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DIY Painted Mason Jars

The problem with my DIY projects is that I usually only get around to making them as gifts. I really want to become more of a DIYer in every day life and I have a ridiculous list of things I want to “craft” if you will, but when it really comes down to it I’m not usually willing to make the time investment on something for myself.

This is a project I took on after seeing so.many Pinterest pictures with these painted jars and always being drawn back to them. Our new house is going to have a full-fledged modern rustic feel to it, so these painted mason jars will be perfect enhancements to a number of areas. Alas, I still haven’t made any for myself, but I did make some for my mom and my mother-in-law for mother’s day last weekend so I have a tutorial for you!

I read a lot of posts on these (probably because I’m not a natural DIYer so my confidence level isn’t always quite there) and combined a couple of different tutorials to make these.

For starters, this project is über easy.

What You Need:

Quart size Mason Jars

Chalkboard Paint

Acrylic Paint

Sponge Paint Brushes (ideally one for each color)


Matte Finish Clear Coat for Acrylic Paint

What You'll do:

First you’ll paint a layer of chalkboard paint onto the mason jars. This not only works as a primer for you, but when you sand down the front later it gives you the contrasted finish on the letters.

Let the chalkboard paint dry for however long the jar you have recommends, mine was one hour.

Next you’ll paint the jars with acrylic paint. Again, let this dry in between coats for however long your paint bottle recommends. Mine only recommended 15 minutes, but I let each coat dry for closer to an hour just because I was doing other things in between! On this part it's best to use a different brush for each color (assuming you're painting mutliple colors at the same time) because acrylic paint is water-based. This means that if your brush is wet from rinsing out the previous color your paint might not go on as well.

Keep applying coats until the color coverage is consistent on the entire jar. For me, the lighter colors took four coats and the dark red took three.

Once your final coat of paint is dry, gently rub sand paper over the letters of each jar. I chose to sand down only the words Ball and MASON. My personal thought was that it added just the right amount of dimension to give it a finished rustic look. I’ve seen a lot of posts with far more sanding done that look great too, I just knew I wanted mine to be a little more polished than that.

After you’re done sanding spray each jar with clear acrylic matte coating. I linked to the one I used because even Husby was impressed with it. He had plenty of clear coat laying around his work area, but since this stuff is specifically for acrylic paint we both had more confidence in it.

Once the clear coat dries, add the flowers of your choice (I’m a little bit obsessed with hydrangeas in mason jars right now, so that was my obvious pick)!

I didn’t want to deliver the presents as just four jars, so I ran over to Hobby Lobby to raid their (on sale) basket section. My mom and mother-in-law have very different taste from each other, so their jars and baskets were completely different. I love that because it didn’t feel like I was just putting together one massive gift and splitting it in half. I found a basket scheme that I felt fit each one individually as well as the colors of their jars and was able to make a hit of a mother’s day gift!

My mom does a lot for me all the time. She’s my rock in so many ways, so starting with Mother’s Day 2014 I decided I wanted to put more effort into her gifts instead of the standard gift card to her favorite florist to fill her flower gardens. She always loves those gift card, but she goes above and beyond to help us with Adelyn, not to mention just being an ear for me whenever I need it.

Being able to take the time to make something for her that’s different from anything she has yet fits right into the ambiance of her house is something I’m starting to take a little bit of pride in. Seeing her reaction to this simple, yet thoughtful gift was a nice moment for me too (especially because she’s insanely crafty and artistic so her stamp of approval means a lot!).

Now if I could only go back in time to take pictures of the step-by-step process of last year’s mother’s day gift…

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