my scrapbook paper strip, I applied a strip of double sided tape. Depending on how secure you want the paper to be, you can either lengthen or shorten the strip of tape. I'm going to be finishing my edges with a fabric tape, so I didn't need too much double sided tape.

I take the side of the paper that I just put tape on and stick it evenly to the back of the jar. I suggest that you make your seam where the jar is printed with the expiration date, if your jar has this on the side. Once my paper is attached at the end, I add more strips of double sided tape every inch and a half or so.

Using the previous glue lines as a level, I try to get my scrapbook paper to wrap as straight as possible. I overlap the tail end of my scrapbook paper slip over the end that I started with and after removing the excess, I tape this end down from the back using my double sided tape. This seam may not match up if you're using patterned paper like I am, so I make sure that this seam is on the back when I'm decorating later.

Now that the jar is wrapped in paper, it's time to secure the paper even more by adding strips of fabric tape around the top and bottom edges of the paper.

I found these rolls of fabric tape in the dollar section at Target and they're super cute. They're similar to a washi tape except that they're made of fabric instead of paper. These tapes are a little more permanent than a washi tape and are more opaque.

I begin by wrapping the tape around the top of my jar and cutting a strip to that size. The nice thing about this tape is that it's paper backed, so I can make measurements without being worried about it sticking to my paper and not coming off. I always cut slightly more than I think I'm going to need, so that in the case that I mis-measured, it won't have a gap between the tails of the tape.

I begin applying this tape at the seam where my paper meets on the back of the jar. It's hard to judge if the tape is in a straight line while applying it, so I just try my best. The tape might overlap on the seam in the back, if this is the case, I cut it so that it just barely overlaps.

Once I have wrapped the top and bottom edges of the jar, I freehand sketch out a a K on the jar with a pencil. I made certain that this would be opposite of my back seam. You could use a stencil in this step, but I decided just to go for it.

I begin attaching rhinestones into the outline of my K with tacky glue. It works best if you use a lot of smaller rhinestones instead of a few larger ones because the surface is slightly curved. I was able to move the rhinestones slightly once they had been placed so that I could fit them to the outline as best I could.

I put my first jar off to the side and began working on the second one. For this one, I chose a more transparent paper because the jar underneath was cleaner than the other one. I realized once I started cutting this paper that it was a vellum paper, so it had a plastic feel to it and ripped easily around the edges. It was a really strange texture of paper to work with.

After cutting a strip that was the entire length of the scrapbook paper, I realized that I didn't have a long enough length. I lined the paper up with the gap that the first strip of paper formed and traced the square that was missing with a pencil. I cut this square out, trying to get the pattern to match up, which I soon realized was nearly impossible. At this point, I also realized that the double sided tape kind of showed through the vellum paper. (I would not recommend using paper like this for this project.)

Like my previous jar, I lined both the top and bottom of my scrapbook paper strip with fabric tape. Although, this time, I used pink. The fabric tape really helped with this specific paper because it wasn't taped down continuously around the jar because the double sided tape would show through. It also helped disguise any ripped edges of the paper because I realized that it has a tendency to do that when you cut it with scissors.

I took a metallic marker that I had bought at TJ Maxx a while back and doodled a floral pattern into an oval on the front of the jar. I used a Sharpie to draw the outline of a heart in the middle of it that I would later fill in with paint. I decided that this looked too plain and drew two smaller, floral ovals coming off the sides of the main oval each filled with a heart.

Using a black craft acrylic, I painted in the hearts that I had outlined in Sharpie. This step required two to three layers of paint to get to the desired color. Since I was working on vellum paper, the surface dried oddly when I painted on it.

Since I had some leftover black paint on my palette, I added some swirls on either side of the K to connect the jars together a little more. A little bit of craft paint goes a long way because it's pre-mixed with water so it covers more surface.

I used my metallic marker to write my initials in the three hearts monogram style (First, Last, Middle). This didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, so I'm thinking about painting over my hearts again in black and just leaving them like that.

The jars are officially done and ready to be used for your storage needs! I'm still deciding what to do with the lids of the jars, and that will probably be my next DIY for the blog. I'm thinking about making them into coasters. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!


  1. I love DIY especially where monochrome is concerned. Great post x

    1. Laura, thank you so much for the kind comment! Monogram DIYs are my fave!


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