Mason jars are all the rage for home decoration. There are a million ways you can decorate with them and here I’ll show you a Fall craft that even your kids can take a stab at. This decoupaged mason jar project cost me less than $5. I always have the Mod Podge on hand, and the mason jars only cost me a dollar each from my local Dollar Tree. These Autumn leaves aren’t real, but try using real leaves too. I find that faux leaves work better because the decoupage medium soaks through the fabric leaf, allowing for easier application. I purchased the pack of fake leaves from the dollar store as well. If you know how to decoupage, you know how to do this project! It may take some time, but this craft makes great Autumn decor for the home.
A sponge brush is optional for this project, as some people tend to just use their fingers to apply. Personally, I like using a sponge brush over a paint brush, and I also use my fingers when necessary. First, make sure the outside of your jar is clean. Wipe it gently with rubbing alcohol to get any grease and grime off the outside of the jar. The leaves won’t stick if the jar is oily or dirty. Then make sure your leaves are malleable. Bend them a little bit to loosen them up. Stiff leaves won’t stick either. If they are thin, fabric leaves, they should easily form around the jar. If they are real leaves, you may want to dampen them slightly (almost the way leaves become after it rains) to unstiffen them. You can also iron fabric leaves as well to loosen the fibers.
To decoupage, dip your brush in the Mod Podge and paint a thin layer on a section of the jar. Once that layer becomes quite sticky (check by dabbing your finger on it), place a leaf on the jar. Paint more Mod Podge on top of the leaf in thin layers, making sure to smooth out the edges. Start in the center of the leaf, and push your way out to the edges with your fingers. It may take a few layers, but the leaf should stick to the jar. I had to press a few times to get the leaves to stick; but as the Mod Podge dries, it should.
Don’t be afraid to use your fingers to smooth out the leaf so that it is fully secure. Layer more leaves on top, filling the jar with as many as you desire. I didn’t cover my jar fully, as I liked some of the negative space in between the leaves. Once all the leaves are on, it will take a few hours to dry completely. The tiny edges of the leaves may not stay completely down, but when the look is complete, you may barely even notice.
Finish off the top of the jar with rafia or ribbon to complete the look. Place a candle inside and watch it light the room with beautiful orange, red and green fall colors!
Some tips for completing:
Some tips for completing:
- Don’t try to get too perfect with laying the leaves down. Leaves by nature have imperfections and it looks more rustic when all the corners are not completely flush against the jar.
- If you’re pulling your hair out with getting them to stick, an alternative option is to cut out pieces of napkin (that have leaf designs on them); napkins are much easier to adhere.
- Dampen or iron your leaves before you adhere them so they become more malleable.
- Let the Mod Podge become very tacky to the touch before applying the leaves. Also, if needed pull off the plastic veins on faux leaves to help them lay better. (The leaves used in this craft don’t have a plastic spine)
- Use your fingers. It helps when trying to mold the leaf around the jar.
- You shouldn’t need to but if you’re concerned about falling leaves, spray the jar with a clear varnish, when you’re done to seal it.
- I don’t like to use Ball mason jars for this craft- the ridges on them won’t allow the leaves to lay flat. This is why I chose a plain jar from the dollar store.
An alternative option to Mod Podge is hot glue. See how we used it here below: