Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tinting, Decorating, And Upcycling Jars And Bottles

It's been a fad for months now on Pinterest, tinting Mason jars.  Naturally, I had to try it.  There was just something so compelling about the beautiful colors achieved with Mod Podge and food coloring.

First, let me remind you -- should you wish to try this at home -- that Mod Podge reeks.  It is useful but nasty stuff.  Do this only when you can open windows and use a fan; otherwise, your house will smell awful for hours -- maybe days.  Ick.

First, clean the jars or bottles completely, remove all labels (rubbing alcohol or googone), and dry thoroughly.  Then cover your workspace very well; this is a messy craft, and it stains.  Wear an apron or old clothes.
In a paper cup or clean, recycled container, mix Mod Podge with a little water and the food coloring of your choice.  Pour into the chosen jar/bottle, and rotate the jar/bottle to cover the inside completely.
Tip the jar/bottle upside down to drain (and drain and drain and drain) on wax paper or into a throw-away container of some sort, such as a cleaned cottage cheese container.
This will take at least an hour, probably more like two hours.
(Remember to click on the photos to enlarge them.)

Next, put the upright, drained jars/bottles on an old cookie sheet and place in an oven at 200 F. for 20-30 minutes, until the class is transparent instead of opaque.

(Yes, I know; this is a different set of glass than in the first photo.  I'm using pics from three different times I tried this project.)

Take them out of the oven and let them cool.  Then put them someplace to dry completely for at least a week before you put any caps or lids on them.

(I love that peach color on the jar in the left corner!)

When the glass is completely dry, you can decorate at will.  Just remember that these containers are not food safe, nor can they hold liquid without the Mod Podge turning back into goo.  So, wrapped candy, yes.  Cake mix, no.  Dried flowers, yes.  Goldfish, no.

Now, after three separate times of this fun-but-gross-smelling craft, I ended up with about 2 dozen beautifully colored upcycled jars and bottles -- and absolutely no freakin' clue what I was going to do with all of them.
Thus, I started tinkering about with altering the bottles.
So far, I've turned two Stewart's drink bottles into steampunk affairs.  (Note: the brown bottle was already brown, as it had originally held rootbeer, but the green bottle is one I colored.)

The labels are free ones from a craft site.  I used stamp ink to "age" the labels.  The bottle necks are wrapped with ribbon and twine.  Both bottles have "caps" made of vintage buttons, and the green bottle has a vintage button attached to the neck and two more dangling down the side.  (Yeah, my family saves EVERYTHING.  These particular vintage buttons date from the late 1940s.)  The little keys on both bottles came from Michael's craft shop, as did the metal tag on the brown bottle.  I had purchased some tiny bottles with corks on Amazon; I filled one with green glitter (purchased at Michael's).  All the trinkets on both bottles are strung with metallic silver embroidery floss, left over in ample quantities decades ago from some embroidery order at my dad's business (a silk-screen printing company), but I have seen it still available in craft shops today.

This bottle turned out a lovely shade of blue. :)

Now, I didn't set out to make it a Frozen (Disney) bottle, but it sort of ended up that way.  (*shrugs*)
The inside has taped-on strips of blue and silver metallic grass/confetti left over from the prize bag I won from Kate Jarvik Birch at her Perfected reading and sequins in three shades of blue, left over from a snowflake craft project purchased years ago from Oriental Trading Company.  The translucent ribbon was left over from a gift, the "let it snow" ribbon came from JoAnn's Fabrics about 2 years ago, and the blue fake gem is a stick-on earring from Oriental Trading Company (years ago).  All of the outer decorations are attached with glue dots (purchased from JoAnn's).  I find the result very pretty.

I hope this may inspire a few crafters or upcyclers.  I do feel good about keeping glass out of the landfill, but I still have no clue yet what to do with all my other colored jars and bottles.  However, if any of them turn out well, I promise to post photos!

(Note: no items were purchased from misogynist or anti public education companies for this craft project.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm still trying to figure out how to reuse the cool gallon jugs left from my Livingston wine. Seems a shame to toss them in recycle. Sigh