Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Imitation Is the Highest Form of Flattery

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Am I right, or am I right?
So anyway, I love Anthropologie. Love.
But my pocketbook does not.

And this could be tragic if it weren't for the fact that I have been able to mimic a few of things that I have found there that I love so much for a fraction of the cost at the store.
I've been known to walk through the store with the sole purpose of being inspired.
Lame? Maybe.
I found these chalkboard spice jars on their website the other day.
They are so cute...
They are also $10 a piece.
Let me be clear; I am a stay-at-home mom/part time youth minister, and...
actually, do I need to say more?

So I've made these over the last couple of days.
They were easy peasy, and I think they turned out pretty well, and somewhat like the real thing.

While Anthropologie's cost $10 for one,
mine ended up costing about $12 for twenty-one.

So there you have it. They're looking cuter already, arent they?

But enough about me.
Here's the tutorial:

What you'll need:
Baby Food Jars (I used 8 oz.)
80 or 100 grit sand paper
masking tape
spray paint (I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor in Ivory, Avocado, Catalina Mist, and Pimento)
chalkboard paint (I had some Rustoleum paint left over from another project, but there are many routes you could take)
chalk for labeling

Step One: Feed Your Baby

You'll then have a lot of jars. :)
I couldn't bare to just recycle them, so we ended up here.

Step Two: Clean 'Em Up
Sanitize your jars. I threw mine in the dishwasher.
Remove the labels.
Use rubbing alcohol or a product like Goo Gone to remove the adhesive.

Step Three: Sand 'Em Down

This was my least favorite part (if you were wondering).
Using 80 or 100 grit sand paper, sand the jars up to the lip as well as the lids.
Don't chinz on the sanding. It's not worth it.
While being the less desireable portion of this project, these won't stand the test of time (especially if your kitchen is as frequently used as mine) if both the jars and the lids aren't sanded well.

Step Four: Mask

Using your masking tape, tape off the lip of the jars.
This will do a number of things:
One, you don't want this painted because you want a nice fit for your lids.
Two, the metal of the lids would most likely rub the paint off anyway.
Three, it will give you a nice "foot" to place your jar on when painting (you'll see that in a bit).

Tip: run your finger nail over the edge of the masking tape to make sure it adheres to the jar really well. This will help give you a nice clean paint line.
Another Tip: I used Gerber jars which have a deliniation in the glass right where I wanted the masking tape below the lip. This was the perfect guide to make an even line with my tape. How nice.

Step Five: Paint

Place your jars upside down on a drop cloth (or a large trash bag for me).
See that "foot" I was talking about? Super! No pooling paint for us.
Spray lightly from all directions.
Take your time with this, and do many layers.
I don't know how many coats it took for me, but it was more than a couple.
Luckily, this paint dries in about 30 minutes.

Step Six: Lids

You'll paint your lids in the same fashion.
Multiple coats.

But here's a tip: Cut yourself some strips of cardstock or cardboard or the like.
Then fold it so you have a little table on which your lid can sit.
That way when you paint it, the paint won't pool and make your lid stick to the work surface.

Step Seven: Labels

Once everything is dry (let it sit at least over night), paint your chalkboard labels.
Again, there are multiple ways that you can do this.

You could try to stencil it on (but beware, stencils can be tricky/frustrating on curved surfaces).
You could make labels with chalkboard paper using a cricut or your computer (keep in mind, though, that the paper is not washable. You would have to replace the labels each time you washed them).
I handpainted mine.

You could do any shape you like.
I rather like the cartoche that Anthro used on my inspiration jars.

Here's what I did:
Paint a rectangle that it roughly the size you want your label.
Curve the corners a bit.
Overlap a circle in the very middle so you have curves at the top and bottom.

Add a little point to the left size, and then the right.

I needed two coats to get the right coverage.
The second coat goes much quicker than the first.

Remove your masking tape and place your lids on the tops!

From this...

To this...

Mine are just sitting on my window sill right now, but don't worry...
I have all the supplies to make a spice rack for them.
They are way too cute to hide in the cupboard.
But that project will have to wait since preparations are now underway for Ben's first birthday party.

So that'll probably be it for this week.
I'll be out living my real life with my real family. ;)
I'll be posting all the pictures and details of the party in the next week or so.
Get excited!

The Southern Institute

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