social spark Aisling Beatha: Pretty Jars


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Friday, February 10, 2012

Pretty Jars

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Hands up any of my American readers who know what Marmite is.

OK, this is Marmite, a yeast spread which is made in the UK.  You may have heard of the Australian vegemite, trust me it's not the same, eugh! 

We eat a fair amount of the stuff in our house which means I sometimes have Marmite jars lying around.  I love the shape of them and wanted to use them as pretty storage jars.

First you need to get a finished Marmite jar and clean off the labels.  Lots of soaking, lots of scrubbing, more soaking, more scrubbing, and eventually you will remove all the sticky stuff.  And then you will see the glass is not as dark as it appears when there is Marmite IN the jar.

Today I was working with the larger jar, that holds a whole pound of Marmite, you can see the size compared to a previous jar I worked on.

You need to grab some papers that have designs you can cut out.  We're going to cut neatly this time, not just tear it up like we did with the chocolate boxes.  That small jar there is from a previous Papermania set, but today I chose to work with the Papermania Capsule collection.

First I roughly cut around the shapes I wanted to use with a craft knife.  I chose the same paper in three different colours, and wanted to be sure that I chose different shapes from within the page for each piece I cut out.  So, I laid the ones I had already cut out on top of the final sheet, in their correct places so that I could more easily see which shapes were left.

Next you need to trim your shapes a bit closer, either with scissors or a fine craft knife, I need new blades for my craft knife so used scissors.

Next you'll need some pva glue, which you will thin down with water.  My American readers can use Modge Podge, but for me watered down pva is cheaper.  The amount of water you use depends on two things, how thick your pva is to start with and how thick your paper is.  The thicker your glue, the more water, and the thicker your paper, the more water.  You might expect that last one to be the other way around, but you need the paper to flex around the curves of the jar, and it will do that more easily, the wetter it is.  So play it by ear and see how you get on.

Because I was working with a thicker, good quality scrapbooking paper, I also scrunched each piece up in my hand.  Be careful if you are doing this that you don't rip the paper.  Especially careful when unfolding it.

Play around with your pieces and work out a positioning that you are happy with, then begin to glue.

You'll need glue all over the back of each piece, and once you have positioned it, you'll need more glue over the top, using the brush to press the paper down onto the glass.  You can also use your fingers to press it down, but keep cleaning them, as once the glue on your fingers starts to dry and get tacky it can bring up layers of any paper you try to press down.

Where the paper goes around curves of the jar, you may need to make tiny folds in the pieces of paper, like pleats in a piece of fabric.  Work carefully and you should soon have your jar covered.

I also applied some butterflies, over the top of the flowers.  These were very useful for covering up other small spots where I had accidentally pulled up the surface of the paper underneath.

If I were to do another one, I would definitely NOT use the thicker paper again.  I would go back to the thinner paper I used on the smaller one.  You can see there are places where the paper is not in contact with the glass, even after all that gluing and pressing.

Because of those things I don't think it is good enough to use as a gift but I will be happy to keep it around here.  So, what to use it for?

I could keep my brushes in it

but they already have a home.

I could keep my pens in it

but they too already have a home and anyway there's far too many of them to fit in this jar.

The smaller one that I made before has some tiny slips of paper in it.  Each one has a creativity prompt on it.

Any suggestions?  PLEASE!

If you don't have a suggestion for how to use this then please stay a while and have a look at my other posts.  You can access all my creativity posts in one place.  Or find recipes and other categories by following the links at the top of the page.


  1. What a fun simple project! love that it is reusing an old jar. I am having a Feature Friday Linky Party and would love for you to link up!

  2. I love this! I think the jars led themselves to the beautiful coloured papers and the feminine designs. Great idea! Wonderful gift idea! Sadly we don't eat marmite:)

  3. Very nice, love it! Thanks so much for sharing this (as well as your other projects) on Craft Schooling Sunday, great to have you!

  4. lovely decoupage work !!! visiting via COM

  5. this is beautiful. and a suggestion on how to use it: for candy :)

  6. Very clever and pretty...I like!

  7. So pretty! I love butterflies! Thanks for linking up!

  8. How pretty! I need to make one of those to put my paint brushes in. And I have never heard of marmite- interesting stuff!

  9. This is so pretty :) you did a fantastic job on it.

    Love for you to share it at my linky party here if you haven't already :)

  10. I have heard of Marmite, just have never seen or eaten it! =)

    I use peanut butter jars (cleaned of course, although now I also have to decorate them!) to hold some crafting supplies. One holds nothing but buttons in different sizes and colors, another holds seed beads, etc. Perhaps this would be a good way to use the jar - other crafting supplies?

  11. Such a cute idea!

  12. Thanks for linking up to Serenity Saturday
    Hope to can join us again tomorrow



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