The Merry Mason Jar

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Mason jars – they’re simple, inexpensive, and offer a world of possibilities when it comes to holiday decor! No longer exclusively relegated to canning and pickling, these rustic, old-fashioned containers can also be used to create beautiful decorations that add fabulously festive flair to your abode.

Click here for merry mason jar tips…

Let’s begin with the most involved mason jar project – the DIY snow globe! Whether you grew up in a wintry wonderland, or the closest you’ve gotten to the frosty stuff is a coconut cream popsicle, the beauty of snowfall is uncontested. Recreating your very own icy, majestic scene requires just a few supplies and a spark of imagination. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 clear, glass jar + lid (feel free to use any type of empty jar you find)
  • distilled water
  • plastic or ceramic winter or holiday figurines (synthetic evergreen tips also work)
  • glitter!
  • a dash of glycerin (available at drug stores)
  • clear-drying epoxy glue
  • 1 piece of sandpaper

Now, on to the festive fun! Use the sandpaper to sand the interior of the lid until the surface is rough. Don’t have or can’t find sandpaper? Well, then we’re in the same boat. I can say with 99.9% certainty that I don’t have any sandpaper at my apartment. However, I consider myself to be a modern-day, lady Macgyver, so I’ll probably use a cheap steak knife that can be thrown away afterwards, and use that to rough up the inside of the lid. Next, apply a bit of epoxy to the bottom of the figurine or evergreen, attach it to the interior of the lid, and allow to dry. Fill the jar almost to the top with the distilled water, add a few pinches of glitter, a dash of glycerin (this keeps the glitter from falling too quickly). Once the epoxy has dried and the embellishment is securely attached, screw the lid on tightly, flip the jar over, and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Our next foray into festive jar decor is easy-peasy! Mason jars make wonderful candle holders, and I have two superb suggestions for you to try out. Above (please pardon my non-professional photography) you’ll find one of my mom’s favorite holiday decorations (which she put together for me yesterday just for this blog – thanks, Mom!). It’s ridiculously simple to make, and requires just a few things:

  • a clear jar
  • water
  • fresh cranberries (available at most grocery stores)
  • evergreen sprigs (real or fake)
  • floating candles

Simply place the evergreen sprigs into the bottom of the jar, then top generously with cranberries (adjustable according to how much red perfects your holiday pallette), fill nearly to the brim with water, place the floating candle on top, then light. Viola! You have a classy and chic centerpiece or a darling addition to your decor. Just be sure the evergreens are completely submerged, because house fires are neither fun nor festive!

The second DIY votive involves just a jar, a candle, and some ribbon. Check out the photos at the top for inspiration! Who knew that by simply placing a tea candle into a glass jar, and tying a lovely length of ribbon around the mouth, you’d get such an elegant look? It doesn’t get much easier than that, right?

Last, but certainly not least, I couldn’t resist sharing this delish and adorable, mason jar idea – Cranberry-and-Orange Vodka (in a jar)! While this delightful libation is certainly good enough to give as a gift, I plan on keeping a few jars for myself… just to try it out first. Here are the required ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 piece fresh orange peel (2-by-1-inch)
  • 3 cups vodka

To create this tasty treat, heat the cranberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves, the liquid turns light pink, and the cranberries begin to pop. Next, pour the cranberries and their accompanying liquid into a large glass jar. Then, stir in the fresh orange peel and vodka. Cover your concoction, and let stand at room temperature for at least 3 days (or up to one month if you have the willpower). Strain before serving, then enjoy the holidays and revel in your merry medley of mason jars!


About Natalie

As the owner of three small, fluffy dogs, Natalie has accepted the fact that dog hair being everywhere and on everything is just part of her lifestyle now. She cannot stop decorating (and redecorating) her home, and lives by Robert Venturi's words, "Less is a bore." Fresh flowers, floral print dresses, and a good gin and tonic are just a few of her favorite things.

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  1. Avatar
    ModCloth 12/14/2009 at 5:05 pm #

    I love the snowglobe! I used to make those with my Grandma when I was young. Best DIY EVER!

  2. Avatar
    Julie 12/14/2009 at 6:15 pm #

    oh man, snow globes! genius! how awesome would it be to make a godzilla snowglobe?

  3. Avatar
    ModCloth 12/14/2009 at 6:20 pm #

    What a wonderful idea, Natalie! I’m inspired!

  4. Avatar
    Heidi 12/14/2009 at 7:15 pm #

    Wow- the Cranberry-Vodka was amazing. And I am not usually a vodka lover! These jars are going into my Christmas baskets!

  5. Avatar
    Nicole 12/14/2009 at 8:35 pm #

    how cute! the snow globe is adorable. but i really want to try that orange-cranberry vodka! yummmmm…

  6. Avatar
    Lea 12/15/2009 at 8:47 am #

    These are adorable! Here’s a tip though, if you don’t have sand paper, try an emery board.

  7. Avatar
    Leah 12/15/2009 at 1:50 pm #

    Such great ideas! I always keep glass pickle and jelly jars and never know what to do with them! I plan on making Halloween decorations like this, too!

  8. Avatar
    Natalie 12/15/2009 at 2:45 pm #

    Lea – you’re a better MacGyver than I! Emery board is a much safer idea. 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  9. Avatar
    Annie 12/15/2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Great post, Natalie! I just used a bunch of old mason jars to create mini terrariums!

    I can’t wait to try my hand at making holiday decorations!

  10. Avatar
    cindy 12/16/2009 at 11:01 am #

    So clever and refreshing! Adding modern, homey feeling to nostalgia.

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