DIY "Upcycle" ~ how to prepare your everyday jars for crafting.

Posted by Casey // dreams and bones. on Thursday, November 10, 2011. Filed under: , , , ,

Happy Thursday everybody!

I am really excited to share this little tutorial with you. Mostly because if you do this upcycle, you'll save yourself tons of time scouring thrift shops for overpriced old jars. Don't get me wrong, there's an unmatchable charm to those old thrifted jars. But when you have perfectly good ones sitting in your refrigerator or recycling bin waiting to be used, there's no reason not to make the best of them!

Here's a little bit of background: not only do I hope to use mason jars for our centerpieces, but I want each and every guest at our wedding to have one to enjoy their beverages. I just love the aesthetic of it, and it really suits our laid-back barn theme!

It didn't take me long to realize that we were using a lot of jars every week: for salsa, pasta sauce, jam.. even pickles! With decent thrifted jars often priced between $1-6 a piece, and our really small wedding budget, I knew I had to get creative. So I started soaking and peeling labels off of each and every jar when we were finished with it. As a chips and salsa fiend, they have certainly added up quickly. Along with using these jars came an irritating consequence: I couldn't always get the adhesive off of them! Then I figured it out. A simple method our grade school science teachers have always taught us: enter a little oil (to lift the adhesive), add some hot, hot soapy water, and scrub.

Ready to see what happens?

 Here's what you'll need:
1. Two bowls
2. Oil (I chose vegetable oil)
3. Dish soap and hot water
4. Something rough to scrub with (I used Scotch Bright Scrubbers)
5. Jars stuck with adhesive!

Step 1: Fill the first bowl with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup oil. Fill the second bowl almost full with hot, hot water and sudsy dishsoap. It will help to soak your jars in hot water first, or run them under a very hot water faucet. This will loosen the adhesive to begin.

Step 2: Dip your scrubber in the oil  (If this DIY isn't the easiest ever.. I don't know what is!)

Step 3: Scrub every bit of the adhesive as hard as you can with the scrubber.

Step 4: Once your adhesive is completely covered in oil and you've scrubbed as much as you can, place it in the bowl of hot soapy water. Now rinse your scrubber out, and scrub as hard as you can- again! Make sure you are running your fingers over the areas you're scrubbing to see if the adhesive is off.

When you're done, rinse each of them under the faucet with very hot water, and place them in the dishwasher. (Or, if you don't have one.. wash by hand.. I'm sorry!)

The result will be several jars without any adhesive on them. And you'll be one happy crafter, ready to make a jar-lamp, a snowglobe, or a mantle piece. Aren't you excited to see what you can do with your new, clean, upcycled jar? The DIY you will see next week is going to feature a couple of fun projects with jars.

What's your idea of a fun jar craft project? Or-  what's another easy upcycle you like to do? Leave me a comment here to share your ideas! Also-  be sure to check back in a couple of hours when I reveal a very useful tutorial - "how to pay off your debt"!

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