Teacher Mason Jars for Back to School

Can you believe that we’re almost half way through August? Where did the time go?! It’s only a few more weeks for some kids until they’re back in school. As a new teacher myself, I have been looking for ways to decorate my classroom and desk. I was on Pinterest several weeks ago looking for ‘teacher desk organization’. I came across a picture of the most adorable pencil holders, and I had to try to make them myself! Keep in mind, I am not an artistic person, but I’d like to think they came out pretty good! I use one to hold pencils, one for rulers, and one for paper clips. Either keep them for yourself, or give them to your child’s teacher as a “welcome back to school” gift!

The supplies you’ll need…
  • Mason jars (sizes are up to you – I chose three different ones) – Michaels
  • Primer (make sure it can be used for glass! I used BIN.) – Home Depot
  • Painters tape (make sure you get the kind that doesn’t allow paint to bleed!) – Home Depot
  • Chalk board stickers – Michaels
  • Chalk – Dollar store
  • Paint brishes – Michaels
  • Polyurethane spray – Home Depot
  • Wooden dowel pin (for the top of the apple – realistically, you can use a piece of a stick from outside) – Home Depot
  • White, green, red, yellow and blue acrylic paints (must be acrylic!) – Michaels
  • Hot glue gun + glue – Michaels
  • Artificial leaf

* I purchased most of my supplies at Michaels and Home Depot, but anywhere with these supplies will work! You don’t need any particular brand name.

Directions to make Teacher Mason Jars

Starting off with the mason jars, make sure you peel the labels off. To remove the sticker, run it under hot water and scrub it with a brush. Using your primer, coat the mason jars carefully to ensure all the glass surface is covered. You may have to give the mason jars a second coat of primer to ensure all areas are covered.

After you have your mason jars primed, pick your colours and start painting! I decided to make one look like an apple; one look like a pencil; and one look like a piece of notebook paper.

For the apple, I started by painting the mason jar red. Keep in mind, your jars will need a minimum of two coats of finish paint. I painted one coat one day, let it dry, then did the second coat the next day. For the top of the mason jar, I decided to paint it green.

The pencil mason jar was the most simple to create. I did one coat of yellow paint one day, and then one coat the next day. Looking back, I probably should have done a third coat. I was just too excited to see what they would look like when they were finished!

The most complex mason jar was the one that looks like a piece of notebook paper. I painted on one coat of white paint one day, and then a second coat the next.

After both of the coats of white paint were fully dry, I then applied my painters tape. In doing this, I was spacing evenly to create the appearance of the blue lines. Make sure you press down the tape firmly so the paint cannot bleed under. Once you have the blue paint applied, let this sit for several hours after it appears to be dry; doing this ensures you won’t pull off any of the paint with the tape. I left mine sit a day after I applied the blue before I started working with the red stripe. Doing this ensured none of the paint would transfer onto the tape.

For the red line, I put two pieces of painters tape vertically on the mason jar. This helped to create a straight line, and then painted with my red colour in between them. Looking back, the paint bled underneath the tape; so I might suggest creating this line with a red Sharpie marker! Lastly for this mason jar, I decided to create the hole punch markings using a straw and some brown paint.

Finishing Touches…

Once all of the mason jars were painted, I took them outside and sprayed them with a polyurethane spray. Doing this will help the paint from chipping. I sprayed multiple coats on each jar, leaving ample dry time in between.

To finish off the apple mason jar, I decided to attach a leaf and stem. I have several artificial plants around my house, so I pulled a leaf off one of them. You could purchase some at a craft store, or make one out of card stock. I attached the leaf with hot glue in the centre of the lid. I then painted a small wooden dowel with acrylic brown paint, and attached it on top of the leaf. You don’t need a wooden dowel to do this; you can use a piece of a twig from outside!

Once the polyurethane was dry, I attached small chalk board stickers to use as labels. I think it completes the look!


If you try this project, send me photos of your end result! I would love to see them!




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