The Wonderful Jar January 4, 2013 – Posted in: Family, Tutorials

Happy New Year!

I know blog land is overrun by resolutions, goals, and all things “fresh start” so I thought I’d throw in my little spin on an awesome New Year project.

I introduce to you The Wonderful Jar. I have a pretty bad habit of focusing on the negative things in life instead of the positive. Don’t we all? Well I don’t want my girls to grow up with that being what we dwell on. I read about this idea online somewhere in the past few days and thought it was such an amazing idea that I had to put it into action immediately.

Sew Like My Mom | The Wonderful Jar

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 9.32.31 AM

The Wonderful Jar is going to stay on the buffet in our dining room this whole year. Every time something wonderful happens to any of us, whether it’s monumental or a little thing that makes us smile, we’re going to write it on one of the pieces of paper and drop it into the jar. Over the course of the year we’ll be able to visually see all the amazing and wonderful things happening to our family and on December 31st this year, we’ll sit down together, dump out the jar, and focus on all the wonderful things that happened to us this year instead of grumbling about the negative. The girls are still really little and though I think Sofie will catch on quickly, I want this to be something we do year after year that they look forward to with anticipation and that it will help them to focus on the positive in their lives daily instead of being upset about the downfalls. I thought The Hubs might be a little hesitant, but he was pretty excited about the idea!

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 9.32.12 AM

My Wonderful Jar took only 30 minutes to make and used items I already had at home!

The materials I used are:
-a jar
-etching cream
-painters tape (masking tape works, too)
-a brush
-a ruler
-dry erase marker
-rubber gloves (not pictured)

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 9.57.49 PM

First I measured in 2.5″ from the bottom of the jar and made several marks with the dry erase marker. It comes off with the tape, actually, but also rubs off with your finger, so it’s perfect for marking on glass surfaces. I placed a piece of tape along my marks.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 9.58.32 PM

Then I repeated from the top, marking off the middle section of my jar. Taking pictures of a clear jar is pretty darn difficult, so please excuse my blurry pictures for this part! You get the idea!

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 9.58.57 PM

Using the stickers, I spelled out WONDERFUL across the middle of the empty section. I didn’t measure, I just eyeballed it on there. I have a ton of letter stickers and I usually pick them up when I see them on clearance at craft stores so I have them on hand for times like these. Make sure you press your stickers on firmly and entirely. Anywhere they’re not securely stuck to the jar will allow etching cream to seem under them and leave less-that-stellar lines.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 9.59.13 PM

Once all my letters were on, I drew a line vertically between the pieces of tape and added a vertical line of tape to square off the area around my word. Again, press the tape on well!

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 9.59.31 PM

Now comes the fun part! The bottle of etching cream will tell you to wear gloves and I have to encourage you to follow that rule. I usually use yellow dishwashing gloves, but mine were tossed a few weeks ago so I got out my latex gloves I keep on hand for cutting up peppers.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 9.59.47 PM

I like to put the item to be etched in the bottom of the sink and pour a little etching cream on it.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 9.59.58 PM

Then I take my brush and smooth it out. You want a thick layer, not too thick, though, because that can cause it to run outside your taped area.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 10.00.17 PM

Make sure you get it all the way to the edges of the tape and that your layers is a consistent thickness.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 10.00.28 PM

The instructions say to let it sit for 5 minutes. I usually wait about 6 just to make sure it gets good and etched. Then hit it with water and with your gloved hand, rinse the etching cream off.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 10.00.36 PM

I like to give it a once over to make sure the full area was etched before I wipe off the stickers and tape. You can tell it etched because the area will be opaque and there will be a noticeable difference between it and the rest of the jar.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 10.00.58 PM

Then simply wipe away the letters and tape and throw them away and you’re done! This little project took me 30 minutes start to finish. While the jar etched I roughly cut up some pretty scrapbook paper I had on hand to put in the jar, but any paper will work.

**Etching cream is pretty expensive so I buy it at Michael’s with a coupon to cut down on the cost. But a little goes a very long way and with some inexpensive jars (thrift stores are excellent places to source these, also Walmart has very cheap ones as well as dollar stores) and with just a few minutes you can create some amazing personalized gifts that are truly one of a kind. I like to etch vases with initials or words like “love” and “bloom” then fill the vase with a pretty bouquet and give it as a gift. You can also etch the bottom of casserole dishes with a family’s last name, personalize craft jars, etch glass in pictures frames, the ideas just go on and on.