Friday, September 4, 2009

Wondering what to do with all those jars you save?

I was! I love glass jars and usually can't bear to throw them out once we've used up all their contents. So after peeling off the label, I shove them into a cabinet that has become over-run with glass jars of all shapes and sizes. Don't get me wrong - they are definitely useful. In my house, glass jars without lids are a perfect vase for small flowers from the garden or an impromptu votive holder. We use jars with lids to shake up quick vinegarettes and to store leftover sauces (the glass doesn't stain the way plastic does). I few days ago, though, I knew I had to purge our jar cabinet and thought of this great craft to put those jars with lids to good use.

All you need for this project is spray chalkboard paint (I picked mine up at Home Depot), painter's tape (or masking tape), a jar with a lid and chalk. If your lid has a design on it that you don't love or you want something more nuetral, just paint the lid! You could use the chalkboard paint, or a color that goes with your kitchen - spray paint should do the trick. The jars I am using are Fresh Market Jelly jars. We get raspberry, in case you were wondering, but the jar is the same regardless of the flavor. Anyway, I really like the shape of these jars and the fact the lid is plain. They're also a great size for this particular project. I feel like we buy jelly pretty frequently, so we constantly have these jars lying around.

Once I have all my materials, I tape off the section of my jar that I am going to paint like so:
Then I paint the area with the spray paint. I got a little bit of paint on my thumb nail, which I suppose I could then use to write very short, temporary messages to myself in chalk - or just use fingernail polish remover to get it off. You could always wear rubber gloves to keep from getting dirty. Once your area is painted, let it dry. If drying inside, put on a paper towel or paper plate to keep paint off your countertops. It's your choice if you want to do more than one coat - probably a good idea for longevity's sake.

Once all your coats have dried, peel back the tape to reveal your painted area. If any paint got on the jar in an area where you don't want it, just use a utility knife or you ever-available thumb nail to scrape it off. Don't worry if your jars aren't perfect - these are handmade, not a mass-produced piece! Besides, just tell yourself that whatever flaws you see, someone else probably won't even notice AND it just makes it unique! Next, fill the jar with whatever contents your heart desires and label accordingly. I made two to give as a hostess gift. I also had the idea of filling a jar with my family's favorite chicken spice rub to hand out as a last-minute gift.
What would you put in these jars?

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