Monday, January 19, 2009

Glass jars turned vintage

Lately I've been intrigued by those lovely vintage blue glass jars you see on the tables of chic outdoor weddings. I did a little bit of research on these, to see how economical they were in bulk, and found that they can range anywhere from $5-$15 per jar, depending on how rare they are. I was a bit surprised by this, and thought there had to be a better way to achieve the same look, so I went in search of a way to "dye" a regular quart sized jar, to mimic the look of the old Ball Perfect Mason Jars.


Here's my photo recap:


I used a product called Vitrea 160, which is a transparent color for glass, in a shade called turquoise. I also purchased some thinner from the same product line, so I could get a really faint look. After scooping out a small amount of the turquoise color (a dot about the size of the nail on my pinky finger) into a plastic tupperware container, I dipped my fan brush into the thinner bottle and then mixed that into the blue. That's really all you need, and after I was finished, I realized I could have colored 5 more jars with the amount of turquoise I had left.

I flipped my jar upside down and placed it into another plastic tupperware container, then brushed the outside of the jar with the mixture in thin, even strokes from top to bottom. It looks a bit bright and cloudy at this point, but bear with me! You then have to let it set for 24 hours before you bake it in the oven for 40 minutes at 375 degrees F. After it bakes and cools, the majority of your brushstrokes should disappear, so don't worry if it isn't perfect! Once you fill the jar with water and flowers any small brushstrokes that may still be present will fade even more.

The best part of this project (besides the fact that it's super easy) is that it's cheap. The two bottles of Vitrea 160 were $8.00 total, and the glass jar was free (leftover container from MIL). If you didn't have any relatives who could give you 12 or more glass quart jars, you could easily buy them from any grocery store or craft store, or look on craigslist. Here are a few links: Walmart (12 for $17.98), Amazon (12 for $7.72). So basically you could do a case of 12 jars for about $1.50, not bad! Throw in a $7.00 supermarket bouquet and you're in business!

NOTE: This project is best suited for use with flowers and water, rather than with candles. Any brush strokes that may be left over from baking the jar will be hidden by the water and stems.

DIY Day @ ASPTL


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87 comments:

Michelle@Everyday Celebrating said...

wow! The stuff you learn! That's really cool!

Courtney said...

How clever! I'm so impressed. Thank you for your amazing DIY guide! I'll have to share this one.

Jodie said...

OMG I have been looking for these blue jars forever! Now I can make them myself!! You are a lifesaver!

Mary said...

THANK YOU for such a fabulous idea! Did you use the Gloss Medium thinner to lighten up the turquoise?

Kristin @ bridal buzz said...

yes Mary, the thinner is to lighten up the turquoise color, and to make it a little more translucent.

CanadianAngel said...

Wish I saw this before I bought 21 blue glass jars...lol...I spent 200$ for all of them plus shipping this would have saved a lot of money! Congrats on a great find and money saver!

eve said...

Thanks for sharing. I am seeing all the uses for Mason Jars and desiring some for myself. Thanks for the coloring DIY.

Karen said...

One note - I've used the vitrea products a lot! Drying for 24 hours is a very important step, otherwise the paint bubbles in the oven and it's notsopretty! :) This is a great way of tinting the jars - you could even play with texturing the tint with different brush strokes!

JJ said...

This is best idea!! Just want to verify before purchasing, did you use the Vitrea DILUENT MEDIUM OR the Vitrea GLOSS MEDIUM to thin the paint??

optimistic said...

Another question, I tried doing this and I let it dry for 24 hours and baked them but I still could see brushstrokes. They didn't turn out too well. Maybe you could tell me a tip or perhaps what went wrong?

I'm going to try it again and if there are any tips it would be really helpful!

Thanks!

Kristin @ bridal buzz said...

JJ: I used the Vitrea thinner...

Example here: http://www.greatart.co.uk/VITREA160THINNER-glass-painting-mosaics.htm

Kristin @ bridal buzz said...

Optimistic: definitely use a fan brush, it will help with those brush strokes. Also, apply a very thin coat at first and if you think you need more add another coat. Starting out too thick to begin with could be the cause of the brush strokes.

Some strokes will come through after baking, but once you fill the jar with flowers and water they're not as noticeable.

JJ said...

Thanks, Kristin! These will add so much to an outdoor wedding.

Teri said...

Ohhh, I came here via AT and this is so clever! I have loved the original jars forever but they generally run $8 a jar! This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your creativity!

Katie said...

