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How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)

You all know I feel I’m a bit lacking in the craft gene department. Yet in a cruel twist of irony, I’ve always been drawn to crafts and enjoy the idea of them immensely.

The honest truth is that most of my crafting attempts over the years have resulted in burns, near amputations, lacerations to my eye, frustrations, and at the very least, a few choice words muttered inside my head (I’m polite and self-controlled like that). And almost all of my attempts end up in the landfills (or out in my garage). Sad, but true.

In spite of the pain and emotional suffering I’ve experienced in crafting, my failures have taught me a valuable lesson about myself, I am not patient enough to do anything very complicated by myself. And knowing that fact about myself keeps me from wasting my time with projects that I know will not have a happy ending or at worst, will result in my untimely demise.

How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)

That pretty much rules out any project that involves hammers, knives, nail guns, sewing machines, or power tools of any kind. With my track record, I avoid most weapons tools like the plague. You cannot be too careful. As I like to say, “safety first.” Better to avoid the dangers entirely and leave those projects to the professionals (notmentioninganynames TDC).

Once we figure out what we are not good at, we experience a new sense of confidence and freedom to just say no to complicated crafts.

So if you are like me and have a few issues surrounding crafting, you’ll appreciate the kinds of crafts I DO try to make. It is STILL possible to craft as long as you focus on the simple, doable, less life-threatening kinds of projects. And once you find a craft project that really works for you, you can just keep doing it. Over and over. And over. Why tamper with a good thing? Perfect your craft. Heh heh.

How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)

I’ve been making Mason Jar candles as far back as I can remember. I use them for, party and season on earth. Why change? That is the beauty of this craft. The jars always have a filler in them and always have a small votive. Always the same, yet always versatile. Most of the time I just use Epsom salt as filler in mine. It looks like a candle sitting in snow in the winter, and a candle in the sand in the summer. Use your imagination.

You cannot fail with this project. The only way to mess this up is if you try to get all fancy (like my friend Emily from Remodeling This Life reportedly did) and use a red candle to spice things up. If you light that red candle, you’ll end up with what can only be delicately described as a horrific accident inside your mason jar. White candles always work. Red, no. See how easy this is? Stick with me, kids.

Yes, you can branch out and use small rocks or candy or cranberries instead of Epsom Salt as a filler. Those are approved and fail proof variations.

How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)

Because I have been a blogger for three years now, it has occurred to me that perhaps I should exert a little more effort and give my old standard craft a little update.

Every good blogger knows you have to have something new to talk about every day fairly often to keep people admiring , impressed with,  reading your blog. I don’t cave in to the pressure to out-do Martha or all the bloggers in the universe (because that is totally hopeless), but this year I decided I really should get my craft on, a little bit, for the holidays and all. I didn’t want to go all crazy and try something completely new, so I opted to stick with the classic Mason Jar, with a somewhat rustic country feel but still festive touch.

So, without further ado…

Behold my new Christmas 2010 Mason Jar:

How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)

aka The Jingle Bell Jar. Yes, I know that title is amazingly clever. Think about it.

How to make a Jingle Bell Jar

Follow all of the instructions for a regular Mason Jar Candle, except wrap the mouth of the jar with jute twine strung with a few jingle bells. If you are a perfectionist, glue the twine down in perfect rows. Otherwise, go for my more unintentionally lazy haphazard look. If you want to really knock yourself out, you can stick some snowflake brads (show in the top photo, found at the craft or scrapbooking store) in the twine and spray with glitter. The end.

If I had all my Christmas decor out, I could have hung small Christmas balls or ornaments from the jar as an option as well! I might try that later.

Here is my Fall into Winter version:

The Cinnamon Stick Mason Jar.

How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)

For lovebirds:

Key to Your Heart Mason Jar

perfect for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries or housewarmings or anytime, really….

How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)

And, a sneak peek one in my upcoming summer collection (I’ve always wanted to say that):

The Starfish Mason Jar.

You’ll be seeing this one again in all its glory this summer.

How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)

Now I’m just showing off.

I’ll stop.

How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)

Coming soon, glitter is my new BFF and I’ve got plans for her.

Related post:

DIY: Glittery Snow for your Mason Jar and Candles 

Click on the banner below to visit my seasonal & holiday gallery!

