When did it happen? When did canning jars become all the rage?
They are, you know.
And haven’t they been around for, like, ever? At least as long as I can remember, I know that. (And that’s a pretty long time!)
Now they’re used for crafts, home decor, wedding decor, and parties. Not to mention Mason jar graphics.
I see Mason Jar clip art for nearly every occasion, I think.
There are entire sites dedicated to jars now, like the one my friend Angie has, Crafts with Jars. So many cute ideas!
Since I stuck some peonies in one the other day, I figured it was high time I showed you how to paint a canning jar.
Or Mason jar.
Or Ball jar.
No matter what you call it, this is a super easy way to paint one.
Before we start painting, I want to show you how to make and transfer a pattern.
I kind of hate to admit this but . . . oh well, here it is. It took me years to start doing this – make a pattern for symmetrical shapes. You know, vases, urns, and the like. I didn’t make patterns. I’d just try to eyeball them, sit there and paint them and then get upset when they weren’t perfectly symmetrical.
Somewhere along the line, I got smart and started making patterns then transferred them to the wall for murals or canvas for wall hangings. It seems like it takes more time but, believe me, it’ll save you loads of time in the end.
Not to mention, you’ll have a fairly symmetrical shape to paint.
How To Make and Transfer a Symmetrical Pattern
I started by tracing the outline of one-half of a canning jar I had painted for my BBQ Picnic Printables last summer. Just one side.
I’ve included patterns in this post for you to use and you could just transfer the entire pattern, but if you’re making your own pattern you can use this method, especially if you’re drawing something freehand.
I used tracing paper but regular copy paper will work just as well.
When you’ve outlined one side, fold the tracing paper in half.
I traced with pencil and then went over it with a permanent marker.
Seems so easy and obvious, doesn’t it? As in, why did it take me so many years to figure this out? Yeah. I know.
Simple things are tough for me. Always have been, always will. Give me something complicated or complex and I’m fine. But something so obvious that a child could do it? I’m stumped.
Moving on . . .
You don’t have to make your own pattern though (unless you want to practice your freehand drawing!). You can download the pattern here.
Or, if you’d like the jar with the Ball logo you can download that pattern here.
I’ll show you how to paint both, with and without the logo, so I transferred the pattern that had the logo. Again, place a piece of graphite paper between the pattern and some watercolor paper then go over the outline and logo with a stylus.
If you don’t happen to have graphite paper handy, you can also turn the pattern over, scribble a pencil over the design and flip it back over, then trace. The pencil leading will work to create the transfer.
If you sew, pattern transfer paper works too. Just be careful about the colors you use as some don’t come off easily.
You’ll notice I didn’t transfer the ridges on the mouth of the jar. This was because graphite paper often leaves dark marks, even after erasing, and I didn’t want any dark lines there, just paint.
I also didn’t go over the logo with the marker at this point.
Now we’re ready to paint!
How To Paint a Canning Jar
You saw from the photo at the top that I painted the jar in blue. It can be any color, of course, even clear which would entail painting it in shades of grey.
Not as much fun and also a wee bit harder. We’ll paint some clear glass one of these days.
Another note – if you want something to be inside of the jar like flowers or a straw, hearts or whatever, you’ll need to transfer and paint those first. That is, if you want it to look like they are inside of the jar, meaning the blue would be over the top of whatever is inside. Look at the peonies I just did and you’ll see what I mean.
It’s so much easier – and better – to add more light layers than it is fewer heavier coats. Especially if you’re painting a glass object.
Of course, if you want an opaque look, then go right ahead and paint the jar out any color you want! (But at least try this. Just for funsies.)
You can see how pale the first layer is. If you get some striations – stripes of paint – don’t worry too much about it. You can always smooth it them out with a clean damp brush. But a little variation in color tint provides visual interest too.
For the second layer you want to create some ridges at the mouth of the jar, go a little deeper right at the neck under those ridges, as well as along both sides. Then add a little more paint at the very bottom of the jar, as well as a little half circle to create the bottom of the inside.
What we’re doing is adding deeper color where the glass appears thicker – on the sides and bottom.
You want this ‘line’ to be just a suggestion so once you’ve painted it, go over it again with a clean, slightly damp brush to mottle the line a bit and remove any obvious edges.
That’s all there is to painting the jar. Well, unless you want a lid. Huh. I didn’t even think about a lid. Sorry ’bout that.
Now, if you want to add the logo, let’s keep going. It’s not hard, but it does require some patience.
I thought about doing a full-out shaded tutorial . . .
So we’ll just outline the logo with diluted blue paint.
I will say that if you have some floating medium, that’ll help a lot because you might need to ‘erase’ some paint here and there and the medium gives you more time than just water.
You can do it with water too, just work in small sections and have a clean, damp brush handy for any mistakes.
After looking at it for a bit, I decided to add some permanent marker to the mouth, the sides and the inside bottom. It’s totally optional whether or not to add the marker.
I used a Micron .08, which is a very thin marker.
Because I’m a fan of detailing with markers, I like this look, but you could certainly paint the jar without any marker at all for a softer, less defined look.
Now you’re all set to paint your own canning jar! If you have a party coming up, go ahead and paint your own graphics – and if you add something to the jar, I’d love to see what you come up with!