These jars take their name from John Landis Mason.
Mason was a young inventor who came up with the concept of a metal screw-on lid in 1858. The threaded neck on glass jars that we take for granted today was once a major innovation. Mason’s developments made preserving food at home much easier and made the jars reusable. Despite the fact that Mason sold five of his glass canning jar patents in 1859, his name had staying power. The mason jar is the common name for glass home canning jars to this day (source).
As promised, here is the jar tutorial some of you had requested. I do however have to share some good news and bad news about this particular DIY. Would you like the good news or the bad news first?
In the spirit of optimism let’s start with the good news…
The jars, in my humble yet clearly biased opinion, turned out pretty fantastic. Take a look…
Take a look at the darker bottle on the right. It’s a hint to the bad news of this post, but before I break the bad news, let’s get to the tutorial…
|In a small bowl, place the glue, food colouring and water|
Using even strokes, brush onto jar from top to bottom and being careful not to go over it too much or the glue will start to clump together (this part is a little frustrating until you get the hang of it). The streaks you see when the mixture is wet will be almost invisible if done correctly. This is where patience comes in.
The bottle dries in minutes but during my experiment, I placed it in the microwave for 30 seconds on low to expedite the drying time. I added an extra coat to the neck of the jar and at the bottom of the jar. If you look at a real vintage jar, the accumulation of colour seems to be at these two spots.
Turn the jar upside down and allow the residual mixture to drip onto the lid or paper towel. Once it stops dripping, remove the lid and allow to dry. The results with this method is a little cleaner but it will take several hours to dry and some of the jars had drip marks :o(
It might take a little practice to get it just right, but here is some more good news: you can wash it off and start over.
Which brings me to the bad news: you can wash it off and start over! These jars – although pretty to look at – are not practical for every day use as the paint will peel off.
Good news: IF you decide to follow the brush method and paint the jars from the outside, there is nothing stopping you from using these jars as vases so long as the water is poured carefully inside or you can always use these or these and avoid the risk.
Bad news: If you like the darker shaded jars, well, I found that the darker the shade I used, the more visible the streaks were.
Overall I think they look pretty close to the original and by adding other elements or incorporating them into your decor you will achieve the ‘look’ for A LOT less.