Happy Monday Lovelies! Today I’d like to show you one of my favorite DIY projects…

DIY tutorial for making your own wedding centerpieces out of painted mason jars

Swirly, marbled mason jar flower vases! (Perfect for wedding receptions…)

how to make swirly painted mason jars for wedding centerpieces

For this project, you’ll need:

3 or more colors of acrylic craft paint | a clean, empty glass jar | gloss or high gloss spray lacquer | drop cloth or old newspapers| another glass jar (not shown above) to contain excess paint

Any clean, dry jar with a lid will work for this project. Raid the recycling bin! I’ve used curry jars, spaghetti jars, and even old salad dressing bottles. Vintage blue-green canning jars look lovely too, and can be purchased in lots on Ebay.

diy wedding centerpieces from marbled glass pouring paint into a glass jar

First, pour your “base” color into the jar. Don’t be shy – use as much paint as you can squeeze out of the bottle. (If you’re impatient like me, take the cap off for faster pouring.) The more paint that is added now, the easier it will be to completely coat the interior later. Thicker paint will dry in bolder swirls, which is why I’m using a bottle of acrylic paint that is specifically designed to coat ceramics. It’s a little goopier than standard acrylic paint.

make your own diy swirly painted wedding table vasesmaking your own painted vases out of recycled ball jars

Add the contents of your remaining bottles, one right on top of the other. Don’t worry if the paint catches or splatters on the lip, just wipe any spills off of the rim with a damp cloth. When you’ve added all of your paint, tightly cap the jar. Now is a good time to spread out your drop cloth, if you haven’t already done so.

making your own wedding vases out of spaghetti jarsmarbled glass spaghetti jar

Gently swirl, turn and tumble your jar so that the paint begins to marble and coat the interior of the glass. The more the paint moves, the more your colors will blend together – if you prefer bold marbling, turn your jar as little as possible. When you’re satisfied with how things are looking, flip the jar right-side-up and carefully unscrew the lid. Set it aside and slowly pour the excess paint into your spare jar. Pour in as much as you can, as we’ll be swirling this jar too!

wedding vase out of a glass jar

Go ahead and give her a whirl, just as you did with the other jar. Because your paints have already begun to mix together, you’ll notice the marbling in this jar will be more subtle. As the jar dries, the streaks tend to become even more muted so bold, contrasting colors work best if your jars are tall & narrow.

marbling the inside of a mason jarrecycling your glass jars into art

Pour your excess paint into the trash or use a little bit to “patch” small areas you might have missed in the first jar. Aren’t these delicate swirls beautiful?

swirly painted glass jars

Wipe any excess paint or splatters off of the exteriors of the jars and set them upright on your drop cloth to dry. Drying time depends on how much paint is left inside the jar – its a good idea to allow for at least one undisturbed week in a dry, dark room. Warm, humid conditions will slow the process.

After a few days, poke a long wooden grilling skewer into the paint that has accumulated at the bottom of the jar; if the skewer can’t puncture the paint, you’re ready to seal! Simply give your can of spray lacquer a few good shakes and then aim the nozzle into your jar at a slight angle. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of the jar as best you can. (It’s okay if you miss a few spots.) The lacquer will prevent the paint from absorbing any water if you plan to turn your jar into a vase.

recycling glass jars into painted vasesrecycling old glass jars into wedding centerpieces

Tada!!! Gorgeous! (Because this jar was a little taller than it was wide, the paint ran further down the sides of the glass as it dried, producing a beautiful tiger-striped pattern.)

Here are a few more examples in different color combinations:

And here are the resulting marbled glass jars:

recycled jars as wedding centerpieces

wedding flowers in a colorful glass jarpurple glass vase with yellow flowers

Choose thick bunches of flowers and cut the stems short for a pop of color. You can even wrap a coordinating ribbon around the rim of each jar to dress-up the screw bands.

These vases make perfect wedding centerpieces when clustered in groups of three. Scatter tea lights around the jars for pretty reflections in the glossy exterior.

DIY tutorial for making your own wedding centerpieces out of painted mason jars

Pretty, pretty swirls…

Have fun making these and if you have any questions you can ask me in the comments or send me an email. And of course I would love to see your finished products! Pretty pictures are always appreciated. :-)


  1. meggan says

    I love this, I am going to use it everytime I have a little bit of paint left, but not enough to paint with… It works amazingly.

    • Jess says

      Hi Kristen, sometimes — it really depends on the opacity & coverage of the particular paint you’re using.

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