Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Creative Organizing on a Dime, pt. 1: Sprucing Up Old Jars

With crafting and art, comes craft stuff.  And craft stuff needs a place to call home.  Even with the saying "A creative mind is seldom tidy," we try to at least keep up the facade when possible.  But, no one wants to spend a ton for expensive craft organizers.  So, this post is the first a few part series on how to creatively organize craft stuff on a budget, or on a dime, so to speak. But no one wants their craft space to look ugly, so here are also a few ways to decorate said cheap-organization tools, that you can fit to your taste and keep in the theme of, well, being crafty. :) ("Duh" note: these adorable creative organizers also work great for organizing things besides crafting supplies.  In case you were wondering. ;) )

Tonight's post: How to spruce up and repurpose old jars.

Made these decorative jars for about $3.50 total.  Clean out and use old jars from the fridge, or thrift them.
I'm sure you can tell from looking at them, that these are simple enough to make.  But in case you wanted a few instructions or tips, read on.  :)

Lace jar
Items needed: 
* White porcelain jar or cup
* Wide piece of lace (height of your jar)
* Mod Podge & sponge brush
* Scissors

First, using a sponge brush, apply a layer of Mod Podge to the outside of the jar.  This serves a the "glue" that holds the lace down.  Press lace firmly around the jar, and cut the lace at the end, allowing for a very slight overlap.  (The eyelets of the lace make the the seams almost blend together.)  Your fingers are going to get a little bit sticky, but that's fine.  Mod Podge is very similar to Elmer's Glue, and washes or rubs right off your fingers.

If your jar or cup has an area that is slightly curved, leave that portion for last.

If your jar curves, cut small slits around the bottom of the lace and then overlap them. Adhere with Mod Podge.

Next, for curved jars, cut small slits--just a few millimeters deep (or as needed)--along the top of the lace.  This allows you to press the top of the lace around the curved portion of the jar with slight overlap.  Again, using lace makes the overlap appear almost seamless.  If the Mod Podge has dried, just add a bit more.  It dries clear.  

Finally, once the lace has dried onto the jar, use your sponge brush to apply a layer of Mod Podge over the top of the lace. This seals it in, and makes the lace appear to be more a part of the jar itself.  


Vinyl Bird Jar

Items needed:
* Old cleaned out jar (mine was an old salsa jar; try jelly, salsa, or pickle jars)
* Transfer Tape (use a piece of lint roller tape, if you're out, and if your image is small enough)
* Silhouette/Cricut Scraper
* Silhouette or Cricut Machine
* (Pick-Me-Up Tool: helps with ease of placing small overlay pieces of vinyl)

This jar was simple, as you can see.  I made mine using my Silhouette, though you could obviously use a design and vinyl cut from your Cricut.

For my jar, I used a bird image I had in my Silhouette Library.  I used Silhouette Studio as a "design" tool, to guesstimate the correct sizing for my image.  I did this by creating a shape of similar width and height in the shape of my jar, and then sizing my bird image to it accordingly. I also decided to use a different color vinyl for the inside portion of the flower, and thus "ungrouped" the image, colored the inside to see what color vinyl I thought would look best (I chose yellow), and then regrouped the image for placement.

My bird image was flipped the wrong way from what I envisioned, so I just used the replicate window and hit "mirror-left."  I cut out the bird and the center of the flower in white vinyl, then cut the flower itself out in yellow.  I used my "Pick-Me-Up Tool" to help place the yellow flower and white center portion of the flower in their appropriate places on the vinyl backing of the bird. This tool help with moving small things, due to the tacky, almost eraser-like substance at the end of it. 

Once all vinyl pieces are in place, put your transfer tape on top and use your scraper to secure it to the tape.  It will peel off the vinyl backing.  Then place the image where you want it on the jar, press down firmly (use your scraper, if you can) and remove the tape.  Viola: you just decorated and repurposed an old jar. 

Jute and Ribbon Jar

Items Needed:
* Old jar (this was  a pizza sauce jar, I believe; really great way to repurpose jars you already bought!)
* Jute (can get this really cheap at Home Depot if it's expensive at your craft store; about $2 for 190' of the stuff.)
* Ribbon
* Hot Glue Gun
* Your favorite show on Netflix (just kidding)

Again, this was just a jar from some food that I'd finished in the fridge--paper lable removed, and jar washed.  This is SUCH a great and easy way to store craft items.  I have an entire shelf filled with decorated jars holding everything from flowers, to my sponge brushes, to makers and pens, to the one I keep right by my Silhouette with all my most used tools (hook, spatula, exacto-knife, fine tipped marker, etc.)  Why throw out jars just to go out and buy new ones, when you already likely have a fridge full of them? Simple recycling.  

So, all you do for this jar is to use your hot glue gun to apply the jute around the jar.  Start from the bottom or the top, and slowly make your way around.  Apply the glue slowly, a few inches of diameter at a time, then follow around with the jute, pressing it in place. 

Put on your favorite show on Hulu or Netflix as you wrap, and your jar will be done before you know it.  (Okay.  Yes, yes, I am a Dr. Who fan.  Bowties are cool!)

For this jar, I wrapped it about 3/4ths of the way up, then glued a ribbon around the top portion of the jute for a finishing touch.  Try this jute remake of old dollar store vases, just using thicker rope or jute. Great decorative pieces.

And there you go.  Organizing on a dime, old-jar style.  Because I had the Mod Podge, Vinyl, and jars on hand, this project cost me about a total of $3.50 for the lot of them.  You know you'd spend more for that for three glass jars at any store. And...these match my room. ;)

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