Gift Jars: Easy, Simple, Beautiful

Last month, my 12-year-old sister Evangeline came for a two-week visit.  During that time we packed in a lot of craft projects, including gift jars for other members of the family. Glass jars with metal or plastic lids work great for this type of project. The first step is to wash the jars and spray paint the lids. As you look at the size and shape of each jar, get a vision for what it should hold next.

Packaging matters almost as much as what’s in the jar, so creating great looking homemade labels is a must. I like to use the free photobooks/shipping that is offered monthly by Hotprints. I’ve been very happy with their service and quality so far.

Then, all you need is double-sided tape to create a great label.

And some ribbon too of course! I like the natural look of the raffia.

Then it’s just a question of what to put inside each jar. I love using my dehydrator to create homemade dried herbs—so much fresher and better tasting than store-bought!

Apple chips are also made using the dehydrator.

I gave homemade beef jerkey to my father-in-law for his birthday present.

Or just use what you have on hand. Jelly beans on clearance after Easter look even more pretty in a jar. Homemade granola using nuts from an after-Christmas sale is delicious and easy to make. There are endless, endless possibilities for jar gifts. Just imagine what you’d see in a favorite gift shop . . . then make it.

Collage Wall Art Inspired by Pottery Barn

My idea of fun is gathering a copy of a Pottery Barn catalog, a stack of sticky notes, and a pen, and then sitting in a sunny spot to rip pages out of the magazine and make notes about how to create look-alikes for cheap. This linen board caught my eye.

Hmmm. Mental notes: Natural elements and textures plus a two or three colors that are similar to each other. The challenge begins. Here is my finished wall art, followed by the breakdown of the elements used and step-by-step pictures of the project.

What do you think of the adaptation?

Supplies and materials used to make the boards:

1. Free prints from Shutterfly.com. The quote was designed using Photoshop Elements 4.0. www.shutterfly.com
2. 12×12 scrapbooking paper left over from my wedding (Target)
3. Square from salvaged quilt
4. Free 8×10 from Hotprints. Get a free 16-page photo booklet a month from them—even the shipping is free! www.hotprints.com
5. Gold spoon picked up at Goodwill
6. Title pages from a book of quotes picked from a library sale
7. Piece of birch bark
8. Foam board found in trash left out by the roadside
9. Raffia from a 75% off after-Christmas sale (Target)
10. Natural texture placemats (Publix)

The process:

Getting ready to work. The old boards were wrapped in paper and displayed three 8x10s.

Next, I measured and cut some natural textured placemats to fit the edge areas of the boards.

The placemats were on clearance at Publix! Just goes to show what you can find in out-of-the-way places if you're looking. There's no craft store in my town so grocery stores can be an alternative!

The planning beforehand. I worked on this while waiting for someone at Starbucks.

I attached the cut-up placemats and raffia with hot glue.

Glueing the placemat material over the raffia.

First collage board done!

A few detail shots . . .

I love looking at these every day!