Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mason Jar Tumbler

I had seen so many cute Mason jar ideas that I decided to save my empty Classico spaghetti sauce containers, which just happen to be Mason jars.  We must eat a lot of spaghetti because I have amassed quite the collection.  I wasn't sure what to do with them all.  But then I saw the cutest Mason jar tumbler for sale, complete with a flower cutout in the lid, and an idea popped into my head:  Maybe I could use a steel-rule die to cut a design in the lid of one of my many jars.  Unfortunately, they were all the really large 32 ounce containers from Costco.  Oh well, this was just an experiment.  I can always save the finished product for those really bad days when I need a Cougartown-size glass of wine.  (Yes, Doctor, I allow myself the recommended one glass of wine per day for health benefits.)

Looking at the depth of the lid (these aren't the two-piece lids that come with empty canning jars), I decided the Movers & Shapers dies from Sizzix would probably work best. The only one I had that might possibly work for my project was a small keyhole die. It was almost the same depth as my lid, which was about the depth of an original Sizzix die, so I knew I could safely feed it through my Sizzix Big Shot.

Once I had the Movers & Shapers die in place inside the lid, I realized it wasn't as tall as the sides of the lid, which meant it wouldn't make contact with the die cut machine.  I knew I needed some rather thick shims, so I reached for another Sizzix die to cut a few circles from heavyweight chipboard.

One pass through my Sizzix Big Shot provided enough circles to create the height I needed.
I placed the lid and keyhole die between two cutting plates and ran them through the Big Shot.  It cut through the lid pretty well with just a small piece that didn't cut completely.  I used gentle force to separate the stubborn areas.
Now for a word of caution about using the die in this manner.  The steel-rule shape in my die pushed through the wooden die base slightly, either because the total thickness of my shims created too much pressure (looking at the picture above, I think I got carried away with the circles) or because I needed to use a more solid shim to provide a sturdy base for the die (or both).  My die still works fine, though. 
The cut edges of my lid were a little rough, so I used a file to gently smooth them.

Since my lid was gold, I decided to use Martha Stewart Craft paint in gold to cover the lettering.  Nobody really wants to know they're drinking from a spaghetti sauce jar.

A few coats of paint later, my jar was ready to serve as a very large tumbler.  I make no claims as to how well this will hold up to repeated uses (or the dishwasher), but it was fun to experiment. 
I think these would be cute to make for an outdoor summer party.  The lids would help keep those pesky bugs out of the lemonade and iced tea.  I would suggest using a smaller jar, preferably one that can be safely gripped with only one hand.

Sadly, the Classico Spaghetti Sauce at Costco is now sold in a slightly different style jar.  Time to move on to a new obsession.

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