Crafts Using Repurposed Glass – Part One: Preparing the Jars

Jars ready for embellishment

What do you do with your glass jars once you’ve finished the food they contained?  I recently decided to research all the ways to use glass jars, and then tackled the project!

First, I cleaned out my refrigerator.  It had been awhile since I looked at all of the expiration dates on my food, emptied the refrigerator, and gave it a good cleaning.

Clean refrigerator

After I poured out the expired contents, I had quite a collection of jars!

Dirty, empty jars

I took the lids off and stopped up my sink with seriously hot water and dish soap.  One of the luxuries I have is Williams Sonoma Fleur de Sel dish soap – it smells heavenly.  I let it soak for quite some time while I worked at my day job.  I probably let it soak for 30 minutes to an hour.

Hot, soapy water

Most of the jars were completely clean and the label and adhesive came right off.  A few jars still had stubborn adhesive, like this pickle jar.

after water but before paste

After a good deal of research on the internet, it appears that many people effectively use Goo Gone or nail polish remover (both of which I have on hand), but I decided to try the non-toxic approach.  This consists of making a paste of equal parts baking soda and vegetable oil.  The baking soda provides some abrasiveness; the oil holds the soda in its place.

Making paste

Rub the paste on the adhesive or label, and let it sit.

Add Paste and wait

The labels and adhesive came right off.  One jar required a little bit of scrubbing with the rough side of my sponge, but it was no big deal.  Next it was time to spray-paint the lids.  I used the box from my awesome wind chimes for the overspray.  The box was  a little small for the number of jar lids I had, but oh well.  I just had to move them around with a chopstick during the process.


I used some blue that my Hubbie had in the garage, and some silver that I had purchased for an Easter Egg project that did not get done in time.

Spray Paint

I love the way they turned out – do you?

Jars ready for embellishment

Now the jars are ready for embellishment.  I want to etch some of them with vinyl stencils cut on my new Silhouette Cameo.  Here is my Pinterest Board with oodles of ideas.  In a post soon, I plan to show you how to create stencils with a Silhouette and glass etching cream.  But, if you decide to use one of the other ideas I’ve gathered, please share your results!


Leave a Reply