Monday, April 1, 2013

my DIY blue mason jars



Hello friends. How’s your Monday going?

Right now it’s a bit crazy around here because Anne and Ryan’s wedding is coming up this week. Thank goodness my sister-in-law hosted Easter dinner at her house, because I’ve been working on a few wedding projects in addition to the floral arrangements Kirsten and I will be doing.

I’ll be sharing the photos with you soon, but in the meantime I wanted to show you one of the tinted Mason jars I just finished. We’re putting the flowers in these cool, turquoise-tined Mason jars that are supposed to look like authentic vintage jars.

mason jar filled with pink peonies



Only using real antique Mason jars are expensive and this method was relatively easy once you get the hang of it..

There are all kinds of tutorials out there in the bloggersphere, using the Vitrea 160 glass tint and thinner but after some experimentation, this is how I did it.


Basically I used four items:

  • Pebeo’s Vitrea 160 tint and
  • Pebeo’s thinner
  • a fan brush
  • piece of tack cloth

1. Decide how blue you want your jar and blend the tint with the thinner until you get the desired color.

I mixed the tint with a dab of thinner in a disposable bowl. This is where you can get creative and play around with the depth of color you want on your jar. I’ve seen some crafters mix 1/2 tint and 1/2 thinner but I found that went on too light. Although if you act quickly, you can add more color by simply dipping your brush into the tint and adding it to the color you’ve just brushed on. But you have to do it FAST so it will blend easily.

2. Brush it on quickly

I used a small fan brush. I put the jar over my hand (so that it’s upside down) and dipped the brush into the tint mixture. Then I brushed from top to bottom, about four strokes going around the jar, and making sure there was enough color around the raised lettering on the jars.

3. Blend with tack cloth.

Then I quickly picked up the tack cloth and started blending the color on the jar. I used light dabbing motions rather than wiping. I repeated Step 2 and 3 until the jar was completely covered.


I avoided brush strokes by using tack cloth

I kept reading complaints about brush strokes being left on the jars after the jars baked, and while some people don’t mind because the water in the vase makes it barely noticeable, I still chose to blend the blue tint after I brushed it on the jar.

Some crafters recommended any piece of cotton, but I found the cotton hard to work with; it ended up looking too smudgy. And the tack cloth seemed the best choice. But please, feel free to experiment, there’s plenty of wiggle room with this project.

And sorry I have no photos of any of this, I had to work quickly once the tint was brushed on the jar. And there was no time to grab my camera.

4. After the jars are tinted, let them set for 24 hours.


5. Bake them in the oven.

I baked them at 350 degrees for 40 minutes on a cookie sheet. Nothing on it, just the jars.


And that’s it. You should know it’s still not going to look perfect. There will be slight variations of blue from the dabbing motion, but I still think it’s better than brush stokes. You can choose for yourself. The important thing to know is once you bake your jars you can use them as vases with no worries about the color being washed away. 



What do you think about blue mason jars? Do you like them?








Unknown said...

These are really pretty Leslie, I think they will look fabulous!

Hope you & your family had a lovely Easter XX

Lori said...

I really like the looks of them Leslie ~ will pin your tutorial for future reference ~ you never know when you are going to want a blue jar!!

Linda said...

They look fantastic!!
Great tip!!

Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Oh I love them! So beautiful! Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I would have never thought to use tack cloth. So clever! I would love a window shelf full of these!

AntiqueChase said...

Did you know that Ball is bringing back the exact heritage blue jars for a limited time? 6 of them for about $14. I just ordered!!

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Would you believe I have to do this for my son and Corrie's wedding for June 22nd? I'm so glad you did a post on it, I'll follow your directions to a T.
I have a board on Pinterest for Corrie's wedding and I'll be pinning your picture of them...they are really pretty!

A Few Pennies said...

Great tip to know; yours look like the real thing--precious with pretty flowers.

Patty said...

Hi exciting to be having a wedding this weekend! I wish you a wonderful time of love and happiness. It's interesting you showed us the blue Ball jars - I received a pack of the blue vintage anniversary Ball jars in the mail today from the Ball people. I had no idea manufacturers would contact us bloggers and send us free things. Yours looks so beautiful and will make such wonderful decorations for the wedding! I can't wait to hear more about it.

Anne Boykin said...

Hi Leslie, Thanks for the how-to on the jars - they came out lovely!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Oh I love blue mason jars! I have a huge collection from my daughter's wedding. We bought them up for a whole year before the wedding. Now I can't part with them! ... I think your tutorial is a great option!

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie! From what I can see the color looks authentic....great job! Thanks for sharing with all you have to do this week! Where did you find the paint/tint?

Unknown said...

i love them leslie! such a beautiful color choice as well and they have such a romantic feel to them.
i would have been tempted to multi task and throw some cookies in there to bake with them. but that really has more to do with my lack of control and to put anything in the oven that i can't take out and eat after would kill me quite possibly... :)

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

Oh yah!!!! I absolutely love this idea and I will be doing this on the weekend. You are such a GENIUS... you know that,right?

Lottie said...

Hey, this was a really useful tutorial! I have a few vintage blue jars but would love to try this technique for more. Thaanks for posting!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Leslie, I had never heard of tinting mason jars, what a great tutorial! I love it! I think the arrangements are going to look fabulous.

Have a great week, Elizabeth

Monica said...

Leslie these are so pretty!! I've actually always wanted to give this a go - in the exact color too! Blue is so serene to me. Great tutorial and thanks for sharing. I now know where to turn!

Art and Sand said...

I wondered where everyone was finding blue mason jars. I had no idea they were creating them. I think I can handle this project.

Thanks for the inspiration.

The Divorced Lady's Companion to Living in Italy said...

Wow you are amazing! I can hardly keep up with housework and driving these days. I think my domestic creativity currently resides in cooking treats but will soon shift to the garden. Enjoyed this as usual!! Xxcat

Pitter and Glink said...

These look like the real deal! Great job!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

What do you mean by tack cloth?

Unknown said...

Ive done this with pretty good results... but maybe your tack cloth is what I need.

Leslie Harris said...

Hi Amanda,
Tack cloth is usually sold near the sandpaper at most home improvement stores. It's a sticky cloth that's used to clean dust residue left over from sanding projects. Good luck with your jars.

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