A Musically Inspired, Super Funky Apothecary Jar

June 4, 2012Allison Murray


Have you ever heard that song Bandages by Hot Hot Heat? It was a big one when I was in high school and I’ve got to tell you, I still rock their EP ‘Knock Knock Knock’ and album ‘Make Up the Break Down’ on the regular. It’s, like, 13 years later and it’s still awesome.

So, I was headed home from the store where I had kind of compulsively and totally spontaneously threw a can of fluorescent red/pink spray paint in my cart. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I was going to do with it, but I am just as in love with spray paint, as 50 Cent would say, like a fat kid loves cake.

I’m listening to Bandages, pondering my new color of spray paint when I think of Knock Knock  Knock’s EP cover art. Now I know exactly what I am going to do with it. Wanna hear the song? I bet you’ve heard it before! Wanna hear the EP? It’s awesome!

Some crazy taping on an apothecary jar later and I have the coolest new kitchen accessory. I completely and totally “heart” it so much. Have an old jar and some spray paint? You can kick one out in about an hour, too!

For this tutorial you will need:

Apothecary or similar jar, spray paint, spray polyurethane, masking tape, heavy grit sandpaper, alcohol, paper and/or plastic to help tape off.


STEP 1: My jar had been sitting on my counter for probably 5 years. I clean it regularly but it’s still got to be heavy with finger grease and who knows what other kitchen gunk. I first gave it a wash in the sink and dried it with a towel. Then, I went over the whole thing with alcohol and let it air dry.

Next, take your sand paper and give your glass a nice go over. You want to rough up the surface so that the paint sticks. Especially if your jar is going to be in a high traffic area like the kitchen and be handled often as a cookie or treat jar (as mine is).

STEP 2: Using your masking tape, start making lines all over the place in crazy diagonals. Connect the lines with smaller lines. Make some big geometric expanses of glass and small ones for some variety!

Complete taping off by covering the top with a plastic bag, the bottom with some paper so that anything you don’t want spray painted stays clear glass. If your jar has already been in use, check out the bottom. There are going to be ‘scratches’ around the bottom in the shape of the jar. This is where it makes contact with surfaces and it will continue to wear – so tape it off and avoid painting in this area.

STEP 3: Take your jar over to wherever you spray paint things (I call my little patch of garage floor that I continually spray paint in – SprayStation) and get to getting. I wanted to have some contrast, so I first painted mine a medium gray and then covered that with my fluorescent red. You can do one color or you can do two. Just remember that the first color will be visible through the glass, so make sure you’re happy with the color combination. Repeat coats until you are happy with the coverage.

STEP 4: When your jar is no longer tacky to the touch, start removing your masking tape. One of the best things you can do, in my opinion, at this point, is take a razor blade or x-acto knife and travel along the edges of the tape with it. This will give you nice, clean sharp lines when you’re pulling off your tape.

STEP 5: Go around and clean up any stray spray of paint in areas that should be clear. I used a razor blade and scratched it off.

STEP 6: Spray with polyurethane to finish and protect your paint job. I used high gloss and it gave my glass a super sharp, almost etched looking effect.



Well, that’s all there is to that. My jar is in my kitchen and even though I’ve had it for YEARS now I’m really afraid that I’ll break it! But I guess it was easy enough in the event that I do.

Happy day out there!

Comments (4)

  • Heather – Dollarstorecrafts

    August 11, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    I love your jar. It turned out so well!! Great work. I love the 80s-90s vibe it has, but it looks really current and on-trend for today, too. We featured it today on Dollar Store Crafts.

  • Allison Murray

    August 11, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Heather – Thanks so much for checking out the post. I am a huge fan of yours :) Thanks again for commenting and the feature!

  • Dawn

    September 6, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    What was the color and brand of spray paint? I love it!

  • Allison Murray

    September 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Hi, Dawn – so sorry for not commenting sooner! I used Krylon fluorescent red. Best of luck!

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