When I decided to paint mason jars for Christmas decor, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. But the result is so cute, I am over the moon! Not only do they pay homage to the three cuties of Christmas, but they’re so whimsical and all homemade, what’s not to love.
It all started with this brilliant idea I had to decorate my mantle this year in a “busy” handmade farmhouse Christmas scene. Planning a whole mantle of handmade Christmas decorations is kind of daunting, but I’m breaking it down and making each piece so I don’t feel like I’m being overwhelmed with ideas. First, on my list was this adorable set of Christmas mason jars. I didn’t want to keep it to myself, so I created this tutorial on how to paint mason jars for Christmas.
They’re super quick to come together–about 30 minutes total, and they’re really a great piece because they don’t take up too much room, but they do fill in and provide a place to tuck other things, even gifts!
Can you imagine giving this set of holiday mason jars to someone as a gift? Or placing some homemade cookies inside and bringing that to your cookie exchange party? You’d be the hero of Christmas, that’s for sure. I liked these painted mason jars for Christmas so much, I’m thinking about making a few more, not even for the mantle, but just to have around the house.
Let’s get some paint and make your easy Christmas painted mason jars.
Supplies to paint mason jars for Christmas
- Mason Jars
- Tempera Paint or Acrylic Paint
- Paint Brushes
- Antler Template
- Brown Felt (Rudolph’s antlers)
- Modge Podge
To get started, you’re going to need three clean mason jars (or ball jars or kerr jars). I preferred ones that had an almost blank side. But I have seen some painted mason jars where they used the sides with the words and it looked very nice–I just didn’t want that for this particular craft.
You’ll also want some acrylic paint or tempera paint. Tempera paint is a little thinner and will seem like it’s not sticking, but you can do a second coat (or even a third), after the first has dried. Acrylic paint is a little more expensive but does it with fewer coats. I preferred Tempera paint for this project. You could also use puffy paints, but that’s going to make your jars look textured, so just be aware of that. You have to just choose for yourself.
I used red, black, white, red and metallic gold paints.
Obviously, you’re going to need a paintbrush. I got a fine brush from the kid’s playroom.
Then you’ll need a very small amount of brown craft felt, to make Rudolph’s antlers. To attach Rudolph’s antlers, you’ll want a hot glue gun. And, finally, I recommend a pencil to generally sketch everything.
If you want to, you can seal the mason jars, when you’re done painting them, with some modge podge or hairspray. I didn’t feel the need for this, because I’m going to use these as decoration on my mantle, not for anything high-traffic.
Now, once you’ve got all that ready, let’s get to actually making your Christmas mason jar craft.
How to paint mason jars for Christmas
First, make sure your mason jars are really clean. You can wipe them down with alcohol, or just a paper towel. The paint is going to stick to whatever is there, so if you do have some kind of label or sticky glue leftover from a label, the paint will stick, but it’s going to show that texture too, so just clean it off.
Once you’re sure your jars are clean, sketch on the glass with the pencil (yes, it really works! I was surprised, too!) where you want each element for each idea. I did:
- Belt and buckle for Santa Clause
- Three “buttons” for Frosty the Snowman
- One big nose and two closed eyes for Rudolph
When that’s sketched, it’s time to actually paint the mason jars for Christmas. You’ll want to paint in sections so that you don’t get paint all over your hands as you work. So think about that as you go.
For Santa, paint the belly on the top and bottom of the belt with red paint. Let dry for a few minutes.
Next for Santa, paint the belt sections black, and paint the belt buckle gold.
For Frosty the Snowman, paint the belly and body white, then paint the buttons black.
For Rudolph, paint the body brown and then paint the nose red.
Once the brown paint has dried, resketch your two eyes with a pencil. They don’t have to be perfect but they give your paintbrush something to follow.
Then paint Rudolph’s eyes with black paint.
Now that you have painted them all let them dry fully. With tempera paint I suggest a good 5 minutes but if you can wait for 15 – 30 minutes that would be best. Note while it will be dry to handle it will take a couple of days to “cure”. The main thing is don’t scratch the paint and you will be fine. If you do it’s ok just touch it up. Next, it’s decorating time in this how to paint mason jars for Christmas.
While those are all drying, make Rudolph’s antlers by cutting out the antler shape from the template and tracing that shape onto the felt with your pencil.
Cut out the felt antler shapes, then hot glue them to the inside of the lip of the Rudolph mason jar.
Once the glue is dried, if you want to seal the paint, you can use modge podge or hairspray. Either will work although modge podge has a food-safe formula available, while hairspray is not, so if you plan to have these jars in contact with any food, you might consider using the modge podge food-safe formula. Screw-on the lid rings for the mason Jars to finish out the look.
Fill the jar with paper and candies or Christmas bath salts for a fun holiday gift! Imagine placing these in your bathroom filled with soaps for guests, extra toothbrushes and tissues. If you are having these on your mantle or just out for decor like me you can stuff them with craft paper or even cut paper bags to complete your Christmas decor. So cute!
The end result of this how-to paint mason jars for Christmas came out better than I had hoped. The best part is that you can get the kids into making this with you. They can paint–it’s super fun. And if you don’t mind dealing with a little mess (and a little messy kid), it’s really educational for them, too, because they get to learn how to paint!
Plus, if they can have a part in making this easy Christmas gift idea, they’re going to be doubly excited to give it to someone. Let them make these adorable Christmas painted mason jars for teacher gifts and fill them with the teacher’s favorite candies. You’ll make your kid’s day–and the teacher’s.
So, get your mason jars and get to making! Or, if you’re just not ready yet, be sure to pin this to your favorite Christmas crafts board on Pinterest, so you can find it fast.
- Paint Brushes
- Make sure your 3 Mason Jars are clean.
- Sketch on the glass with a pencil. (Belt and buckle for Santa Clause, Three “buttons” for Frosty the Snowman, One big nose and two closed eyes for Rudolph)
- Santa, paint the belly on the top and bottom of the belt with red paint.
- Let set for couple minutes
- Santa, paint the belt sections black, and paint the belt buckle gold.
- Frosty the Snowman, paint the belly and body white, then paint the buttons black.
- Rudolph, paint the body brown and then paint the nose red.
- Let set for couple minutes
- Resketch your two eyes with a pencil on brown. Then paint black.
- Let them dry fully for about 15 minutes.
- While paint is drying make, Rudolph’s antlers. Cut out the antler shape from the template and tracing that shape onto the felt with your pencil, then Cut the antler out of the felt.
- Hot Glue the Antlers on the inside of Rudolph jar.
- Now that they are dry you will want to seal them with Modge Podge or Hair Spray.
- Put the lid rings on and enjoy your cute Christmas Mason jars!
If planning to put food in jars may want to consider using food-safe Modge podge.
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