If you’re like us, you’ve probably got a surplus of Mason jars and empty wine bottles waiting to be recycled — but if you upcycle instead of recycle, you’ll have a ton of cute decorations for your next backyard barbecue or outdoor get-together. All it takes is some colored paint and a little bit of elbow grease to turn jars and bottles into centerpieces, pencil holders, vases or kitchen utensil holders.
You can completely customize the colors and finishes to match your style, theme and mood. This DIY tutorial features steps for spray-paint and regular brush paint so you can change up the textures too.
- Mason jars and dry, empty wine bottles
- Your choice of colored paint (spray, regular or both)
- Paint brush
- Cardboard or newspaper
To spray paint:
Step 1: Place jar/bottle lip side down
Make sure your jars and bottles are completely empty and dry. Place them lip-side down on a piece of newspaper or cardboard, or on the ground.
Step 2: Paint an even coat
Standing a few steps back from the jar/bottle, spray paint the jar from top to bottom, so it covers evenly. (I used a can that had two times the coverage to reduce the number of coats I had to do.) I did two of the jars with different colors simultaneously so they would dry at the same pace.
If you notice a bunch of air bubbles that aren’t dripping off, point the spray paint can downward (starting at the top) and spray. This will push the air bubbles down to the bottom where they’ll more easily drip off.
Step 3: Touch up & let dry
After the first coat has been applied, check to see if you’ve missed any spots. If so, spray over those, pointing downward, so the excess paint will drip off as it dries. Then place the jar/bottle in a dry spot so it can dry.
The jars will take about two hours to dry to the point they can be briefly touched, but will not be fully dry for about 16 to 24 hours.
Up next: How to brush-paint Mason jars
Originally published May 2012. Updated August 2017.