How to Make Mason Jar Centerpieces

Mason Jar centerpieces can speak softly of country or eloquently of sophistication. It all depends on what type of spin you put on the bottle.

Mason jars have been around long enough to have established a secure place in the hearts of most Americans. Not only have we enjoyed the ability to can our own garden vegetables, some of us have been so enamored of the Mason Jar that it has become a drinking glass when not in use as a canning jar. It has also become a place to store valuables, such as buttons, marbles and coins as well as bouquets from every season. With the Mason Jar front and center in our lives, it's no surprise that it has now also gained a spot in the center of our dining room table.

Mason Jar Centerpieces
Mason Jar centerpieces can be any size and any style, depending on whether you use a two-gallon jar, a gallon jar, a quart jar, a pint jar or a half pint jar. Because Mason jars come in a variety of shapes, you now can choose from squat or slender jars, or jars with rounded or squared shoulders. Additionally, Mason jars can be purchased with a quilted design, a checkered pattern or no design at all. Old Mason jars in the characteristic vintage blue can still be found at many estate sales and antique stores. It is all of these different features that make the Mason Jar a perfect choice when it comes to centerpieces.

Before you place a Mason jar in the center of your table, however, make sure it's clean. Even Mason jars that have just come from the store require a good scrubbing. If you're using an antique or used Mason Jar, it may have a fine white layer boiled onto it from the combination of a pressure cooker or hot water bath and hard water. Clean it with hot, soapy water and a scrub pad. Make sure you scrub it both inside and out. If you have an old jar that has bubbles in the glass, use it over one that doesn't. The bubbles represent imperfections that were inevitable in the 1800s, when Mason jars were handmade by expert glass blowers.

Plain Mason Jar Centerpieces

The best way to create a plain Mason jar centerpiece that will stand out in its simplicity is to create a unique type of candelabra.

  • Create atmosphere by placing a plain white candle in each jar.
  • Create reflection by placing an unframed mirror on the table or sideboard before you add the Mason jars.
  • Create height and dimension by using more than one jar of either the same sizes or a variety of different sizes.
  • Create symmetry by using three or more of the same size jars with the same size and color of candle inside.
  • Create sparkle and pizzazz by pouring glue into a paper bowl. Dip the opening of a plain or patterned Mason Jar into the glue, then into a second paper bowl filled with white, silver or gold glitter. Place a few glittered jars on the table with candles inside. Sprinkle a little bit of glitter on the table top around the jars. When you light the candles, your table will sparkle.
  • Make a strikingly beautiful winter centerpiece by using white candles and sprinkling white, glittered snowflakes onto the mirror. For even more show, spread a set of miniature white lights on the mirror and mound faux snow over them. Check to make sure the faux snow or anything else you place over the lights is not flammable.
  • Make a bold statement by using colored candles and then adding the same color to the table. A beautiful fall centerpiece might have red, yellow or orange candles inside the jars, which have been nestled into a pile of colored autumn leaves. For this type of centerpiece, omit the mirror.
  • Create a mosaic candle using a Mason Jar, tissue and a magazine. Cover the jar with one layer of tissue paper that has been glued in place. Search for large advertisements in a magazine. Cut out a variety of words that depict your mood or the season, then cut them out in different shapes. Glue them over the tissue, leaving a small portion of tissue between each, similar to the seams found in a tiled mosaic. Insert a candle into each mosaic jar. Place several candles along the center of the table for a more dramatic look, or use only one Mason Jar candle for a more simplistic feel.

Patterned Mason Jar Centerpieces
You can also create centerpieces by taking advantage of Mason Jar patterns to create wavering or dimmed candlelight. Patterns can sometimes take away more than the give, so you may want to cover a patterned Mason jar loosely with two different colors of contrasting or matching tissue paper to create a lovely vase. Place a bouquet into the jar and leave enough tissue paper at the top so it embraces the flowers nicely. Tie a matching ribbon at the top of the jar with long tails, so the ribbon drapes down the front.

Put Your Home Canning on Display
Mason jars that are filled with home canning can also be used as a focal point. For a simple yet beautiful arrangement, place several different size jars with a variety of fruits and vegetables in them in the center of the table. If using jelly jars only, place a small candle in the center of the table and then circle it with several types of jelly. Raspberry, cherry, strawberry and current jelly all offer a different shade of red and create a beautiful but simple holiday centerpiece that sparkles as effectively as gemstones.

A particularly lovely but simple way to create beauty on your table is to make three lines of jars with anywhere from 4 to 10 jars in each line. The middle line will be empty, wide-mouth jars with candles inside. The remaining jars hold jelly. Place the jelly jars on either side of the candles so that the light of the candles will shine through. This centerpiece is particularly lovely during the holidays.

Display Sweets or Treasures
Fill the jars to overflowing with homemade or store-bought candy. Use differently shaped half pints, as well as a few slender quarts and gallons. Place the jars on a large cookie sheet in the center of the table. Tie ribbons around the tops or leave them plain. Fill each jar with a different type of candy. Once you have filled each jar, overfill each one so that the candy pours down onto the cookie sheet and piles up on the sides of the jars like delicious snowdrifts. Place a few jar tops into the display and a couple of long-handled teaspoons so guests can help themselves.

Halloween Centerpiece Ideas
For a really cool Halloween centerpiece, paint words on the side of several Mason jars with red nail polish-allow the nail polish to drip like blood down the side of the jar-and then fill the jars with chewing gum eyeballs and candy fingers. Fill the jars with gummy rats and bats, and label them accordingly. Add to the atmosphere by tossing a handful of dead leaves and twigs or a few rocks, interspersed with bones and a few skeleton keys, around the jars. Another fun idea is to label the jars with the names of your guests. Example: Helen's fingers; Tom's toes, etc.

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