Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine Mini Mason Jars

Hey everyone. Yes, I'm still at it with the Valentine crafting. I can't help myself! So many fun ideas for little gifts & treats, and so many people to show how much I love them.

Today I wanted to share something that didn't go super smoothly the first couple times I tried it. I wanted to tint Tim Holtz's cute little mini mason jars to make them different shades of pinks and reds, but still have a translucent effect.

Alcohol ink would be perfect, so I found an idea on Pinterest where they mixed a 3-to-1 ratio of Alcohol Ink to Alcohol Blending Solution, then poured it into the jars and swirled to coat, then drained them upside down. There were a few things I learned along the way that I thought might be helpful to share, in case you'd like to try them yourself one day.

I purchased two packages of the mini mason jars, so I felt okay about experimenting on one or two.  The first thing I learned was that Alcohol Inks on glass take a LONG time to dry completely. It retains this tacky feel for quite a while. I thought maybe overnight would be okay, but NO. It took a good couple of days.

But before I tried being patient, I tried to seal the alcohol ink inside the jar. I went to grab my Matte Mod Podge and saw the jar of Sparkle Mod Podge and thought, "Seal it and give it some sparkle? Yes!" Okay, so... no. Not only did this lift away the alcohol ink, it was rather streaky. 

On a second jar, I tried clear gesso. And that was even worse. It took away the translucency and left major streaks. I decided I'd just give it a few days and think about what else I could do.

On a third jar, I sprayed into the jar with Workable Fixative, and it didn't work immediately so I set it aside with the remaining three. I let these sit for three days and finally they weren't nearly as tacky. When I eventually put candies inside, I will place them in a clear bag first.

From my fabric scraps (I used to be a quilter, and quilters never get rid of their scraps), I traced a 4" circle from this little bucket that was handy.

I cut along the traced line with pinking sheers, the inked the edges with Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. Pressing the blending tool while swirling the ink also slightly frayed the edges. Perfect!

I adhered some trim around the screw tops of each jar, then I die cut some papers using the larger sized rosette from the Mini Paper Rosettes die and adhered each to the lids.

Another learning experience: Coloring Tim's Heirloom Roses. I didn't want heavy coverage that alcohol ink might give, so I tried painting on Red Geranium Archival re-inker. This worked well because the color wasn't solid and seemed to grab darker on the outer petals, however when I heat-set it, I overcooked it and tiny little speckles of red formed. I decided this didn't bother me too much, so I used them anyway.

And once they're on the pretty jars, they look just fine.

Before screwing the top onto the jar, I tied two strands of twine through a tag, catching a heart charm before tying a bow. The pretty tags are a free download I found on Pinterest by Katarina Art, but if you Google "Free Printable Vintage Tags" you'll come up with a zillion options. I printed mine out on matte photo paper and mounted them onto kraft cardstock, then cut them out for a nice sturdy feel. I die-cut the word "love" from Tim's Celebration Words die onto black cardstock and adhered it onto each tag.

I loved mixing and matching cardstock and ribbon trims to make these. Now I'm off to the store to get some Valentine M&M's! 

I hope you've enjoyed another Valentine's Day project. Let me know if you try them! Below are the links to all the supplies I used. Thanks for stopping in.


  1. I love your mini Mason jars! And I didn't think the "failures" were all that bad!

  2. Well they turned out gorgeous Annette! I would have thought alcohol ink on the blending tool to the outside would work.... Who knew it would be a big production to do this! Thanks so much for the great tips!

  3. I think they are wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing the whole process even the ones that did not turn out. I do like the sparkly mod podge idea. Wonder if you could tint it with re-inker and use that.

    1. Thanks Barbara. That's an interesting idea to try too.

  4. Thanks for sharing your experiments and the result is stunning!

  5. Gorgeous Annette! Saw Tim's comment on your IG post about hoping they would dry, guess he wasn't kidding! They were worth the wait though, lovely, Deb xo

  6. My you are Patient and persistent , well done, you got there in the end, your jars are just gorgeous.
    Elaine H X

  7. Not the easiest project but they sure turned out beautiful! In the Target Dollar Spot they had pink mason type jars for sale - seeing what you've done makes me wish I'd grabbed a few. TFS

  8. Thanks for sharing your journey with these mini mason jars. Good to know about trying to seal the AI. You ended with some very cute and creative gifts. Love your toppers and the little tags are awesome sauce! ~Niki

  9. Wow, these are adorable...I'm gonna have to make some.

  10. These jars are fabulous, Annette! Gorgeous creations!


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