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Distressed Patriotic Mason Jar Tutorial

A couple of months ago as I was helping my Mom, Carol, plan our annual Memorial Day picnic when I realized I needed some centerpieces for the tables. I wanted to distress paint some mason jars and found this fun project online. I added a couple of steps to ensure my project will last for years. It's an easy and fast project you can finish in just a couple of hours. 


3 Mason Jars

Rubbing alcohol

Cotton balls

Painter's tape

Star-shaped stickers

Red, white and blue chalk paint

Craft sponges

Medium grit sand paper

Protective topcoat

Jute twine

Red, white and blue flowers

Red, white and blue pinwheels

Before starting your project you will need to prepare your mason jars. Chalk paint is pretty forgiving and will adhere to almost any surface, but since we are painting glass we want to remove any oils or dirt before painting the jars. Simply soak a few cotton balls with rubbing alcohol and wipe all outer surfaces of the jars with the alcohol. It will only take a few seconds for them to dry so you can start the next process right away. 

Next, with one of your craft sponges apply a coat of the white chalk paint. I used Martha Stewart Vintage Decor Paint in "Wedding Cake" which I already had on hand from another project. For the red and blue I used Craftsmart Chalky Acrylic Paint in Midnight Blue and Scarlet. Apply two coats of the white. Chalk paint dries quickly so you only need to wait about 15 minutes between coats! I love projects that provide immediate satisfaction! 

For the each striped jar take two pieces of painter's tape long enough to wrap all the way around the jar. Smooth the tape tightly to ensure the red paint doesn't seep under.


Next, with one of your craft sponges, apply the red chalk paint to the entire outside of the jar. I used CraftSmart Chalk Acrylic paint. Let dry and apply a second coat.

After the second coat of red paint has dried gently remove the painter's tape.

Take a piece of sandpaper and sand the areas of the jar where you would normally see wear; such as edges, lettering, corners and the threads. This is my favorite part!

Spray jar with a protective top coat such as Krylon Clear Acrylic Coating in a matte finish. You can find it in a craft store or home improvement store. Let dry and finish with a jute twine bow. Display your jars empty or add some artificial flowers or a pinwheel for a fun whimsical twist. 

For the blue jar, start by cleaning the jar and layering with two coats of white paint just as you did for the red jars. While the paint dried I cut out some adhesive stars from some mailing labels that I had on hand. You can also purchase pre-made star stickers from the craft store.

Adhere the stars randomly all over the jar and then paint with two coats of blue paint allowing to dry in between coats.

Once the paint has dried gently remove the stars. They may tear and some of the blue paint may seep under the stars. This is okay as it helps with the distressed look. Sand the jar and spray with protective coating. Embellish with jute twine and florals. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and try this project on your own. Remember that they don't have to be perfect. The look we are going for is distressed so thankfully neatness does NOT count here! These would look great in any choice of colors. They don't have to be patriotic. Pastels or even bright colors would be fun too! I would love to see pictures of your finished product!






















































































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