Upcycled Decor: DIY Stained Mason Jars

DIY Stained Mason Jar

Upcycled home decor using stained Mason can be a rewarding DIY project.

Stained Mason jars are super hip in DIY home decor right now, but finding the vintage ones can be really tricky, and when you do find them, they’re often super expensive. Instead of shelling out big bucks for a genuine stained Mason jar, you can pretty easily make your own! Here’s how.

My favorite part about staining jars is that you’re not limited to Mason jars. Got an old pasta or baby food jar? A translucent coat of color makes them look so much fancier. I love the look of a cluster of stained jars on a mantle or as a centerpiece for the table.

One note about this staining method: To keep this as eco-friendly as possible, I chose white glue as my medium. White glue is water soluble, so you want to avoid getting these wet when they’re done. You can still use them as planters or vases, just be careful of any splashing, and gently dab water off of the outside immediately to avoid messing up the finish.

Ready to get staining? Let’s go!

You’ll need:

  • clean, label-free glass jar
  • white glue
  • food coloring
  • small plate or for mixing color that you don’t plan to eat off of again. (You can use this to mix paint for other projects, but the glue might not come off, and I’d hate for you to ruin your nice dishware!) An empty produce tray will work, as well.
  • sponge brush that you don’t mind possibly ruining
  • rag that you don’t mind staining


1. Pour a generous dollop of white glue onto your plate or tray, then add a few drops of food coloring. Use your sponge brush to mix the color well.

2. Using the same brush, paint your jar all over the outside with a coat of the dyed glue. When it’s nice and coated, turn the jar upside-down on the rag, and leave it to dry.

staining a mason jar

3. It will take a few hours at least to dry completely, and you’ll want to check on your jar periodically. The thinned glue is going to run a little, so inspect the jar a few times as it’s drying and use your brush to fill in any bald spots with a little more glue/food coloring mixture.

4. When the jar is totally dry – I’d wait overnight, especially if you had to repaint any spots – you’re ready to use it however you like.

 photos by Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe, a green crafter and vegan foodie living in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and two cats. My mission is to make eco-friendly crafts and vegan food accessible to anyone who wants to give them a go.