Recycle Old Glass Jars Into Colorful Objets d’Art!

A few months ago….I attempted (and failed!) to make my own tinted mason jars.  They were supposed to look like this…..

But ended up looking like this…..

Then I decided to try different colored jars (I apparently have a fascination with this idea!) and had a bit more success with those.  But I still wasn’t completely satisfied with how they turned out.


Well last week I saw these Pretty Painted Jars by Elle at Diary Of A Mod Housewife and fell in love!

Diary Of A Mod Housewife


I could hardly wait to try my hand at painting….again. :-)  And I have to say….I’m pretty thrilled with how they turned out!



I think the photographs are pretty self-explanatory…but here is how it’s done….in a nutshell:

  • Pour a generous amount of paint into the jar. (I found sample jars of latex paint at Walmart for $2.47 each!)
  • Swirl it around slowly to evenly coat the jar.
  • Pour excess back into paint container (try not to spill!)
  • Set the containers upside-down on cardboard (I used brown packaging paper) and let excess drip out (otherwise, you will have permanent drip marks).
  • Move containers every 15 minutes or so, so they wont stick to the cardboard.
  • After about 2-3 hours, turn them over and let them air dry.
  • Fill with silk flowers or whatever your heart desires. If you decide to use cut flowers…just put a paper cup filled with water into the jar to prevent the paint from coming off.

And that’s it! FINALLY I have conquered the painted mason jars to my satisfaction.

I THINK I can move on now. ;-)

What follows is basically a BUNCH of photos….because I couldn’t decide on just one or two. I think I had as much fun PHOTOGRAPHING these as I did PAINTING them.  I’m really starting to enjoy the taking pictures thing….something I NEVER thought would happen.  Will miracles never cease???




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  1. says

    I’m going to have to give this a try again. I attempted this with some jars a few weeks ago and the end result was less than satisfactory. If anyone attempts and messes up like I did, just add some water, let sit and the paint comes right out.

    I will try again using a bit more paint to get a good coverage.

  2. says

    Oh I have been wanting to do this for months – ever since I saw the first Pinterest photo! You did a fabulous job and they are going to brighten up any room they are in! Love the colors you found. And, yes I am off to WM to see if I can find the paint!

  3. Penny Hannah says

    Is it the latex in the paint that makes a difference? I wonder if adding some PVA glue [like Elmers] would help with acrylic or craft paint? Love the colours of your jars and the complementary flowers.

  4. says

    I love reading your blog. Again, you have inspired me to do something new. I am in the processss of reupholstering my living room furniture, and these painted jars will make a wonderful addition to my new color scheme as accent pieces.
    Thank you again. I refer to your blog often in mine, with links to yours.

  5. Amanda says

    I love getting your blog in my email every morning! I’m definitely going to try this. My Grandma influenced me to never throw out ‘foreign matter ‘ since it’ll junk up our landfills, although I’m pretty guilty of tossing things that probably could have been recycled, jars a re not one of them. I just cringe if I have to. But anyways thanks for this post! Love the creamy colors!

  6. Diane says

    I have tried this before and I had problems with the tops of the jars. Did yours have excess clumps of paint from being inverted? If so, how did you deal with that? Mine were so ugly at the top that I ended up never using them.
    THANKS~ Diane

  7. Pam says

    I recently did some as well, using acrylic paint. I like them but love the colors purple, orange and Pink together, will do those. Do you have the fresh flowers in a jar inside the chair? Am wondering if the latex will wash off. Also, question about yesterday’s post…where do you get the powder foundation? Just found your blog this weekend and already love it. Pam

    • says

      Hi Pam…..the fresh flowers I used were just placed in the jars for pictures. But if you want to put fresh flowers in the vases…just put some smaller cup (or similar) inside first and fill IT with water.

      I’m going to have to look into making these waterproof next time. :-)

  8. Ginnie says

    I have to say I laughed at this! I just tried the painting the mason jar thing too, and failed! I tried 3 diff attempts and gave up I finally decided to spray painting them and that turned out marvalously:) I have to ask does the paint stay on when you put water into it??

    • says

      Ginnie! Me too! I tried THREE times! The picture you see above is my THIRD ATTEMPT! lol. That one was just not meant to be for me.

      I haven’t tried putting water in these yet. I’m going to experiment today with some of them and see how it goes.

  9. Summer Norman says

    Another mason jar project (great for kids to do): clean and dry the jars then decorate with foam stickers, paint, or any other decorations. Fill with candy and give away as gifts. My mom LOVED these for mother’s day. Could also make them as memory jars by collecting items from vacations :)

  10. Lacey says

    I saw something similar to this on pinterest. The only difference is that they used a different kind of paint and after you flip over the jar and let dry, you place it in the oven on 100-150 for a couple hours and the paint will not come off with water. That way you can put water in it for flowers or as outdoor decorations and not have to worry about those gorgeous jar’s paint chipping or washing away!!

  11. Megan says

    Thanks so much Jillee, I just picked up 4 HUGE boxes of ‘cool’ mason jars at a garage for $4, and had no idea what I was going to do with all of them. This is a perfect solution!

  12. says

    Beautiful Jillee….I have been saving my glass jar (spagetti, salsa, etc) and haven’t used them for anything yet. I knew something would come along that could use them for. I will be trying this project this weekend.

  13. Cyndee Baldwin says

    You can use Pebeo Vitrea 160 series glass paint (Available at Michaels) Martha Stewart has a tutorial, swirl it in the jar turn upside down on paper towels til it doesn’t drip anymore. Turn right side up and let it dry 24 hrs, then throw the jar right side up in a shallow pan and bake at 325 for 40 minutes, makes them non toxic, dishwasher, micowave, and water proof. or see my pin on pinterest

  14. Maranda Poe says

    I saw a few questions below about other ways to make these so you can hold water in them without having to use the paper cup. I think spray paint might work (if not it will give you a really pretty color options that you can layer and have more control over), but there are tons of glass specific paints that you can buy that won’t come off when wet. Just go to your local craft store and you should find tons of options!

  15. Amy Ford says

    If your tops come out ugly from sitting upside down, just put on the band but not the lid. this will also work for water and food proofing. Shove a plastic bag into the jar, leaving a bit out of the top. Screw on the band, securing the bag between the jar and the band.

  16. Laurie says

    I love the jars and the colors are right up my alley! Love them! However, I have one quick question. I saw a couple you had planted pansies (my favorite flower) in and since you used latex paint, won’t the paint peel after you water the plants a few times? Just curious because I think I can actually do this craft!!


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