Craft Projects, Quick and Easy Crafts

Floral Mason Jar Wall Vases

I never really hung up all of our photos and artwork in our bedroom since I painted it, oh, a year or two ago. I love our wedding pictures, but I wanted more color on the walls. And it’s basically taken me forever to do so.

This is what our bedroom looked like in February of 2015.

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_bed before

We slapped some brighter paint on the walls and got a new bed frame…

A Smith of All Trades_Master Bedroom_final2

Redid the hardwoods and moved around furniture….

Bedroom_final2

And that’s where it’s been since March of this year.

I’ve moved photos around to different walls and our floral painting that used to live in our room now hangs beautifully above our new sideboard.

It was time to make something to fill the empty walls on either side of the window behind our bed. I have wanted to make my own version of these glass bottle wall vases for quite some time, but I didn’t want them white, I didn’t want to use plumbing hardware and I don’t drink Starbucks bottled drinks…. 

So I made up my own. I started with scrap wood that I cut to similar sizes on my mitre saw. I eye-balled the sizes because perfection is overrated.

masonjarflorals_scraps

Once I had the pieces cut, I drilled two different sets of holes in each piece: Two at the top for the hanger and two toward the middle to secure my jars.

masonjarflorals_holes

Then I smoothed each piece down with some sandpaper before throwing a quick coat of stain on them.

masonjarflorals_stain

I let these dry for a hot sec, then started adding hangers to each mason jar floral.

masonjarflorals_twinehanger

Once all six had hangers attached (just some knotted twine), I threaded twine through an upholstery needle and stared attaching the mason jars.

masonjarflorals_twineloops

To do so, I looped the twine through the pre-drilled holes so I ended up with four loops.

masonjarflorals_twinejar

Then I stuck my jelly jar into the loops and started tightening the twine. I am only planning on using these for faux florals, so they don’t have to be able to hold anything heavy. The twine keeps them taught to the wood and they don’t seem to have much risk of coming loose. I’ll let you know if they come crashing out in the middle of the night (that would suck!).

masonjarflorals_twine

Once I got the jar settled, I tightened and knotted the heck out of the twine on the back side.

masonjarflorals_knot

The first one I did wasn’t tight enough, so when it hung I could wobble the jar. I got all of them tight enough so when I wiggle the board, no jars move around. If you have a curved upholstery needle, I think you’d be able to actually do this easier because you could tighten the twine as you loop through the drilled holes. But I wasn’t able to do that with my straight needle.

Once I had all six of these made, I took a bunch of leftover florals and cut them down to make six jar fillers. I made three sets of matching florals for my set of 6 wall vases. I found it was helpful to tie each floral bunch with twine at the base to keep things together since mason jars aren’t really vases.

masonjarflorals_2

Then B and I hung them up on either side of our bed!

masonjarflorals_3

I think they are adorable! Brian had the idea of putting tea lights in them instead, but I don’t think we’d light them often enough to make it worth it. Plus, I like the pop of color.

masonjarflorals_4

Since I had all of these supplies on hand, these didn’t cost me a penny. It took me about 2 hours to make all six, including staining them and making the florals. Not bad!

masonjarflorals_5

Now I just need to find a few more spots in our room to add in some extra color! These little wall vases were a great place to start for sure.

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Recipes

Homemade Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam

Yup, a third recipe. Don’t worry — back to crafts after this. I couldn’t help it though 🙂 I never ever bake or cook exciting things, so when I do I feel compelled to share. Remember Mean Girls and “word vomit“? It’s like that. … it’s blog vomit. Weird, but it sorta works.

Moving on… After you are done making your amazing strawberry jam, try your hand at making some blackberry jam. I was in Costco and saw a huge thing of blackberries and had to buy them to make some jam for my momma. I know she loves her some blackberry jam.

This recipe is fairly similar to the strawberry one. Here goes.

I filled a quart-sized baggie with blackberries and smashed the heck out of them. I didn’t want to chop them up, and they are soft enough that squishing does the trick.

Looks yummy already, huh?

Blackberries

I poured my blackberries into my jam maker, adding a tablespoon of butter and 1.5 tablespoons of pectin.

After four minutes, I added the sugar. I added 1 1/3 cups to this batch. Blackberries aren’t always as sweet as I’d like, so I added more to this jam than I did to the strawberry jam.

Let the jelly maker do its job (remember, this can be done on the stove, too!) and can immediately after the jam is done.

If you plan on eating some right away, put it in the fridge. Once it is cool, slather it on some toast an enjoy.

Blackberry Jam on Toast

Recipes

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Homemade Strawberry Jam

I got the most random appliance for Christmas (I asked for it, btw) — a jelly and jam maker! I absolutely love making homemade jams and jellies and thought I’d share a recipe or two with you guys.

Today I made strawberry jam. It’s the hubby’s favorite and it is so soooo delicious. I like making my own because I don’t have to put nearly as much sugar in it as the store-bought jellies. Plus, it is tastier.

Here’s what you need (yes, real measurements! I know, that’s crazy coming from me.):

  • 2 lbs Strawberries
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 tbsp pectin
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Before I start I should add that this recipe will work on the stove as well. The jam maker is preset to make jam or jelly and has a stirrer in the middle so nothing burns. It’s just a glorified pot. (But it is awesome!)

First, cut up your strawberries into little bits. If you like your jam chunkier, leave some bigger chunks of the fruit.

Next, mash your berries with a potato masher to get some of the juices loose and the strawberries extra squishy.

IMG_0062

Add your strawberries, butter and pectin to your jam maker and turn it on. In my jam maker, the preset time for jam is 21 minutes. If you make it on the stove, cook on medium heat for about the same amount of time.

Side note: I had no idea what pectin was before I started experimenting with my jam maker, so here’s what I’ve learned. Pectin is a natural substance found in apples that helps fruit to gel up. For fruits with a lot of pectin in them, you do not have to add pectin to make the jam or jelly (although it doesn’t hurt). Berries don’t have a lot of pectin, so you need the added stuff. I buy mine on Amazon.

After 4 minutes, add in your sugar. Cover and walk away and let the pot do its work.

Jam

Come back in 21 minutes to a steamy pot full of delicious jam. If you want to can your jam, do it immediately while the jam is still boiling hot and you won’t have to boil your jars to seal them. Simply place your seal and your lid onto the can after it is full, then flip it upside down. The heat from the jar’s contents will seal the jar and make it last for about a year.

The jam will also burn badly if you spill it on yourself. I learned this the hard way after spilling a bunch of boiling peach jam on my hand. Be careful!!!

If you are going to use some right away, plop it into a container and place it in the fridge. Once it is cool, try it out!

jam on toast

(Don’t just my white bread. … It’s what the hubby likes and mine was out :p)

The main reason I am sharing this recipe is that when I got my jelly and jam maker it came with a recipe book. This recipe book called for a ton more pectin (which is expensive) and a TON more sugar. I’m talking three cups. Gross. I think the recipe I have here is a really good one that I plan to use from now on with this jam.

Enjoy!