DIY: How to Easily Decorate Recycled Jars

Spread the love
  • 10

Oh dear me, it has been one of those weeks! Nothing has gone horribly wrong;it hasn’t been a bad week. But my goodness have I been tired! I think it may be heat we’ve had from our little heatwave, it’s just been tiring me out to no end. Being asleep by 9 is when you know you’re truly living the rock and roll lifestyle! So because of the heat, it’s going to be a bit of a quick and easy project today: we’re going to decorate recycled jars from our overflowing collection.

Really this probably doesn’t need a full on tutorial but I’ve written one just incase it is needed. This project is endlessly customisable and works for whatever you have lying around; newspaper, wallpaper, buttons, beads, truly make it your own! And match your decor! If you don’t have any mod podge you can use watered down pva. If you don’t have any pva I have made these without any glue but the paper and string can slide around a little and drop after a while.

So without further adieu:

>> Pin Me! <<

How to Decorate Recycled Jars

What you need:

Nice jars

Mod Podge

brown string

sheet music

shaped scissors

sharp scissors

cotton wool or a tissue


Step 1

Make sure your jars is clean, dry and free of sticky stuff (see this post)


Step 2

Use the patterned scissors to cut your sheet music to the height you want it (I did about 6cm) being very careful as you cut to make the pattern from the scissors line up (if you’re not confident with these you can also cut a freehand pattern or cut it straight). Wrap your strip around your jar and cut it to size, leaving around a cm for overlap.

Step 3

Spread mod podge over the back of your paper and carefully press it in place over the glass, pushing out any air bubbles. Use wet cotton wool or a tissue to wipe away any excess mod podge. Leave to dry (I didn’t do this and ended up tearing my paper a little). Depending on the finish you want you can also add a layer of mod podge on top of your paper, I wanted it to look just like paper so I left it but on the smallest jar below I added the extra layer.

Step 4

Measure how long you want your brown string by wrapping it around your jar a few times and leaving some excess for a bow, and cut it to size.

Step 5

Spread some mod podge over your string and wrap it decoratively around your jar before tying into a pretty bow. It will probably be easier to lay the jar down once the string is wrapped around to stop it from moving around until it is dried. If you have any other decorations you want to add such as buttons or beads now it the time to add them!

Ready to dry

Step 6

Leave to fully dry before filling with pretty things! Want to decorate the lid too? Shimmy yourself over to here for my in depth tutorial on decorating lids!


While I made the tutorial for my sheet music jar I also made 2 more jars today to show you some of the variety you can achieve.

Tissue Paper

The tall jar I made was with tissue paper that I had saved from a gift. It’s super pretty and will go lovely with the pink and grey decor in our second bedroom. Rather than use the decorative scissors I tore the tissue paper to give it a rougher edge. I then tied a ribbon around it with an old necklace charm threaded on (tip: keep your knots and mistakes at the back of your work! Nobody’s perfect, just hide your mistakes!)

Pretty paper flower was courtesy of JennieBellie

So pretty!

Craft Paper

I used craft paper for this one. It wasn’t wide enough to fit around the jar, at this point you have 2 options: use 2 pieces and try to line up the patterns as best you can or just use 1 piece but leave the gap at the back. Option number 1 is much more professional so naturally I picked option number 2. My gap wasn’t very big, not really worth the effort of lining up a second piece of paper. To make the trim I cut a piece of ribbon in half and stuck it on with the non cute side facing inwards. Not actually the brightest idea I’ve ever had due to fraying but in this case it didn’t go horribly wrong.

Many Mistakes

What went wrong in this project? Everything went wrong!

  • I lined my sheet music up wrong and when I was smoothing the bubbles out and trying to straighten it I tore the paper… and left wrinkles in. It’s at the back though so really? What does it matter?
  • I got mod podge all over the dining table… cue me frantically polishing the glass before I can take more pictures. That’s what happens when you run out of newspaper.
  • I got mod podge all over the glass. Like seriously? Can I not control my own hands? I had to wipe down the entire glass. I did discover this project is much easier when you don’t have a massive camera in one hand.
  • I tore the petals off one of my paper flowers, fixable but still annoying…
  • I decided to mob podge my tissue paper rather than the glass and had a moment of ‘how on earth do I get this off the table without tearing it?’. Quick tip, if you ever do this just lay your jar over the tissue paper (in the exact position you want it to stick) and roll the jar. Easy peasy!

And that is today’s project! Want some more crafts to eat through your supply of jars? Follow my Pinterest below:


Want to see more projects like this? Sign up for my monthly newsletter:

[mailerlite_form form_id=1]




  1. Aww thank you! They were really fun and easy to make <3

  2. Ken Hanaya says:

    Awesome job. i love DIY projects. Never crossed my mind to use the music sheets but it does make the jars stand out really good. Good stuff!!!!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m excited to see what else I can rummage out of my cupboard for them!

  3. Teresa says:

    What a great idea, love the 0ne with the music sheet. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty link Party this week. Pinned!

    1. Thank you, I love decorating with music sheets, I think they look so cute <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.