Mason Jar Projects part 1 {or, Why Research is Important}

My apologies for a distinct lack of crafty posting in the last few weeks. My only excuse is my deep need to squeeze the fun out of the last few days of summer. Nonetheless, I have finally embarked on the copious jar projects that have come my way over the last few years, starting with the Mason Jar Drink Cup. Coming later in the fall will be many ways to tint a mason jar as well as ways to fashion a hanging candle holder from a jam jar.

I decided to start with this one because it also contains a Crafting Cautionary Tale. When I started researching this, I was looking for an adhesive that would be inexpensive, easy to acquire & apply, able to tolerate hot and cold, as well as washing. The adhesive that hits all of those is two-part epoxy. What I forgot to research was all of those criteria in addition to FOOD SAFETY. Unfortunately, I didn't realize this until after I completed the project and had started using my new adorable beverage container. I then noticed that my delicious breakfast smoothie tasted a little like the epoxy smelled, and also that my tongue felt kind of weird. By this time I have drank about half the smoothie, am at work, I start feeling nauseous, and most of my mouth is numb. This, boys and girls is  when I begin to freak out and immediately start googling "epoxy poisoning symptoms" and pull of the number for Poison Control. FUCK. 

 This smoothie is poisoned, folks

This smoothie is poisoned, folks

I was fortunate that I didn't drink very much of the smoothie and it had only come into brief contact with the epoxy, but it could have been much worse. In my case, I was able to drink a TON of water and flush my system without needing to go to the ER for other treatment. It was a very good reminder, though of the importance of thorough research, ventilated work spaces, and putting down the smoothie if it tastes funny. 

With the cautionary tale out of the way, I now bring you...

Mason Jar To-Go Beverage Container

Materials:

  • Mason jar with lid and ring
  • Reusable straws-- you can find them at Starbucks or on Amazon which is where I got my jaunty striped paper ones, they also sell the thick plastic ones in MANY colors
  • Drill w small bit, cropadile or hammer & nail
  • Sharpie
  • Ruler
  • Heavy-duty trimmers
  • Stainless #12 washers
  • DAP 100% Silicone Household Waterproof Sealant or other waterproof adhesive which complies with FDA food safety standards
  • Alcohol wipes for cleanup

Process

 Don't worry if the hole isn't perfect

Don't worry if the hole isn't perfect

 You're just going to cover it with a washer!

You're just going to cover it with a washer!

  1. Using ruler and sharpie, mark the center of your lid. Center a washer over that mark and trace the center circle. This will give you an idea of where and how large to make your hole.
  2. With whatever tools you have available, punch a hole in the lid. My cropadile is the home use kind so it couldn't reach the center of my lid to punch the hole so I used a hammer and nail. Be sure you are doing all of this on a crafts appropriate surface and are very careful with any metal shards. I used a pair of trimmers and needle-nose pliers to make the hole as circular as possible.
  3. Following the specific instructions for your adhesive, glue a washer to both the top and the underside of the lid. With the DAP sealant, I applied the glue to the lid and let it cure for 20 minutes before adhering the washer on the underside. Having washers on both sides is important to cover what will inevitably be a jagged metal edge.
  4. Apply sealant to the inside of the ring and set the lid into the ring. This step is optional, but I like to have the ring and lid as a single unit. 
  5. Once everything has cured, which may take 12-48 hours depending on your adhesive, gently hand-wash your lid to remove any leftover bits of adhesive. This is also how you will clean it between uses. For longevity, I do not recommend dishwashing your lid.
  6. Now all you have to do is fill your mason jar with a tastey beverage and you're all set! And epoxy poisoning free!
 

I hope you all enjoyed this fun project and cautionary tale. Let me know how your projects came out on Instagram and Twitter with #bettybetatester. As always, I'd love your comments and feedback on this and any other crafty projects!