All The Pretty Things… AKA New Canning Equipment!

Call it luck. Call it a splurge. Call it an early Mother’s Day gift. Call it what ever you will – I’ve got a new little present on the way to my doorstep!

It might look like an ordinary canning rack, but don’t be fooled. It’s a mini canning rack – which is absolutely perfect for small batch preserving. It holds either four pint or two quart jars and fits into a standard stock pot. So it’ll be perfect for a small batch of jam, or a few quarts of pickles or what have you. I’m pretty excited about this little beauty – I could feasibly whip up a quick, small batch of something on a weeknight after work! Or have it going at the same time as the larger canner to expand how many jars I can process in one go. I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can try it out – my first preserves might be red wine jelly or beer mustard from this year’s Can Plan.

And I haven’t purchased this yet, and it’s not strictly for canning, but I came across it the other day while browsing the interwebs for canning supplies and I just fell in love with it –

It’s a flower frog that screws onto any standard mason jar. How beautiful would that look in the dining table, full of wispy spring flowers? Next time I need a little pick me up, I’m going to snap up one of these. With my mason jar pencil cups, soap dispensers, and chalkboard storage jars, this flower vase would be right at home.

Storage Jars with Chalkboard Lids

Here’s my second project for chalkboard paint and spent canning jar lids. Once again, husband’s amazing painting skills came to the rescue since I’m couch bound. In my quest to come up with creative reuses of used canning lids, countertop storage jars were at the top of my list.

As you know, I’ve been hoarding canning jars for actual canning this season, but I have a few of the Ball Elite half pint jars that I do not like to use for canning at all. They’re not as space-efficient as standard jars in the pantry, and frankly, they’re more expensive. I got them a few years ago at a deep discount at Kmart, which made them a great find at the time as I was building up my jar collection, but they’re just not what I prefer to use these days. Making them perfect candidates for other projects.

You can never have to many attractive countertop storage jars in my opinion – they’re great for tea, cinnamon sugar, bulk spices, garlic – you name it. So I thought I’d like to have a pair with lids where I could label the contents. And since the contents of the jars might change from time to time, chalkboard lids fit the bill perfectly – I can change the label easily and quickly when ever I change what’s in the jar.

The instructions for painting the lids are more or less the same as for my earlier post on Mini Chalkboard Magnets, but I’ll post them again here for easy reference –

The only supplies you need are spent canning jar lids, a can of chalkboard spray paint, and some steel wool.

Here’s a shot of the lids all ready for their spray paint treatment (as well as lids for my Mini Chalkboard Magnets – might as well do them all in one go) –

First you’ll want to wash the lids in soapy water to make sure they’re clean, and scrub the surfaces lightly with the steel wool. This will help the paint adhere better to the surface. Dry them off well. You can either lay them flat on a couple sheets of newspaper, or do what painter pros like my husband do and attach them to a paint board (just a piece of thick scrap cardboard) with a little tape. It makes it easier to make sure they get coated evenly and you don’t run into the issue of having them get stuck to the newspaper.

Husband did three coats on the lids to make sure the paint was even and they’d have a surface that would last. If you’ve never spray painted before, it’s important to remember a couple of points – keep the nozzle equidistant from what you’re spraying at all times – don’t spray in an arc. Secondly, don’t just start spraying right on your object – start off to one side, then pass over your target slowly and evenly – and remember to follow through past the other side by a few inches too. This will ensure a smooth, even coat without runs or drips. He waited 10-15 minutes between each coat for the paint to mostly dry. It’s important to do three coats – multiple thin coats is better than one thick coat. Here’s a shot of the lids all painted up –

Next up is the hardest part – the paint will need 24 hours to set up before use. So set them aside overnight and resist the temptation to put them on your jars right away. After the overnight cure, fit them onto your jars with the rings. This is what they look like in their new home on our counter  –

And as mentioned before – I would’ve liked to show these with writing on them, but chalk has proven to be nearly impossible to find in our neighborhood. I’m sure there will be a ton of chalk in the stores the second we’re not looking for it too… but anyway.

Again, if you don’t happen to have these supplies sitting around like I do, they really won’t break the bank, especially considering you’re going to get a lot more projects than just this one out of the paint and glue. A bottle of Weldbond will run you about $3.00, chalkboard spray paint is about $8.00, and a package of magnets for around $3.00. So for under fifteen bucks, you’ll have enough for this project and countless others.   

And for more information on spray-painting in general (the ultimate cheap mini makeover for anything), check out this Tips for Spraypainting sheet that I discovered via my Pinterest boards.