Ideas for Decorating the Outside of Mason Jars

Updated November 21, 2016

The sight of Mason jars on a table or a shelf conjures up images of houses with porch swings and places where doors are never locked. To create a casual, country feel in your home, try incorporating a few Mason jars into the decor. They are inexpensive, durable and versatile enough to fit into most design schemes.


Create a colourful collection of inexpensive vases by wrapping mason jars in recycled wrapping paper, crepe paper, or tissue paper, tying around the top, and filling them with fresh cut flowers. Larger jars can be wrapped in burlap or other sturdy fabric and used as planters for small house plants. Small jam jars covered in doilies are instantly transformed into dishes for candy, candle holders or potpourri containers. A colourful ribbon and a handful of candy transform an ordinary mason jar into a fun party favour that any guest would enjoy. Additionally, you can use soft and pliable soldering wire to create useful handles or artistic swirls. Simply bend one end of a length of wire, forming a large loop handle or a swirl. Hold the shaped wire in the desired position and wrap the other end around the mouth of the jar two to three times to secure it.


Any number of items can be added to the outside of the jar using a hot glue gun. If you are working around a beach theme you can place miniature starfish, seashells and bits of driftwood around the jar. A jar that's being placed in the garden might be covered in glass stones or artificial nuts and leaves. For children's keepsakes, bright stickers can be accentuated with small toys or pictures of their favourite things. A family memento can be easily created by securing photos to the glass with glue. Use a single picture or place two to three pictures side by side to completely cover the jar. Once the photos are in position, cover the surface of the jar with clear contact paper to protect the underlying pictures.


An application of craft paint can transform your empty jars into gorgeous luminaries. Use jewel tones to create a stained glass effect or overlap primary colours (red, blue, and yellow) to generate a mosaic design. Alternatively, tape a design, such as a heart or tree, onto the jar and then paint the entire jar a dark colour. Once the paint is dry, carefully remove the tape. This will leave portions of the jar bare and when a small candle is placed inside, it will shine through the undecorated glass and light up your design. Black paint can be used to create jack-o-lantern faces. For the best results, use the traditional triangle eyes, nose and mouth with a one- or two-toothed crescent grin. Once the paint has dried, fill the jar with orange-coloured candy. Paint the lid green or cover it with green tissue paper, adding a bit of a twist at the top for the finishing touch.

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About the Author

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.