Very cute, I need to remember this one.

Empty Nest Full Life said...

I was wanting some more of those jars, as I already have a few. Wonderful transformation. I have and attic full of jars. Jackie

Delightful Dwelling said...

Wow, I never knew you could do this to glass jars. I already have a couple of the old ones, I didn't know they were worth that much! Thanks for sharing this.

Alisa said...

I had no idea you could do such a thing! It looks just great and you have beautiful flowers too :)

Blue Creek Home said...

I'm lovin' this project. I have to make a W.M. run today. I am going to get some paint and paint some glass! Thanks.

michellejohnnie said...

very cool and beautiful! I'm featuring this on somedaycrafts.blogspot.com Grab my "featured" button.

Sunny said...

Stopped in from ASPTL...got to say girl, love it!

Becky said...

This is great. I have one "real" vintage blue jar that I love. My mom has a bunch that she found in my grandfather's farm house when they cleaned it out. I could do this and no one would ever know. I always drool over my mom's. Thanks for the clever trick!!

Amy {The Red Chair Blog} said...

What a neat idea! Thanks for sharing!

Your cool friend Cheryl said...

What a wonderful idea! I love the vintage green and blue mason jars, but don't always have luck finding them when I'm junking.

I will definitely be doing this to the cases of new mason jars I have!

Cheri Peoples said...

You did an awesome job. I think I have an antique blue one-packed up with all my other belonging.

You should come over to my KNOCK OFF KNOCK OUT party Monday and show this.


Cheri
Its So Very Cheri

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

Terrific!

Suzy said...

GREAT idea, I love mason jars!!


Suzy

http://suzys-sanctuary.blogspot.com/

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Oh. my. gosh. I have recently started collecting these jars, and have witnessed the wide price range. I'm excited to be able to make some to mix in with my collection! Thanks for sharing, do you mind if I share your idea on my blog, with full credit to you, of course?

Thrifty Miss Priss said...

oh my gosh! I just recently got a great deal on several blue ones. I love the idea of doing it yourself! Thanks for sharing!
Robin

Kristin @ bridal buzz said...

Definitely Kimm, share away!

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea, Classico Sauce Jars are the same as mason jars, so I'm always thinking of things to do with them!

California Girl said...

I was so excited to try this out, but I must be doing something wrong because the baking didn't make my brush strokes disappear at all. Soooo, I tried a second strategy, also cheap, and it turned out so great, I thought I'd share.

Blue food coloring. 2-3 drops in a full jar of water and the clear glass ends up looks exactly the same shade blue, but with zero streaks. Over time, of course, your flowers will suck up the food coloring with the water and the petals will end up bluish, but if you're just doing these jars for a wedding or another event and the flower arrangements are for a single afternoon or evening, this technique will save you a ton of time and money. I'm doing it with old spaghetti sauce jars I've been saving, and it's looking great!

Thanks for the DIY inspiration, bridal buzz.

Kristin @ bridal buzz said...

Thanks for sharing your tips California Girl! I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but it sounds like you did a little improvising and came up with a great solution!

Jen said...

Hi Kristen,

Quick question. I need to paint around 20 jars or varying sizes. I am rereading this post but can't seem to figure out how much of the paint and thinner I should buy.

From reading this, is it 1 bottle of thinner and 1 tiny drop of turquoise for 5 jars? Not sure if I should get 1 bottle of turqoise and 2 or more bottles of thinner?

Thank you!!
Jen

Kristin @ bridal buzz said...

Jen, you will definitely not need more than one bottle of turquoise, but I would probably buy two bottles of thinner just to be on the safe side. That way if you need it, it's there, and if not you can return it afterwards.

Remember, thinner layers of tint is better! :)

Best of luck!

Samantha said...

I have like 300 antique canning jars but I don't want to ruin them. After I use this, is it safe to still can with them?

Kristin said...

Samantha, while the Vitrea information says that once baked, the tint is dishwasher and solvent safe, I don't think I would feel comfortable using the jars for canning again. Just in case.

A Sign of the Times said...

Such a cute idea for using canning jars! I just had to feature it on my blog: https://mmtncrfts.blogspot.com

Come over and check it out!
Thanks for sharing,
Linda

Laura said...

You mention that the use of these is better for flowers than candles. Why is that?

Thanks for the awesome project idea!

Kristin said...

Hi Laura, great question! I like these jars better for flowers because some of the brushstrokes may not totally dissappear during the baking process. So, by adding water and flowers, you notice those brushstrokes less than if you were looking directly through an empty jar (with a candle in it perhaps).

