On Flowers & Upcycling Glass Jars

tinted bottle or jar -- colored glass

When I dated my husband (a long time ago), I said to him, “Never buy me flowers. They just die. ”  How I have changed over the years!

I used to see flowers for the end result — wilted, limp and lifeless.  I couldn’t enjoy their moment in the sun or see their beauty because I was clouded by things not yet to come. It’s interesting, as I look back, I can see the same correlation with many aspects of my life at the time.  I was afraid to do things because of what might, or could, or would be.

Now I see flowers for their unpretentious beauty. They are what they are.  They are here one day and gone the next; they grow and shine, and wither and die.  And they grow again. In their shining moments, they brighten my day and make the kids smile, and while not tangible, that’s worth something deep and truly beautiful.

And so I stop to notice, admire and smell flowers. Sometimes, I buy them to brighten the house. Sometimes I pick them from my own garden when they are there.   I find myself embracing the change in nature more and more, and I look for ways to bring the transience into the house, in many forms, like painting sticks, hanging autums leaves or collecting fallen flowers to fill a bowl.

One of the ways I enjoy bring nature inside is through upcycling jars and bottles (for example, this wall vase).  I saved a collection of cute jars of different shapes and sizes, and decided to tint them using paint I purchased for my glass tumbler candle holder project around Mother’s Day.

It’s very easy!


Glass jars or bottles

Pébéo Glass Paint (I used Turquoise 20 — purchased from Spotlight)

Pébéo Thinner

Paint brush (wide and soft) or sponge brush

tinted jar -- upcycle jars by coloring them with glass paint


There are many tutorials on how to tint jars on the web, and I experimented with a few different techniques and I’ll list them here.

1. Thin Glass Paint

First thin down a little glass paint with paint thinner, depending on how transparent you want the jar to look. You can use the paint without thinning it, but it won’t look like a tint (below is an example of the difference).

diluting glass paint vs undiluted

I mixed about a 10 cent piece size blob of glass paint to a 50 cent piece amount of thinner in a plastic cup.   The amount of paint you see in the picture below will cover approximately 2 jars (so it goes a long way).   It’s pretty hard to get this wrong, just test it on your jar to see the colour, and adjust until you have it the way you want. (Just wipe the tester paint off the jar with a paper towel).

how to tint a jar blue

2. Paint Jar

Sponge Brush: I tested a sponge brush first, and applied the paint in quick even strokes.  I found the sponge gave me a more bubbled (frosted) surface than the brush. If you want a frosted look, a dabbing motion works best.

tinted jar color upcycle

Paint Brush: To achieve the transparent look I was after, I preferred the paint brush look, just keep the coverage as even as possible. (Next time, I’ll use a brush a little wider than this one).

Paint the outside of entire jar (including the base).

tinted jar color upcycle


Place upside down on a piece of paper and allow to dry for 24 hours.

tinted jar color -- allow to dry 24 hours

4. Bake

Place baking paper on a tray.  Place the jars on (right side up) on the tray.  Cook in a 150 C oven for 35 minutes.  Done! Dishwasher safe too!

5. Display

Such a wonderful way to reuse jars and bottles in the home.

Happiness 🙂

how to tint a jar blue

how to tint a jar blue

how to tint a jar blue -- color glass

how to tint a jar blue for flowers

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  • Reply
    August 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Kelly, I still got a bunch of jars waiting to be DIY’d so thanks for the ideas! Love the diluted paint idea.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    This is such a creative idea! I love how they look, especially the diluted ones!

  • Reply
    Sonia Life Love Hiccups
    August 14, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    OK I am so excite its not funny. This looks like such a fun project – I cant wait to get myself to spotlight and start. Seriosuly I would go now at 10.15 at night if it was open Im that excited lol. xx

  • Reply
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    I love the flowers and the upscaled different shaped vases

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    What a great way to use jars. I use my for spices mostly 🙂

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