DIY Jar Crafts- Recycled Items Turned Into Gifts for any Occasion

DIY Jar Crafts- Recycled Items Turned Into Gifts for any Occasion

Joanna's handmade gifts.  Joey they are so cute.  Thank you. XOXOXO

I know many people who say “I’m sorry that all I could give you for this holiday/birthday this year is something I made”, and that makes me sad.  I absolutely love handmade gifts because I know a lot of time goes into them and they are overall, just so thoughtful.

I also believe that we can all be a bit more eco-friendly.  That is why for the past few months, I have saved all of my Classico Jars after making pasta.  It is my favorite brand of pasta sauce and they come in really nice glass jars so I did not want to simply throw them in the recycling.  This project is quite cheap to do too. The most expensive item you need to buy is the Mod Podge for approx $10. I was able to coat about 11 jars, with three or more coats each and I still have some Mod Podge left over so it is worth the money, that’s for sure.

It can be done for any holiday- Pumpkins for Halloween, Hearts for Valentine’s Day, the list is endless of what you can do on the jars so it is a great project for kids on any occasion.  The jars can be used for cookie kits, M&Ms, Hershey Kisses or other candy, piggy banks… this list goes on.  For this project, I made them to be candle holders.  If you want them to be candle holders, be sure to use battery powered tea light candles as a safety precaution!  The way the candle light shines through creates such a great ambiance and the colors of what you paint really pop!


Glass Jars- I used Pasta Sauce Jars but Mason Jars would be even better


Mod Podge

Sponge Brushes

Paint Brushes

White Glue

White Tissue Paper



This all depends on what kind of art you want to do.


Googly eyes

Pipe Cleaners

Glitter Pens



Make sure that the jar is clean, inside and out.

Two sides at a time, paint mod podge using a sponge brush.

Immediately place one sheet of tissue paper on the sides that the have mod podge.  The edge of the paper should be at the top of the jar so all of the extra paper will be coming off of the end of the jar.  This will be folded down later on to cover the bottom.  Be sure to get rid of any air bubbles by gently going over the paper with your brush.  It may rip and that’s okay- there will be another layer of tissue paper to cover it up and it won’t be noticeable. While drying, the top of the jar should be face down on a flat surface. Let these sides dry then proceed to repeat this step on the other two sides.  You CAN do all four sides at the same time, but I found that it was a bit hard to hold without your fingers causing unnecessary rips in the tissue, but this method is faster since the drying time greatly decreases.

Once the first layer of tissue is dry, repeat step one until all of the tissue is used.  I was able to do about three or four layers of tissue but keep in mind, if you are using the jars to act as candle holders, that the amount of layers you do will affect how the light shines through the jar.  For example, if you are putting a stenciled figure like in these fairy jars, you may not want to do too many layers to make sure you see the fairies better.   Then, collect the extra tissue at the bottom and cut most of it off but leave enough so when you fold it over, the bottom is covered.  Fold the pieces down and mod podge them to keep in place.  Allow the jars to dry.  Cover the jar tops with tissue paper using mod podge as well.

Once they are completely dry, you can start your art!  You would want to use the side of the jar that doesn’t have any engravings.  I didn’t think about this when choosing the Classico jars- they have writing or numbers on each side… oops.  This was not too much of a disaster though, since the more layers you do, the less the markings are noticeable and you get a smoother surface.  Since my jars were Christmas themed, I made an assortment of art.  Googly eyes for a Snowman and Santa, Pompoms for the Santa hat and Snowman buttons, Pipe Cleaners as scarves, glitter and paint for holly, Christmas Trees, Snowflakes… the list really is endless on what you could do.

I also used Pipe Cleaners to go around the jar lids and top of the jar where the tissue paper wasn’t as aesthetically pleasing as I had hoped.

pc251010What I learned from this process, is to be careful with how you place them to dry once you have the paint and glitter on them.  It will run and perhaps ruin your work.  This happened to me when I did the Christmas tree.  I did not place it on its side while it dried and I had streaks going everywhere.  I was able to save it by spreading the glitter onto the other sides of the jars and painting another green layer on the tree to redo the ornaments.  Lesson learned!

My family really liked them and it is a good project to do with your children.  You can prep the jars and they can decorate them; I did that for my Stepson and it was a hit.


What designs would you do on your jars?  To stay in the loop on behind the scenes shots, get updates of what will be coming up on the site, and give me requests you can sign up here!



Published by Joanna Ahti

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