Hope this helps!

kl said...

I am planning on trying this method for jars to use in my wedding. What is the best way to bake the jars? Standing upright on the wire rack? a cookie sheet? Thanks for the great idea!

Kristin said...

Great question kl! Once the glaze is dry you can touch the jar without it smearing or anything. So, I just set my jar inside an old cake pan, just in case something terrible happened and all the glaze melted off into my oven (although it didn't). So that's what I did, but if you don't have an old cake pan, I'm sure your jars will be fine just sitting on the wire rack.

mother★lode said...

SImply genius!

I have featured this post on my blog today!

http://www.camilledawn.com/2010/06/tuesday-tumblr-2.html

I hope by sharing the link, others will be inspired to try this too!

Camille
mother★lode
www.camilledawn.com

Susan said...

Super cool, thanks for the tip...bookmarking :)

liapapa15 said...

Wow! This is such a helpful post! I love the look of vintage blue glass and I can not wait to try this out for my wedding!

Thanks a TON! =)

BigWeddingTinyBudget said...

this is one of the COOLEST diy projects i've ever seen. love it! will feature it on my site!

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Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I was searching antique shops today for blue mason jars and they are so hard to find, and expensive! My mom has a few but she is not ready to part with them. I stumbled upon this site and I'm so glad I did! I am testing it on small glass jars now. The paint seemed to dry quickly as I was putting it on the jars, and if I mixed it too much then bubbles formed. But it smoothed out nicely. I'll put it in the oven tomorrow. I can't wait to see how it turns out. My wedding is next summer- I will use mason jars painted blue with wild flowers, and then small blue jars with candles next to it. It will be beautiful. Thanks for the post!! ---Heather

wedding invitation kits said...

What an amazing idea. How did you even think of this? Mason jars are so versatile but I've never seen anyone do anything remotely close to what you have done. Amazing. You are very talented.

...on the brink of something beautiful said...

i LOVE this idea. thank you so much for sharing. in fact, i loved it so much, i had to share too!
http://getthewordsout.blogspot.com/2010/12/found-mason-jar-diy.html

-kellie

CherishedHearts Vintage said...

If anyone is looking for the old aqua jars, I have quite a number available. Please look us up at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CherishedHearts

Of course, I'm saving some for my own wedding!

Austin Dental Implants said...

I have been through the whole content of this blog which is very informative and knowledgeable stuff, So i would like to visit again.

Anonymous said...

Do you paint the inside of the jar or just the outside?

Kristin said...

I just painted the outside, but I'm sure you could do either. I wouldn't recommend painting both the inside and out, though. It might become a little too translucent... unless that's what you're going for.

Ogre Mommy said...

I LOVE you! Thanks for saving my sanity! :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea! I would like to use this method to paint regular flower glass vases. Think it would be safe to "bake" the vases?

Petit Design Co. said...

genius!

Tara said...

LOVE this! Too bad I tried with just the glass paint (and thoroughly messed up...) before seeing your blog. I can't wait to try again tomorrow when I can get some thinner!! :)

Anonymous said...

Paints are cheaper at dickblick.com from blick art supplies. =) $4.19 per bottle.

Vintage Beachgirl said...

They are cheaper at dickblick than some sites but shipping is 7.95. I ordered anyway!! Impatient....they also carry this at Michaels, yayyy, 40% off!! Love this idea, and I will shamelessly copy it on a variety of mason jar sizes after I experiment & practice on mayo jars or whatever!! FUN!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Also, who knew my old blue mason's were worth so much.....I just liked the color, thanks.

Nan said...

BEAUTIFUL! BEAUTIFUL! BEAUTIFUL! I just love this! You are such a smart girl!!!

Deanna said...

i know this thread is old, but i have an important question for kristin! i did this project, except instead of the thinner you used i used distilled turpentine because it was all the fabric store had....the jar is dry and done but i need to bake it. is this safe??? i can't find any info anywhere on the internet.

Melissa said...

LOVE the idea, I am not a very crafty person so I hope that these turn out. I am going to use them for my daughter's birthday party (Alice in Wonderland theme) to display flowers. Thanks for the idea! Also, going to post the link on my blog!
Wish me luck!

Olha o que eu fiz... said...

