I love, love, love doing crafts! That’s how I saved a lot of money for my baby shower. I made a lot of decorations, food and most importantly, my centerpieces. Centerpieces can be expensive, especially if you have a lot of tables to decorate. At my baby shower, well Baby-Q, I had 12 tables, so, to save money I made my centerpieces. Not only were they extremely affordable and fun to make, but they can be reused after the baby shower for personal in-home use or be gifted as favors for others to use in their homes.
I shopped around for mason jars at a lot of places, but I found the best price at Amazon. The mason jars were delivered right to my doorstep, which saved my 7-months pregnant-self the steps of carrying them from the store to the car, from the car to the house. They come in different sizes, and since I had three colors for my baby shower (mint, gray, and gold), I wanted to have three mason jars for each centerpiece. I bought twenty-four 16 oz mason jars and twelve 32 oz jars.
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The next step is picking out materials and colors. I originally painted them all with acrylic paints but decided I wanted my gold jars to have some glitter to them. So I bought the Krylon Glitter Blast spray Paint. As for the acrylic paints. I tried a lot of different brands. I initially tried the Martha Steward Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic paints. These colors were gorgeous; however, they were too translucent. I tried a couple of other brands, but my favorite brand was Apple Barrel. They paint smoothly onto the jars and only required two coats.
Next, I stenciled some of my jars with arrows. This part can get tricky especially if you use very thin stencils, as I did. My suggestion would be to allow your jars to dry completely for full 24 hours (acrylic can feel dry to the touch, but if handled too soon the paint will peel off), then tape the stencil to the jar and with a very thin brush, paint the color you want the stenciled area. Keep the stencil on during the drying process—again a full 24 hours— before removing it. As you can see in my picture, I used too thick of a brush, and the paint went underneath the stencil. I also took the stencil off immediately, smearing some paint. After being disappointed at first, I grew to like the imperfect look of the arrows especially after I sanded them.
The next step is my favorite, the sanding! Sand away as much as you please to get a rustic look to your mason jars. I did most of my sanding around the protruding designs of the mason jars.
Well, that’s it for the painting and crafting of your centerpieces. I finished my centerpieces about a month before my party, and I am glad I did because I coordinated the rest of my decorations around them. Your next step is to decide what you want to do with them. Do you want them to be decorations in the middle of the table? Do you want to make use of them for storage of some sort? For mine, in my 32 oz. Jars I filled them with complimentary-colored flowers and Baby’s breath.
In the 16 oz jars, I put extra utensils. I thought it would be convenient since I know I always forget silverware after serving my food at parties. I also used the jars as napkin holders. It was windy out, and the weight of the jars kept the napkins in place.
There we have it. The centerpieces aren’t perfect but I think they are very appealing and bring some elegance to the Baby-Q. Now you might ask, what did you do with all 36 jars? Well, some of my favorites I made sure that as soon as I was done serving the food, I hid them for myself to keep. To this day I use them as flower pots, as toothbrush holders, pen holders and sometimes they become a toy for my exploring 17-month old. Some of them I gave away as game prizes, and the left-overs I gave away to everyone that helped me clean up at the end. It makes me happy going and visiting some of my friends and seeing my centerpieces there and seeing how they utilize them in their homes.
I really enjoyed doing this project, especially during the nesting stage of my pregnancy, and now I am glad I get to share them with you all =). I used this same concept for Lennox’s first birthday centerpieces. Stay tuned!
Lorena and Lennox
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