How to Jazz up Jar Lids: Upcycle Old Food Jars into New-Looking Storage Jars

jars image via Shutterstock
jars image via Shutterstock
polymer clay jar lid from Living from Scratch
polymer clay jar lid from Living from Scratch

Add polymer clay. Polymer clay isn’t for everyone, but if you’re comfortable with it, it’s a very distinctive, very cute way to upcycle a glass jar; Living from Scratch offers this easy tutorial for covering a jar lid with polymer clay. This would be a great project for a storage jar that will be in easy view, and thus can handle being highly decorative.

Add a pour spout. The Tip Garden used the top from a cardboard salt container to turn a Mason jar lid into a jar with a pour spout. If you make your own taco seasoning or ranch dressing mix, etc., this is the project for you!

Paint with chalkboard paint. My Handcrafted Home used just a few coats of chalkboard paint to turn a glass jar lid into a writeable, wipeable jar label. This project would work well for gift jars (perhaps containing homemade granola?) or for turning little baby food jars into spice jars that might have ever-evolving contents.

Stitch on them. If you’ll be using your jars for non-food storage, check out how you can embroider on your jar lids! This project would work well for jars that will be used to store sewing supplies, especially bobbins or embroidery floss.

decoupaged jar lid from Candykins
decoupaged jar lid from Candykins

Decoupage them. Covering jar lids with paper completely changes the look of the jar. If you cover baby food jars, you can even use a large-format hole punch to cut your paper, saving loads of time and fuss. Or you can work with smaller scraps, decoupaging found and recycled papers. This project would work well for any non-food storage, such as craft supplies, hair pretties, or collections.

Glue stuff to them. There’s a trend of gluing toys to a jar lid, then painting the whole thing a single color. If you can bribe the requisite toy animals away from your kids, then it’s a great project to give back to them for storage of all the little collections that kids have–bottle caps, interesting keys, random rocks, etc.

Crochet over them. Crochet jar lid covers are very pretty, and save you having to do any refurbishing work to the jar lids themselves. These work well for jars that you don’t access often, but are still visible–jars on open kitchen or bathroom shelves, perhaps, or those containing keepsakes.

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.


Leave a Reply
  1. Great timing with this! I have been on a jar buying binge lately. I have some of my prettier craft items on display and I was wondering how I wanted to unify the covers. Off to check out my options!

  2. I am psyched to see this as I’m busy trying to organize my craft space and I think a few jars could work for some of my items… such as magnets, sign hangers, small glass cabachons for necklaces and magnets etc. Thanks… check out some crafting spaces (at least one of them) on my blog that uses jars from yesterday’s post:… although they could have learned a thing of two from your blog post as well!

Comments (Keep It Civil...)

Is Hemp Legalization in the U.S. Coming Soon?

How-to: DIY Dragon Gold or Pirate Treasure