Last week my mother dropped off a jar of canned tomatoes…then an upcycling opportunity struck. I’ve been hating the totally outdated sconces in my bathroom and I don’t feel like I need to replace them, just a little DIY decorating is all that’s needed. For starters the “hurricane” glass that’s currently in the light fixure was, I’m sure, the cheapest glass you can buy at the hardware store. But what’s cheaper than a free mason jar!
If you’ve never seen the trick where you use a lighter and nail polish remover to cut glass without a saw, drill, laser, etc. I’ll tell you how it’s done. That is how I was able to cut the glass mason jar into 2 pieces.
- Cut a long, half-inch-thick strip from an old 100 percent cotton t-shirt. Stretch the strip so the cut edges curl in on each other.
- Wrap the strip around the bottom of your mason jar twice, knot it and trim all of the hanging strings so the strip is smooth and neat.
- Put on your rubber gloves to keep your hands free from acetone.
- Remove the strip of T-shirt and thoroughly soak it in acetone.
- Rewrap the strip around the mason in the position where you want to cut the jar. Don’t let the strips separate. Instead, the two layers should be right up against each other or twisted together. You want one clean cut.
- Remove your rubber gloves and put on your safety glasses.
- Fill a sink or tub with cold water. I even added ice. You want it really cold.
- Hold the mason jar over the water and light the T-shirt on fire.
- As the string is burning, slowly turn the jar.
- As soon as the flame goes out, dunk the Mason jar immediately in the cold water. The bottom portion will pop off.
Now that we have 2 pieces of Mason Jar. I’m going to show you how to make 2 cool projects.
Project 1: Faux Sea Glass Jewelry Dish
We are going to repurpose the bottom portion into a jewelry dish or if you have small soap, it could be a soap dish. Whatever your need.
As you can see from the photo, I used real sea glass. So why am I calling it faux sea glass you ask?
Well because I used a technique to make the Mason Jar bottom look like blue sea glass using Elmer’s glue and gel food coloring.
How to make Faux Sea Glass
1. Mix 2 tablespoons of Elmer’s white glue with a dab (size of a BB) of gel food coloring. I used Wilton.
2. Do not add water. It will make it separate.
3. Paint onto your glass.
4. Let it dry.
I found that this technique works great for small projects like this little soap dish. I tried to paint the larger portion of my Mason Jar this way and it was very streaky.
Now, because the edge of this dish is sharp, broken glass, you must hide the edge. This is where I used real sea glass and hot glue to adorn the outer rim of my fake sea glass dish with real sea glass.
Project 2: Mason Jar Sconce Light Fixture
Like I said, my bathroom sconce needed some design attention and a free mason jar seemed like the perfect way to take what I have and make it what I want.
1. Once you have the Mason Jar cut, you just need to add an embellishment the will hide the sharp cut edge. I used sea glass attached with Krazy glue. I couldn’t use my trusty hot glue because I didn’t want the heat from the light fixture to sabotage my project. Not cool.
2. I spent a day trying to paint this like faux sea glass but I was not happy with the outcome. Keep in mind if you do try the sea glass painting technique that it does look much better when it’s fully dried.
3. You could use stained glass spray paint. I have some…but it’s green. It works well, I just didn’t want to turn a free project into a hassle and expense. I’m that frugal.
4. All you need to do is set your mason jar in your sconce and screw in the lightbulb.
Update: I found a tutorial for coloring your Mason Jars with glazing medium and enamel craft paint. I’m excited! Click the link to go to the tutorial. For my blue Mason Jar, I used glazing medium mixed with the blue food coloring gel (instead of enamel paint) I used for the faux sea glass project above. It coats really well, then you set it in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes. I had some extra blue glaze left over so I used it on a glass salsa jar that I repurposed into a matching toothbrush holder for the kids.