How to Upcycle Kilner Jars or any Jars

I love these little jars, especially when painted & distressed. The Americans have Mason jars, we have these!

Here’s some I recently did ……

Upcycle your Jars with chalk paint & napkin decoupage, even some folk painting - tutorial

Upcycle your Jars with chalk paint & napkin decoupage, even some folk painting - tutorial

Upcycle your Jars with chalk paint & napkin decoupage, even some folk painting - tutorial
So if you want to try your hand here’s how …..


  • Jars of course!, doesn’t have to be the Kilner ones by the way, but try & get some that have a bit of detail on them. I like using the Bonne Maman jam jars too.
  • Paint; I use chalk paint, it’s easy to distress but you can use acrylic or some people use paint specifically for glass.
  • Foam brush, I prefer to use these as they don’t leave brush marks.
  • Sealer; I used Americana Decor Creme Wax, it’s a lovely creamy wax varnish, great to work with & gives great results, but you can use regular varnish too.
  • Fine sandpaper or try a nail file
  • Napkins & glue if you want to try some decoupage on the jars.

Ok, let’s get started.

  1. First up make sure your jars are cleaned thoroughly, maybe run through the dishwasher first and remove any stickers.  Some people rub them with spirits first but I don’t and they work out just fine.
  2. Choose your paint & give the jar about 3 coats of paint, let it dry in between the coats. Paint in one direction.  On one of the jars, I originally painted it pink and then gave it 2 coats of grey and sanded it to bring out the pink.
  3. If you are going to decoupage then match the paint to your napkin, click here to read more on trying out decoupage on your projects or try a bit of painting on the jars, I did a small bit of folk art painting on one.
  4. If you are happy with the coverage then you can begin to distress.  Using your fine sandpaper or nail file , lightly sand over the detail on the jar, I worked on the name & the tag bit to the front. You don’t have to distress, you can leave it as is too. I just love distressing things!
  5. Once you are happy with the look, it’s time to seal the jar , I gave the jars 2 coats & let them dry in between. It gives the paint a nice finish & brings out the colour more.

Remember these jars are only for display purposes & you can’t put them in the dishwasher.  Just a wipe of a damp cloth should do, if needed.

You can use these for so many things & try different techniques  ….. Here’s a few more I did a while back.  Works great on tin cans too.

Have you tried to do these ? Did it work out?

Decoupage tin: with a paper napkin, paint and some gold leaf, distressed & a bit of twine for effect
Upcycle your Jars ... heres how with paint and decoupage
Upcycle your Jars ... heres how with paint and decoupage
I have a Pinterest board on upcycling your Jars/Tins here, have a peek for some inspiration.
Till next time ..!

Upcycle your Jars with chalk paint & napkin decoupage, even some folk painting - tutorial

#I link up here ..


26 thoughts on “How to Upcycle Kilner Jars or any Jars

  1. Angela says:

    Totally adore these, I have quite a few plain jars and I think they would be perfect to be upcycled. I think this may be a project for the Summer and I can get my niece involved during the holidays!


    Angela – Garden Tea Cakes and Me

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Me, You and Magoo says:

    You know how much I love these! Great to read your tutorial & great suggestion to use a foam brush. I also love the tin can versions too. Chalk paint is so versatile isn’t it? I am definitely going to give this a go soon. Thank you for linking up with #craftingismytherapy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. amylovestosew says:

    Gorgeous – these look amazing. I’d never have guessed they were handmade or upcycled. What a fabulously talented person you are #craftingismytherpy


  4. Clare says:

    I love this! I love creating pretty things and keep meaning to give this a go! I want to do some for my wedding business, but also for my new office area! Thanks for the tips lovely #bloggerclubuk xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennifer Jain says:

    They are gorgeous! I love the look of chalk paint but I’ve never tried it, it’s something I definitely need to have a go with. Thanks for the tip about using a foam brush to avoid the brush marks! Thanks for linking up to #craftingismytherapy

    Liked by 1 person

      • Zeens and Roger says:

        I think I hide my wips quite well. Mostly they’re hidden in the cupboard under the stairs or wodged down the side of the sofa. I guess you can’t do that so easily with painted things.


  6. nuvofelt says:

    Great idea. I remember doing something like this with Orangina bottles in the ’90s. I painted the inside by swirling around – they made good ‘vases’ for barbecues and the like. Don’t even know if the make the drink any more….. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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