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Easy, Cheap and Fun Decorative Jars

Updated on December 4, 2013

Create Beautiful Lights!

Translucent Colors Make a Light Show!

I've been working with faux stained glass for some time now because I love the way the light shines through a variety of colors creating a warm and exciting experience within the home. But buying these paints at specialty stores can be expensive and you can't always find the exact color you want. While shopping at Michaels craft store I saw an idea displayed concerning the use of Modge Podge and food coloring to color bottles and jars. So I started there and developed a more streak free version, embellished with glass pebbles and candles. You can do it too in a few easy steps.

Step One

Choose any cleansed, label free jar, preferably a wide mouth jar. Mix about 2-3 tablespoons of Modge Podge, Glossy, into a disposable cup. Place a few drops of food coloring of your choice into the cup also. For the look above, I used about 5 drops of Neon Blue and one to two drops of the Neon Yellow to get a more aqua shade of blue. Stir up completely.

You can use almost any wide mouth jar to be used as a candle holder.
You can use almost any wide mouth jar to be used as a candle holder.
Modge Podge and Food Coloring are the main ingredients.  Add a little water to cut down on streaking.  Be sure you purchase the Glossy Modge Podge so it will dry in a translucent form.
Modge Podge and Food Coloring are the main ingredients. Add a little water to cut down on streaking. Be sure you purchase the Glossy Modge Podge so it will dry in a translucent form.

Step Two

Add a small amount of water to the Modge Podge paint you've created. You'll have to get a feel for how much. Experiment with it. If the Modge Podge is too dense you will have difficulty applying it to the glass with a paint brush. I choose a fine haired wide brush which allows me to add a lot of paint and then use light strokes to smooth out the paint. Adding more water, up to a point, will allow you to get past the sticky pasty stage and allow smoothing with light strokes. Don't be afraid to keep smoothing as it begins to dry. If you don't, you'll end up with streaks. I've found using top to bottom strokes work best with my hand inside the jar holding it for easier distribution of paint. Also, experiment with adding more food coloring for deeper richer colors.

Adding Water Makes a Big Difference

The jar in the forefront had extra water added to the paint while the jar just to the right had less water added and you can see a few streaks.  Without any water, you would see a lot more.  Again just add more food coloring for a darker paint.
The jar in the forefront had extra water added to the paint while the jar just to the right had less water added and you can see a few streaks. Without any water, you would see a lot more. Again just add more food coloring for a darker paint.

Step Three

After smoothing the paint until hardly any lines appear, allow the jar to dry. Then add glass pebbles of various colors to create various moods and tones, along with a candle of your choice. Be sure the candle is in it's own glass cup as you don't want wax running through your glass pebbles. I've thought of adding a ribbon or dried grass rope with a shell dangling from it to finish these off. These jars make wonderful home made gifts, perfect for chasing away the winter chills.

Variety is the Key

A variety of jar types makes for an interesting display.
A variety of jar types makes for an interesting display.
Keep your home beautifully warm this winter and create some unique home made gifts too, perfect for chasing the winter blues away.
Keep your home beautifully warm this winter and create some unique home made gifts too, perfect for chasing the winter blues away.

Review

- Choose a wide mouth clean jar

- Mix Modge Podge/Gloss Luster and desired food coloring for paint color

- Choose a fine haired wide brush to apply paint

- Add a small amount of water to paint mixture to eliminate streaking

- Use light brush strokes repeatedly to smooth out paint in same direction, up and down stroke pattern.

- After drying add desired glass pebbles and candle and perhaps ribbon around top if desired.

© 2013 Martha Rohrbaugh

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