Pre-mixed cocktails in Mason jars with screw-on lids perched in an enormous galvanized-metal bucket.
I mean, obviously.
Moving beyond garden parties: if you’re having a summer wedding, I’m going to go ahead and insist that you do something like this (with alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, whichever you prefer) pre-ceremony; so fun, and I think it’s such a nice touch to give your guests something to sip on while they wait to watch you walk down the aisle.
Because I ordered a whole bunch of enormous Mason jars in preparation for my blue Mason jars tutorial, but since I ended up deciding to use regular-sized ones instead, I now have…well, too many Mason jars.
But as it turns out, there is no such thing as too many Mason jars. Endless uses, I tell you. Endless.
DIY CHALKBOARD STORAGE JARS
Start with your basic twist-top jars. If you’re using them for things like flour and sugar, go ahead and get the big ones. If you’d like to use them for spices or smaller-scale things, the regular-sized ones should do.
Pick up some chalkboard paint in either black or green; whichever you prefer (your local Home Depot should carry it, or you can get it here).
Mark off the area that you want to paint with tape (I used the writing on the jar as a sort of ruler to make my edges straight). Be careful to lay your tape against totally flat areas, because if you lay your tape over ridged spots the paint may run into the cracks.
Apply two coats (use a good-quality brush to avoid streaks), allowing to dry in between, and gently remove the tape.
Final step: Pick up some pretty colored chalk, and label however you desire!
This is also a neat little trick to use for weddings (write guests’ names on clear votive holders and use them to indicate the seating arrangement) and parties (paint chalkboard squares onto stemless wine glasses so that guests don’t lose track of which drink is theirs).
Paint thinner (this is optional; add some paint thinner if you’d like a sheerer blue than what’s pictured)
Something to apply paint: I used part of a Magic Eraser because that’s what I had laying around, but you could use anything from a lint-free cloth (ideal) to a paintbrush (may leave streaks) to a rag. I would use a combo of a lint-free cloth for the body of the jars, and then a small paintbrush for the lip.
What you do:
1. Make sure your Mason jars are clean and dry.
2. If using paint thinner, combine Vitrea 160 and thinner in a small container until you achieve the desired shade (it will look much darker in the container than it will once applied).
3. Apply the paint to the body of the jar from the top down, and then swipe around the lip of the jar and across the bottom (a paintbrush may come in handy for the areas that you have trouble getting to with your rag; you can see some bare spots on the tops of my jars where my Magic Eraser didn’t quite reach).
4. Set the jars upside-down on wax paper and let dry for 24 hours.
5. Bake in a 325F oven for 40 minutes.
If you’re using these for vases or storage containers (for makeup brushes, knickknacks and such), try adding a little bit of twine for a rustic look.
I don’t love that they’re around $45 (although you can find them for less on Amazon), but apparently they’re pretty easy to make yourself for about $6/jar. I was playing with the idea of using them as night-lights in the nursery, but that would require leaving them on a windowsill during the day and then moving them into the center room in our apartment (which has no windows) every night…and I suspect that would last about a week. But still: they’re lovely, and are on my Must Make One Day list. How beautiful would they be at night, lining the walkway up to your home?
Click here to find out what you need and what you do.
Reader Ashley sent me this adorable photo of the hanging Mason jar vases she incorporated into her wedding decor. Like I said yesterday, these are such a sweet, casual decor idea…and you won’t believe how simple they are to DIY (although you can buy ready-made versions and kits on Etsy if you prefer).
Really all you do is tie wire around the rim, and then attach a second wire to serve as a handle using some needle-nose pliers, but if you’d like a step-by-step tutorial with images, click here!
You can also try making more elaborate versions like the vases pictured below left, which are wrapped in burlap and lace and used as aisle markers. I love the idea of filling blue Mason jars with flowers in a contrasting color, like orange, or of using them to suspend a single gorgeous bloom in water (below right).
Click here for more great ways to use Mason jars in your wedding (or any event, really).
I spotted these beautiful things in the (oddly decorated, but hey) window at ABC Carpet & Home. I am not allowed to go into ABC Carpet & Home (my wallet says so), so I couldn’t examine them more closely…but through the glass, they looked quite gorgeous. I have this fantasy of one day creating a light fixture of various pendant lights hung at different heights. It would look like this:
But rather than spend the hundreds of dollars required for a pre-made fixture…you know what I think I’m going to do? Take a shot at DIY-ing a jar pendant light or (if I’m feeling extra-capable) the more elaborate one pictured above. I’m not kidding; bear with me here.
I did some research online, and it is totally possible to create light fixtures out of Mason jars – you just pick up a hanging lamp kit and a ceiling light plate (and of course some jars) and punch holes in the lids big enough to fit the lamp cords through. Then you drill holes in the ceiling plate and feed through the cords, adjusting them to the desired length. You (or at least I) will probably need an electrician’s help to get the thing installed in the ceiling, but that’s really it. And you can create a single hanging pendant without a ceiling plate – just buy a cord kit and affix it to the ceiling fixture you already have.