Hi there,

Thanks for this amazing DIY project. I love those shades of blue but I never saw those glasses around here... Just a quick question, well 2 actually... I can put any kind of jar in the oven? Cause I'm a little afraid it could blow in to a million pieces, is that really safe? Once you baked them you can cleam under water, I mean, the paint will resist if I hand wash with water and soap?
Anyway, thanks again for sharing
and warm regards all the way from Brasil

Gilian

(English, as you can clearly notice is not my mother language, so please forgive me my awfull grammar mistakes.)

Kristin said...

Olha: I would use a glass jar that is made for canning, just to be safe. Those types of jars are made to withstand high temperatures, so you should be safe using those. Once the jars are baked the color is permanent, so you can even put them in the automatic dishwasher if you wanted to... definitely could hand wash them as well!

Good luck!

Craftberry Bush said...

Hey Kristin, I thought I should let you know that I linked back to this post.... You might have noticed some traffic from my site... I should have let you know prior...sorry... Hope you're wel! Xo
Lucy

Kristin said...

Thanks Lucy! Enjoy!

Rica said...

How cute! I've been seeing these jars everywhere for outdoor lighting and decor. I found a few at a thrift store but needed more for my patio decor. Thanks for the tutorial.

Donna C. said...

I used a foam brush and did not get good results. I tried a fan brush and only a bit better. Went on heavy in places and wouldn't stick in others. They definitely look home made, LOL!

Donna C. said...

Tried it again and water instead of paint thinner works a hundred times better. Got a very nice result using water to thin it.

Hollyberry said...

I tried this - and while I thought I followed exactly, all of my jars came out bad. I used the fan brush and I have a lot of visible brush strokes. Also, the paint bubbled a little when I was applying it to the jar. Is there any hint to help? How much thinner did you add to the turquoise color? I love this idea and I need to do a number of jars for a bridal shower however I can't get mine to come out decent. Please help!

Kristin said...

Hollyberry:

I have had a few people suggest using water instead of thinner... might want to consider trying that? Use a few long, straight, brush strokes while covering your jar in paint, instead of lots of short/small brush strokes. This will cut down on the visible brush strokes.

I've never had any issues with bubbling, but maybe the watered down paint will also help here.

Good luck!

coika said...

FYI it looks like the site you linked to is out of stock on the glass paints in turquoise and lacquer blue, so I placed an order at a site that has it in stock here:
http://www.in2art.com/

Kristin said...

Thanks for the tip Coika! It must be a popular item! :)

mallorydb said...

I can't seem to find the paint anywhere! I've looked in stores and online. Where did you purchase it, and do you recommend any other brand?

-Mallory B.

Kristin said...

I purchased another bottle about a month ago at Michael's, and there's also a link a few comments above with a site that carries it.

Julia said...

This is an awesome tutorial!! Thanks so much for sharing:).

~Julia

abbie said...

Hi
Do you think a foam brush would work? And also would this technique work for making soap dispensers out if the jar? Hopefully the streaks won't show and hopefully there won't be streaks with a foam brush :)
What are your thoughts?
Thanks!
-Abbie

simplyme said...

silly question but do the offer more color options.. i live where lavender is a huge deal.. would love to do purple ones... apply the same concept..?

Kristin said...

They do have a ton of other colors! I think they might also have some metallic colors as well. Check out your local Michael's craft stores, that's where I found mine.

Unknown said...

Thank you!

Alejandra said...

Not sure if anyone's mentioned this, but, Classico Pasta Sauce comes in mason jars. Not Bell or Knorr, but mason jars none the less, Atlas Mason to be exact. If you have lots of time to collect (my wedding is 2 years away) then you can have this project for just the cost of the painting supplies. =)

Amanda said...

Hi

I love the idea of using classico pasta sauce jars. Does anyone know of any other supermarket jars are oven safe?

Lisa from DIYmusings said...

I did over 30 of these jars for my wedding and after playing with the Vitrea 160 for way too long and not getting the expected results (lots of streaking), I used glossy mod podge instead of the glaze - mixing the aqua with the mod podge. The results were way better and required no baking!

High Expectations for 2011 said...

Lisa from DIYmusings or anyone who has luck with this project, please help! I've tried modge podge with the Vitrea paint, Vitrea paint with thinner, Vitrea paint with water, etc. I keep getting streaks. I'm using a fan brush. Someone please tell me the secret - I need 40 jars by July. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Sonia said...

why is this not recommended for candles?

lilmama said...

This is lovely! Thanks for sharing :)
I have some bottles with very narrow openings that I would love to do this to but obviously I wouldn't be able to fit a paint brush into it. What do you suggest I do for them?