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How to add a colour tint to Mason jars

Mason was a young inventor who came up with the concept of a metal screw-on lid in 1858.  The threaded neck on glass jars that we take for granted today was once a major innovation.  Mason's developments made preserving food at home much easier and made the jars reusable.  Despite the fact that Mason sold five of his glass canning jar patents in 1859, his name had staying power.  The mason jar is the common name for glass home canning jars to this day.


Craftberrybush show us how to tint mason jars in blue - or other - tints to have on display in your home.

You will need:

Clean jar
Mode Podge or wood glue
Food colouring

Here's how:

Start with a clean jar...I experimented with several ratios of glue, food colouring and water and believe the magic ratio to be: 1 tsp of glue : 3 drops of food colouring : 1.5 tsp of water. But you might want to try different ratios and see what you results you prefer. Obviously the more food colouring the darker the jar will be. In order to make a turquoise shade you will need two drops of blue and 1 drop of green.

In a small bowl, place the glue, food colouring and water. Mix together with a brush. This amount is sufficient to cover three jars if you are using the brushing method (yes, there is another method)

Using even strokes, brush onto jar from top to bottom and being careful not to go over it too much or the glue will start to clump together (this part is a little frustrating until you get the hang of it). The streaks you see when the mixture is wet will be almost invisible if done correctly.

This is where patience comes in. The bottle dries in minutes but during my experiment, I placed it in the microwave for 30 seconds on low to expedite the drying time. I added an extra coat to the neck of the jar and at the bottom of the jar. If you look at a real vintage jar, the accumulation of colour seems to be at these two spots.

Turn the jar upside down and allow the residual mixture to drip onto the lid or paper towel.  Once it stops dripping, remove the lid and allow to dry.  The results with this method is a little cleaner but it will take several hours to dry and some of the jars had drip marks.

It might take a little practice to get it just right, but here is some more good news: you can wash it off and start over. Which brings me to the bad news: you can wash it off and start over! These jars - although pretty to look at - are not practical for every day use as the paint will peel off.

Good news: IF you decide to follow the brush method and paint the jars from the outside, there is nothing stopping you from using these jars as vases so long as the water is poured carefully inside or you can always use dried flowers or paper flowers and avoid the risk.

You can also tint your Mason jars in other colours, also with food colouring. Diane at shows you how she created these colourful jars using food colouring and white glue.


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