I imagine that wedding vendors hate two types of brides: the bridezilla and the un-opinionated. Some girls spend their entire lives thinking of what types of flowers they’ll walk down the aisle holding.
Even once you know what flowers you want, you have to pick how you want to present the centerpieces and flowers on the aisle. After a lot of searching on The Knot for ideas, I came across pictures of vintage blue mason jars. Finding the actual old mason jars that are naturally blue is fairly difficult unless you really commit your time to yard sales and eBay, so I decided to make my own. Plus it’s a great way to recycle and have a “green” wedding. (Yes, I’ve been in Berkeley too long.)
The idea is simple: color mod podge (a craft glue that dries clear) with food coloring and paint it on your jars. That’s pretty much it! There are a ton of tutorials out there on how to do this, but I want to add what tips I have for you to the internet conversation that I hope can help you recreate this look.
- Mason jars of various sizes
- Mod podge, gloss-lustre
- Food coloring
- Wide paint brush
How-to: Line baking sheets with foil and preheat your oven to its lowest temperature. In a disposable cup or extra jar, mix mod podge 1:1 with water. This thins out the mod podge, making it easier to paint and the color less “streaky” later on. Add food coloring to the diluted mod podge. The number of drops will really depending on the depth-of-color that you’re looking for (and how much mod podge you’re adding it to). See my tips below on how much color to add. Next, place the mason jars upside-down on the foil-lined baking sheet. Use a wide paint brush to paint the mod podge mixture on the outside of the jar in an even coat. Once you’ve painted all the jars on the baking sheet, place the jars in the oven and cure until the mod podge is dried (or no longer opaque), ~30-45 minutes.
- Why paint the outside? Most tutorials out there tell you paint the inside of the jars. This creates a MAJOR problem. As soon as you add water, the mod-podge re-hydrates. This creates a terrible milky effect on the jar. If you want to use these jars as vases, you have to paint the outside of the jar. However, if you’re doing something like tealight candles or using beads or sand to hold flowers, you can paint the inside.
- How much food dye? The darker you make the mod podge, the easier it is to see streaks in the paint. This disrupts the illusion. So do a test-jar to see if you like the color before you commit to doing a large sample size.
- How many jars do you need? We did 10 jars in the aisle and 2 large jars per table centerpiece. In addition, we used 3 smaller jars per table to hold flameless tealight candles.
- What mason jar size and type? It’s important to create texture in your center pieces, so you want to vary the sizes and types of jars you use. To easily get a variety of jars, start saving all your food jars! Tomato sauce, olives, jams, etc. Ask your coworkers and friends for their leftover jars too. Not only is this a cool way to recycle, but you get your jars essentially for free!
- Once the wedding is over, you can remove the blue layer pretty easily if you want to reuse the jars for canning. Just soak the jar in warm water. This will re-hydrate the mod podge, and you’ll be able to peel it right off. Just make sure to run the jars through a dishwasher or give them a good wash by hand to remove any residual chemicals from the glue.
You can also add little elastic lace, ribbon, or straw fibers around the jars to give them an extra touch. I’ll have a second post on the rustic arrangement of the centerpieces, done by Mayumi. (She’s the best, isn’t she!!)