Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Painted Christmas Mason Jar Luminaries

How to Make  Hand Painted Christmas Luminaries:

 I came up with this fun craft project of making homemade Painted  Mason Jar Luminaries about five years ago when my children threw a Christmas party for their friends.We wanted something unique outside to light up our house during the party and to add to our Christmas decorations. I was interested in Luminaries, but didn't find any I like at the store. Most of them where designed for a one time use, but I wanted something that we could use every year.

That's when I came up with the idea to paint mason jars, then decorate them with Christmas stickers or stencils. These painted Luminaries are great for celebrating any Holiday . The Mason Jars that I use are pretty heavy and don't seem to break that easy, making them last from year to year. I hope you have fun making theses with your family as I did making them with mine. In fact we try to add new ones every year to really light up our yard.

 What You'll Need to Make These Glass Luminaries:

Items List For This Craft:

   1. Mason Jars( any size will work, but I prefer the larger ones.)
   Note: You can use recycled Pasta Sauce Jars, but make sure that all the paper and glue is removed or the paint will not stick to the glass

   2. 1 bottle each of 2 oz Craft smart or Acrylic craft paint in Red, Green, Blue or any colors you like.

   3. Paint brushes 1' wide or larger bristles( Set of 3 work out great)

   4. Several packages of Christmas stickers( Scrapbook sticker work great for this project since you want them placed all over the jar)

   5. Small tea candles or battery powered tea lights.

   Other items that you will need for this project:

  •   plastic lids or paper plates for paint
  •    glue
  •   empty egg cartons for small stickers

 Steps on How to Paint the Mason Jars:

 Pour the paint out on to a flat surface, I use lids that we save from plastic food containers, but you can also use paper plates.These work great and you can just toss them away when your done.

  Start painting the outside of the whole jar with the first coat of paint, then let it dry for about 20 minutes.

  Next apply the second coat of paint and let that dry over night. You want to make sure that the jars are completely dry before working with them.

  Mason Jars will require 1 to 2 coats of Paint to cover them, but don't over do the paint. You want a transparency look to your jars so the candle light will shine through them. The darker colors may not need a second coat of paint, but I found that the light colors will definitely need more than one. On the darker colors you can decide if you want a second. I always apply second coats on both light and dark colors to make sure that they are fully covered.

  Note:  A Great way to make sure that the paint sticks to the glass surface is to add glue to the Acrylic craft paint or purchase paint that is made just for painting glass. I find that adding glue is cheaper than some of the craft paint made for glass and the Acrylic paint comes in more colors.

Adding Stickers to the Painted Jars:
Check to make sure that the paint on the Mason Jars are dry and that the paint sticks to the glass jar.

 Make sure that the stickers you purchase are flexible, not stiff or they will not stick to the jars. The stickers need to bend around the surface of the jars. Some of the scrapbook sticker are to large and stiff to use on the mason jars.

 Peel off each sticker and place it on the jar.

 Remember that once the sticker is placed on the jar you can't remove them or they will pull off the paint from the jars.

If you are doing this project with small children, I would recommend that an Adult paint all the jars first. Then allow the children to put on the stickers. A safe to make sure that the jars don't slip and breaks is to place a towel on the spot where you are working to make a soft clean surface for painting and applying the stickers. 

Here are some other ideas that you can use to make Luminaries. These Faces can either be painted on, vinyl cut outs or stickers.

Here is a picture of the finished project:

The last step is to add either tea light candles or battery powered ones. I use the tea lights that come in their own metal container and light them with a long matches that you use for fireplaces. This way the wax doesn't drip inside the jar. Another way to place a candle would be to buy large candle holders and place them into the jar. I have tried both ways and they work great.

Just make sure to place the jars in a spot where not to many children are walking to keep them from knocking over the Luminaries or catch their costume on fire.

Safety tip:  I find that if the Jars get tipped over they seem to go out, but I would still be careful where I place them in my yard. I place mine on the grass or planters that circles the trees in our front yard away from any walkways.

 Note: All these item can be purchase at Amazon or Micheal's

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