10 January 2013

2013 Memento Jar

I was inspired by Gemsmaquillage's "Jar of Happiness" post and decided I would make a memento jar of my own this year. Maybe it's a little corny, but I think it's a cute idea! Right now, I have a small cork board where I pin little tokens and bits and souvenirs that I want to keep, but I like the idea of keeping those things contained in a sort of "short-term time capsule". I think it will be fun to open at the end of the year and remember how awesome 2013 was, because it's going to be! :)

So here's how I made mine.

Step 1 - Find a suitable jar

I wanted a container that was a little bit bigger than the largest mason jar I had lying around, so I went to Ikea and chose a 74 oz "Burken" glass jar ($4.99). Hopefully it's big enough to hold all the many, many little bits of memories I will be gathering from all my adventures this year! :)

Step 2 - Choose a font and create a stencil

I picked a nice font from my collection and typed out 2013 in a few different sizes in Photoshop. I printed the file out onto a sheet of cardstock, held it up to the jar to decide on a good stencil size, and carefully cut the numbers out using an X-Acto knife on a self-healing mat. (Don't forget to set aside the center of the "0"!)

I ripped a few strips of painter's tape and stuck them to the self-healing mat, overlapping each strip a little bit to make a small "sheet". I used the stencil I'd just made and traced the numbers onto the painter's tape "sheet" using a fine tip Sharpie pen, then cut the numbers out of the tape again with an X-Acto knife.

Step 3 - Prep your jar for painting and apply your stencil

I chose Martha Stewart Crafts™ Multi-Surface Glitter Acrylic Paint, which recommends that you clean your glass surface with rubbing alcohol prior to painting.

So here's where things got a bit tricky. The painter's tape stencil wasn't sticky enough and kept peeling away from the jar in really inconvenient places (read: like everywhere). I don't know if I didn't allow the jar to dry long enough after wiping it with alcohol, or if I just "manhandled" the stencil too much when applying, peeling, and re-applying it about 928354698236459 times because I am an insufferable perfectionist and therefore reduced some of the tape's stickiness, or if the painter's tape simply just isn't the right tool for this job. I think that next time, I'll try contact paper or sticker paper for the stencil instead, especially since you can print directly onto sticker paper. The only thing I would want to test first is how easily and cleanly would the sticker paper peel away from the glass? Alternately, I could just tape a printout to the inside of the jar and "trace" the numbers in paint, but freehand lines wouldn't end up as sharp as a good stencil would.

Step 4 - Paint!

This is the fun part. The paint color I chose is called "Antique Silver", which is a nice, warm, goldy-silver. It's really pretty. I'm so glad I found this paint because I had initially planned on using etching cream (to give the glue and glitter something to cling to) and regular old Elmer's glue and glitter, but due to the issues I had with the painter's tape's lack of stickiness, I'm really glad I didn't go with the etching cream. If the etching cream had seeped under the stencil like the glitter glue did, that business would've been etched for good. At least you can scrape away glitter glue!

I let the first coat dry for a half an hour or so, applied a second coat, then let the whole shebang dry for a few more hours while I ran out to do some errands.

Step 5 - Clean up and touch up

Clean up, indeed. I used the my trusty X-Acto knife and scraped away all the glitter that had seeped underneath the boundaries of my stencil.

It was quite a bit.

I pretty much gave up on the stencil at this point. Eyeballing my printed sheet as a guide and using a very tiny paintbrush, I touched up the numbers by painting freehand over the glitter I'd already applied. Don't be afraid to lay the glitter paint on thick - it dries down pretty flat.

Step 6 - Let dry completely, then fill with happy things!

I let the paint dry overnight, then cleared a space on a shelf for it.

I'm ready to fill my jar with little tokens from all the fun things that will be happening this year! I'm really looking forward to stuffing it to the top, and then pulling everything out just before January 1, 2014 and looking back all the fun I had in 2013 :)

1 comment:

  1. So good. I'm still thinking about this! I love your tutorial too. I hope we'll see a post at the end of the year showing off everything you've collected in your 2013 jar!

    ...I'm afraid I'll have TOO MANY mementos for this year but maybe 2014! :)