How To Make Chalkboard Paint Jars
Finished Chalkboard Paint Jar
Up-cycled Chalkboard paint jars are handy in a variety of ways around the home. You can store dry goods in them and not have to worry about rubber banding, clipping, or somehow closing the plastic bag it came in. Or for a craft room, you can use them to organize items, ID who something belongs to, or even label your kids science experiments. Let me show you how I made them:
What You'll Need
- Empty Jars
- Chalkboard Paint
- Small Paint Brush
- Flat Head Screwdriver or Paint Key
- Shape Template for the area you want painted
Gather Your Ingredients and Make Your Template
Your template guides you where to paint for a uniformed, symmetrical look to your jars. I used my beloved Cricut machine to cut out multiple sized ovals and squares out of scrapbook paper. This machine will cut clean lines, resizes easily, and has a blade that rotates 360 degrees - allowing it to cut just the shape with no starter cuts. After using these templates taped onto the jars, I think I'm going to research options of sticky paper that would easily peel off and leave no residue on the glass and is Cricut friendly. But overall, these cut-outs gave a guide area of where to paint, with an edge that just needed a little clean up once the paint was a bit dry.
Check Your Cut Out Size
Part of why I love the Cricut is that it cuts things with no cut in or out from the side edge of the paper like you'd have to do with scissors, and you get a cut out piece with smooth, uniform edges as well! First, check the size of your cut out. I located the seams in the glass of the jar, and placed my square directly between the seams. What you're checking for is proportionality and if it's in between the ridges or indents on the jar. Once you determine that your template is proportionately correct, remove the cut out, and substitute your outline.
Position Your Template
Tape your template on the jar. Again, I tried to have it equal distances from the side seams in the glass. Be sure to tape it tight enough that it prevents paint from getting under the tape, but not so tight that it pulls the paper and distorts the shape. From my first jar, I learned that it's easiest to paint from the paper template, in to the glass. You don't get a solid edge of paint all around the outline, but when you paint from the glass to the paper it tends to push the paint under the paper edge.
Paint Your Chalkboard Paint onto the Glass
I bought my chalkboard paint at Home Depot for about $10 for 30 oz, but I was excited for my project and didn't want to wait in order to save a few bucks. You can find chalkboard paint on both Amazon.com and eBay.com from different brands that cost a little less than what I paid. Some brands even have tinting options in case you want your creation to be something other than your basic black.
Chalkboard Paint on Amazon
The paint takes several applications to get a completely opaque finish on top of the glass. What I found easiest was to lightly paint my base shape using the template, and then remove the template and paint the other layers freehand. At some point I hope to find some kind of sticker that you can stick to the jar so that paint doesn't get under the edges of the template. Getting my base shape and going freehand worked best for me. I have a steady hand and didn't want the paint to adhere to the template as it dries and wind up peeling off parts of my shape when I removed the template. But know you abilities and do what works best for you! The Chalkboard paint on glass does scrape off easily, so for areas where it had bled a little around the edges, it was easy enough to use a straight edge as my guide and scrape the excess off with my fingernail. Speaking of scraping, if your jar had one of those little printed number codes stamped on it, those scrape off easily too.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
Once you are done with one side, clean up your edges, and move on to the other side and the lid of the jar. I chose to have an oval on one side, and a square in back where I could note instructions. The chalk paint will be rougher or smoother depending on the brush you use and the way you painted it on. Obviously, the smoother the better for writing, but a little texture will not ruin the piece and will still allow you to write legibly.
PAY ATTENTION HERE! To make your piece top rack dishwasher safe so that all your hard work is not ruined, you must cure it in the oven!
Cure the Jar in the Oven
To make your piece withstand time, bake it in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. After the timer went off, I let it sit in the oven as it cooled until it was cool to the touch and easy to take out. This will not harm the paint or the jar one bit. While baking, I did set it in a pie pan, just to make handling easier and give it a solid surface to sit on, but it's not required for the curing to work. This step isn't necessary for items where food won't touch, but if you are making these jars as a holiday gift and layering cookie ingredients or coco mix in them, I'd definitely take the extra time. It would be a shame to have the receiver of the gift throw the jar in the dishwasher and have the paint not only come off, but also get on other items! In my dishwasher, the paint stays on just fine as long as I place them on the top rack. I did have one sneak down to the bottom rack once, and that was a little too intense for the chalkboard paint to remain intact.
Make Your Chalk Pencil
You could go out and buy a special pencil or marker to write on your pieces. But here's my $2 tip to you - a cheap pencil sharpener works like magic on sticks of chalk. It's a heck of a lot cheaper, and I've read that some chalk pens can leave oils on chalkboard paint that slightly darken the area where the writing was and leave a ghost of previous labels. We know good old basic chalk won't do that, and it saves you a few bucks. So add your items to the jar, write your label, and voila! Gone is the spaghetti sauce jar you were going to throw away, and here is something worthy of home display or holiday gift giving!