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Mason Jar Luminaria

The best way to reuse a mason jar in the fall is to wash it out and use it to preserve some of your garden's harvest, but occassionally, you'll find a jar with cracked or chipped edges.

Before you toss the jar in the recycling bin, consider other reuse projects such as this one that I recently saw on a craft project website. It was part of an expansive list on canning jar reuse projects. While following the project instructions, I made some changes, incorporating more found and reused materials. Here is my take on the project.

Materials Needed:

  • Glass jar, quart canning jars work great
  • Tissue paper
  • Paint brush
  • Mod Podge or other decoupage medium
  • Water
  • Ribbon
  • Buttons
  • Decorative paper or fabric scraps
  • Plastic mesh bag, like those used for bulk produce
  • Small pillar or tea light candle


1. Cut or tear paper into roughly 2 inch squares.

2. Apply a coat of Mod Podge or decoupage medium to the jar.

3. Apply paper squares to the jar, making sure that square overlap between ¼ and ½ inches.

4. Once the jar is completely covered with paper, apply a light coat of water using the paint brush, to the paper squares. This will create a bit of wrinkly texture to the paper as well as encouraging the paper to mold more closely to the jar. Let dry.

5. Cut a 3 ½ inch strip of the mesh bag. Using the Mod Podge, apply the mesh strip to the jar. Cover the entire jar exterior with a layer or two of Mod Podge.

6. Apply the decorative elements like ribbon, buttons or paper and apply another coat of Mod Podge to seal. I used more of the mesh bag to use as a bow around the top and a few mylar stars.

Safety Warning! If using flammable elements near the jar opening, be sure that they do not exceed the jar rim as they could catch fire.

7. Place the candle inside jar, once jar is dry.

Here's a luminaria using the same basic technique but using a brown paper bag, butterflies cut from wrapping paper and squares cut from a fabric belt. I also used a coat of Glitter Mod Podge to add a little bling. This same look could be achieved with a light dusting of glitter to wet decoupage medium. I finished the jar with a bit of raffia around the top. Both jars add a nice warmth to a room when they have a candle inside.

Other mason jar reuse projects can be found here.