10 Crafty Ideas For Jazzing Up Old Jam Jars!
Wendy Turner Webster, of the Crafty Beggars, is renowned for her ability to reuse and upcycle old items found in the home. With the motto ‘Don’t bin it!’, she transforms old pieces of furniture, packaging, and accessories into something beautiful. So we gave Wendy a challenge… we asked her to show us some crafty ways a humble glass jar can be transformed into gorgeous jam jar art! Check out her jam jar craft ideas below, and discover just how many ways there are to decorate a glass jar, and create something functional as well as gorgeous!
Coffee, cooking sauces, preserves, fruit jams, and a thousand other spreads have one thing in common: they come with a glass jar! I can’t actually remember the last time I chucked an empty jar into the recycling bin. They make such a great base for a range of crafting mediums that I have cupboards full of jars, just waited to be decorated… they’re awaiting their turn for a new lease of life!
Leading the way is the mighty coffee jar! I found a huge piece of rich purple and gold fabric in a charity shop and used a scrap of it to wrap around the widest point. I actually made this to match a cat that I stitched in the same fabric. It was a project for the first Create and Craft UK show that Crafty Beggars appeared on! Sadly, I don’t own a cat and had to search the kitchen cupboards for something that resembled cat biscuits. The keen-eyed readers of this blog will already have spotted that the ‘cat biscuits’ in the jar are in fact Coco Pops!
The next decorated jam jar is my absolute favourite, and one of the very first things I made using embossing powders. The enamel adheres so well to the glass, this jam jar project produces really spectacular results! Plus, the mix of purples and greens was, to me, a winning combination. – think mermaids, unicorns, and all things mystical! Note again the use of garden string – an essential bit of kit to have on hand for any jam jar upcycling project. You can see I make great use of it!
Yes – it’s another decorated coffee jar! But this time it holds bits of lace instead of fake cat biscuits. The ‘thorny branches’ were adding using Pinflair Wands, which come in several different colours. The wands produce perfect dots to embellish many different types of projects. To create the effect you see on this decorated glass jar, I drew a straight line using the Pinflair wand, then flicked a pencil tip through it to add the thorny spikes. You could also experiment with glass paints, for more exciting ways to add art and design!
Another coffee jar heads up this trio (I drink loads!). The peacock feathers that decorate this jar were made out of a unique crafting product called ‘Nutty Putty’. I made the design on the glass then put the jar in a hot oven for 10 minutes. This lets the putty ‘bake’ into a silicone rubber which sticks firmly to the glass. I finished off this one with raffia ribbon instead of garden string and, as you can see, I store old scrabble letters in it. If you’d like to add 3D embellishment to an old glass jar but don’t have any Nutty Putty of your own, you could create 3D decorations using the ColiDo Pen, or some modelling clay. Be sure to create them atop the jar you wish to add them to, so that they dry solid with a perfectly curved base, then stick them to your jar using craft adhesive!
Next is another tea light holder. This time, the blackboard paint is inside the jar – a perfect backdrop for one of my favourite embellishments: Create and Craft Glitter Rub-On Transfers.
Once again, the seventh jar is a candle holder. I gave it a very summery feel by using a splash of yellow paint inside the jar. The rabbit buttons are my own but you can stick any to a band of ribbon for an attractive result. Try random plain buttons or other embellishments!
These three jars sit together on some shelves in my kitchen and I use them all as candle holders (I do love a glowing candle – if you couldn’t tell by now!). By using similar colour and material combinations, jars can be grouped together to give out a warm glow in unison. These particular fabric scraps have a vintage feel about them and, again, you can see where all my garden string goes! The jar in the middle features the Hand of Fatima – an old jewellery charm – and the jar on the right is brightened up using some metallic thread.
Well, that’s my Top 10 Jam Jar Craft Ideas – I hope I’ve inspired you to jazz up your jam jars (or coffee jars, or any other empty jars you may have lying around)… and I hope your partner is as understanding as mine when they open the kitchen cupboards and see how many you’ve got stashed away!
Have you been upcyling old items to use in your home? We’d love to see!