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Altering Jars

January 25, 2008 Sarah Coggins

I had a couple of questions regarding the altered Valentine Candy Jar I posted earlier today and wanted to address them. The “i love you” on the front of the jar is a rub-on by Making Memories (Rub-on Minis Love 2). I first came to the idea of adding rub-ons to glass jars while flipping through the November calendar pages of designing with 2006. The prompt for Nov 10 was to “embellish plain containers with rub-ons.” I tried it on a small spice jar that I store buttons in and was thrilled with the results.

Last summer I decided to play around with a large jar for the family beach house. One of our favorite activities is to head a few blocks south to the arcade. Quarters are forever piled up here and there around the rooms. I picked up a jar from the kitchen section at Target to give these quarters a festive home. Since the theme was “arcade” I picked some fun rub-on letters by Making Memories and created a top inspired by PacMan. 🙂

The rub-ons can be applied the same as you would to any other material. For some, it might take a little more pressure. The jars with flatter areas (Valentine Candy Jar and Arcade Fund Jar) are easier to apply the rub-ons to than rounder jars such as the Buttons Jar.

To create the top for the Arcade Fund Jar, I cut a circle of Scenic Route patterned paper just smaller than the lid. I loved this particular design since it has the feel of movement and the PacMan dots. I used my QuicKutz to cut a circle of yellow cardstock and sliced out a section for the mouth with my X-acto knife. A Making Memories brad created the eye. I hand drew and cut the ghost shapes from other scraps of cardstock I had in my stash. All three figures are outlined in black pen. Finally, I adhered the design to the lid using my Xyron 510.

As with the Valentine Candy Jar, I tied a scrap of ribbon around the neck of the jar. For this jar, I added a Making Memories clip to hold any extra tickets from the arcade – another item that’s found loose around the house. Now, we can grab a handful of quarters and any extra tickets before we head out to play. 🙂

Button Jar Supplies: spice jar from World Market; Making Memories buttons & stitches; Li’l Davis rub-on letters; misc. green acrylic paint (scuffed w/ a sanding block).

Arcade Fund Jar Supplies: jar from Target; Making Memories rub-on letters, metal clip & brad; Scenic Route patterned paper; QuicKutz circle die from Icing starter kit; misc. cardstock & ribbon from stash.

Garden City Arcade layout Supplies: misc. dark brown and green cardstock; We R Memory Keepers patterned paper; Marcella K rub-on stitches; Making Memories TinyAlpha letter stickers, eyelets & date stamp; Miss Elizabeth foam letters; Uniball signo white pen


  • jill January 25, 2008 at 11:47 am
    i love using jars for gifts. easy to do and they're always a hit. easy to personalize too!
  • Heather Bares January 25, 2008 at 12:38 pm
    Love the arcade jar!!! The lid is adorable! Great layout as well.
  • Benita January 25, 2008 at 1:05 pm
    Those jars are so cute! I just love the pacman one :) Great layout, too! TFS
  • jp January 25, 2008 at 1:35 pm
    What a great idea! I have a change jar in the kitchen, too, but never thought about putting rub-ons on it!
  • Linda January 25, 2008 at 1:53 pm
    That arcade jar is fabulous! Love Pac-man on the lid, fun project.
  • Darcey January 25, 2008 at 2:03 pm
    Your jars are very cool! So creative! Love th elayout also.
  • Heather January 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm
    I love your jars! So cute! I'm going to have to try this. I have accumulated quite a collection of jars and rub-ons! Thanks for the ideas!
  • Jen Sue Wild January 25, 2008 at 4:01 pm
    Great jar Idea. I love that you put rub ons right on the jar. I have never tried that before.
  • Dana January 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm
    Love it!!! DAna
  • Sherry January 25, 2008 at 4:44 pm
    WOW that is amazing!!! I really love that!! Thanks for the tips, I will be trying that soon!! :)
  • toners January 25, 2008 at 5:36 pm
    Jars are tons of fun! And rub-ons are such a fun embellishment to decorate with :) Great job!
  • Ter January 26, 2008 at 3:39 am
    You're awesome!
  • scrappermimi January 26, 2008 at 4:54 am
    More fun jars, love these the arcade fund is a great idea, so cute! TFS!
  • Ryzmomplus2 January 26, 2008 at 1:15 pm
    Adorable, just adorable! Love seeing rub ons used in so many different ways!
  • Aimeslee January 28, 2008 at 5:54 pm
    Hey thanks for the great tute on using rubons, and also for the 2006 DW challenge idea.
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    Hi! I'm a DIY and craft obsessed mom to 2. I have my hands covered in sawdust or paint any given day. My husband and kids join me in many of our projects. When we aren't creating at home, we're creating memories in our many adventures. Join along! Read More


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