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How To Make Chalkboard Paint Jars

Updated on September 22, 2013

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
  • Scissors
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Tape
  • Hammer
  • 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 and 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.

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!

Cook Time

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 2 hours 45 min
Yields: Dishwasher Safe Craft Creation!

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!

How Did You Like This Craft?

5 stars from 7 ratings of Chalkboard Paint Jars


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I did this to the tee. When I wrote with chalk the paint scratched right off. I was able to run the water and a scrubby sponge over them and the paint came right off. I cured them for 45 min as it said and left them in the oven until cool to take them out with your bare hand. Any Suggestions? I used Craft smart Calkboard from Michaels. It was the only kind I could find. Thanks

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      4 years ago from Vermont

      Great crafty idea - I use food jars to store just about everything. I will try this craft and cut my templates using my Cameo Silhouette and stick-on stencil adhesive paper.

    • Ila Castro profile image

      Ila Castro 

      4 years ago

      I would use chalkboard sticker labels, but I can't get the jars wet. Never thought to just use chalkboard paint. Thanks!

    • prestonandkate profile image

      Preston and Kate 

      4 years ago from the Midwest

      Great hub! This is a fabulous way to upcycle glass jars that I would otherwise just toss in the recycle bin. -Kate

    • Jaya Sanghita profile image

      Sanghita Chatterjee 

      4 years ago from Kolkata

      Voted up!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Should the paint on the jars be completely dry prior to curing them in the oven? Practicing with some jars and am not sure how soon after they should go in.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Hello Danie! It could be the brush you are using. Usually harder paint brush tips create more texture. I always do several layers of paint, but try a softer brush or a sponge that will create a smoother look. Have you ever painted a room before? You know how the different rollers have different surfaces and the coarser ones are for more textured walls while the smoother softer ones with little texture on the roller are for a bathroom wall or cabinets? Also after you have a base layer of paint on your glass, a second layer that is much thicker applied with a softer brush will allow the paint to create even surface tension and smooth out more as well. Hope this helps!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      So I Have attempted to paint a jar several times today and every time it clumps up and wont go on smooth. What am I doing wrong?

    • daisyjae profile image


      4 years ago from Canada

      This is a great idea, I've got lots of jars kicking around. I will try this.

    • kitkat1141 profile image


      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great project. I am pinning this one!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      What a great idea. I have empty jars in my cupboards, now I know what to do with them. Christmas presents :) Thanks for sharing such a great idea in a great looking hub, voted up and pinned.

    • KatieBarker profile imageAUTHOR

      Katie Barker 

      5 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Thank you everyone for your positive feedback! I hope this project brings you (and anyone to whom you gift the Jars) creative pleasure and an aesthetically pleasing way to stay organized! I'm so happy you enjoyed this hub :)

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great hub, love it, well done !

    • Green Art profile image

      Green Art 

      5 years ago

      Neat idea. I think I'll do it on a few jars for Halloween and fill them with candy corn and mallow pumpkins.

    • HolidayGiftIdea profile image


      5 years ago

      I think that this is a cool idea. I really like the fact that they are all unique and the idea is something that I have never seen before.

    • JanMaklak profile image


      5 years ago from Canada

      This is such a cool idea. I think I'm going to go look for some jars right now!

    • L.M. Hosler profile image

      L.M. Hosler 

      5 years ago

      Very interesting idea. I may give it a try.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      This would be an awesome gift idea! Not just for jars, but for anything glass. I am pretty bad about putting things in jars and then forgetting to label. This would be fast and easy to do, and no more mixing up spices anymore! Sharing and voting!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      Great idea and something I will try! 5 stars, voted up and more. I like your creative flair!

    • TeaJaye profile image

      Tamara L. Seward 

      5 years ago

      I love this idea

    • sangre profile image

      Sp Greaney 

      5 years ago from Ireland

      That is such a unique idea. Way more cleaner that sticking labels on jars too


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