It’s that time of year when we need to start thinking of gifts that our kids can make to give to their teachers or grandparents. Napkin Covered Mason Jar Luminaries are so easy and fun that even the youngest child can help. This is a great craft for kids to make as a gift.
They’re very simple to make and require supplies that you probably have on hand. All you will need is a glass jar, a napkin with your print of choice or just plain white if you want to water color it like the jar on the left, Mod Podge, and a wide paintbrush. You can also add a wire hanger or ribbon to the top when finished so you might want to grab some of that out of your crafting stash.
First you need to make sure your jar is clean and all the residue from the label is cleaned off if you’re using a recycled jar. If the jar has the funky looking dot matrix numbers printed where it might show you can easily take those off with steel wool.
Next you need to open up your napkin and remove everything but 1 layer of the napkin. If you’re using decorative napkins like the ones that made the cupcake jar, they have 3-4 layers of white lining that needs to be removed. Now tear your napkin in to smaller pieces, a little larger than a quarter.
Coat a small section of the jar with lightly Mod Podge and slowly start adding the torn napkin pieces flat against the mod podge. I like to use the straight edge of the napkins around the top of the jar for a clean line. Keep tiling the torn pieces on, adding a little more Mod Podge as needed. Slightly overlap the edges of the napkin pieces but a few clear holes with no napkins are ok too. Don’t worry to much about it but don’t make your mod podge so thick that it will wrinkle the napkins or drip. If this happens, simply take everything off and clean the jar under hot soapy water to take off the Mod Podge.
If you forget to take pictures as you go, this is what your napkin covered Mason Jar will look like. You do not have to do the bottom if you do not want to. If you want to use napkins that already have a design on them you will use the same exact steps except you may want to get creative with the designs on the napkins since you won’t be adding any further design. In the cupcake jar I simply made sure that I pieced some of the cupcakes back together to make sure in the daylight you can tell what they are. If you’re not going to paint the jar, just skip down to the second to last step.
Since I used the cheap white dinner napkins that we had on hand for this jar, I wanted to jazz it up a little.
So I decided to water color the jar and it was super easy. My kids loved this step and it’s what will personalize your kid’s gifts and take it to the next level.
I put a drop or two of water in all the colors that I wanted to use and then didn’t use the water again except to occasionally clean off my brush and then dry it. The less water, the brighter colors you will get with water colors.
I did not actually “paint” the jar, I just lightly touched the brush to the surface and the paint would spread by itself.
Pretty huh? I just kept lightly touching different colors all over the surface of the jar, making sure that they ran together on the edges just a little bit.
Let it dry for an hour or so and then you are going to coat the entire outside of the napkin with Mod Podge again. This will seal it and pull down any loose edges. If you want to make a jar using designer napkins and not painting it you will do the same thing and just Mod Podge the entire outside of the jar, wherever your napkins are to seal them.
Let these dry for awhile before you turn them back over, at least an hour if not more. They will dry to the touch very quickly but you don’t want to take a chance and get them stuck to your table cloth.
Finally add a ribbon to the top of the jar, or wire twisted into a hanger and drop a battery powered tea light into the jar before giving it away. The light inside the jar will shine and illuminate all the pretty colors and torn napkin shapes. You could also add some pencils to it and give it to a teacher as a pencil holder, I think any teacher would love that handmade gift by her student.
There’s a thousand uses for these jars, even more than just luminaries. You could use a fun print to cover the jar and take a sick friend flowers in the jar. Cover them with gold napkins and tie with a burlap ribbon for a great centerpiece for a wedding or event.
It’s simply a great gift that uses what you probably have on hand and adds a touch of homemade love. That’s what we all want at christmas right? To feel like we’re worthy of our loved one’s time and thoughts?
What projects are you working on for christmas?