How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar (and other Mason Jar crafts)


  1. Ryn

    Those are beautiful! I tend to be decent with the more complicated DIY “crafts”, but I love the simple ones … mostly because they tend to be quick and I actually finish them on time.

  2. Emily

    These are so great, Melissa! My kind of craft! :)

    I seriously laughed out loud that you told the world about my poor red candles from last year.

    Love you!


    • Diane

      Actually, when I read this, I thought why not use red candle for Halloween and maybe a scull head attached with the jute.

  3. hip chick

    K I love this and think I may even try my hand at it…I just hope I don’t burn myself with the glue gun…if I can even find the glue gun…

  4. Christine Aldinger

    funny and cute oh how i love mason jars and yours are darling

  5. Kim

    This is great! I think I will use this idea for our Chirstmas candlelight at our church.

  6. SimplyLKJ

    I love this idea! Just the perfect little touch to add some holiday charm to a room (such as a bathroom). And, I love that you can change them out for each season.

  7. tammy

    This is a fabulous idea and I love how you can create so many different looks just by changing out the embellishment. Thanks for the tip on the red candle ;) I might have tried that one lol

  8. Ellen Moore

    I am a new reader of your blog and laughed myself silly this morning. You are so funny! I AM a crafter and have always felt those who don’t craft were in some (small) way, inferior. I love to take something that is nondescript and turn it into something so cute and lovely and useful and cannot understand those who do not embrace crafts. But you, you have changed my entire mode of thinking. Non-crafters have other qualities, such as humor and the ability to write. I will definitely read this blog diligently. Excuse me now while I have some tea and perhaps stop laughing and rereading your post.

  9. Sharon

    Loved this!!! I too long to craft but never seem to be ‘good’ at it. but this is simple! I surely can do this!!! I especially like the starfish.
    I really enjoy your blog.

  10. Amy

    Love this idea! I’m a relatively new reader of your blog. Found you through a friend’s page on Open Sky a couple of months ago. . .and have enjoyed your posts ever since. You have no idea how much I look forward to reading your blogs. I consider them a treat. I plow through the 50 + work emails first, and then save your blog email for last. It’s kind of like dessert for me. Thanks so much for being a creative, fun inspriation!

  11. Deanna

    I do the mason jar thing all year long too! I like the twine at the top with the bells or other items….may have to copy this!

  12. Bevy

    love it all…..

    thanks for some great ideas.

  13. Mrs. Accountability

    It took me a bit to figure out that you were using Epsom salts as a filler. These are beautiful and I guess you wouldn’t actually have to use a canning jar, you could use any kind of jar. Thanks for this simple and easy decorating idea!

  14. Jess

    LOVE these! Just too cute!! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Susan

    I LOVE this simple but awesome idea. These are so going on my family room Christmas mantel. I love the cranberry idea. Thanks!

  16. Kathy

    I like simple things like this myself, Melissa! While I am a great fan of crafty things, I find that sometimes I just don’t have the time to do them. Also, I’m trying to use up those supplies I’ve purchased over the past year {I think there’s a New Years resolution in there somewhere}. I can handle this and you’ve reminded me about using epsom salts as faux snow.

  17. Carla

    What a fun post, Miss Crafty! I have some pint jars from my attempt at canning salsa last summer and will give this idea a whirl!! Thanks for bringing a smile this morning!!

  18. pk

    Simple, fun, inexpensive and pretty – what could be better? I like it!

  19. se7en

    These are so pretty – I thought I would add them to my list of gifts in jars ideas (… but no I think I might make them just for us to enjoy… we always have Christmas dinner out doors (sunny Cape Town) and these candles would look so pretty and not be blown out by the breeze!!! Love them!!!

  20. teresa

    You are so silly…love it….and the nice thing about mason jars….I have tons out in the garage from my canning days.
    Thanks for the idea….I know the girls and I will be making these Thanksgiving….we like to do crafts when we are together…. Happy Day…the star fish one is my favorite.

  21. Christy

    EEEK, I LOVE these, and I actually have the large jar, jute twine AND the starfish all on hand! Thanks for the inspiration. I don’t think you’re crafty challenged in the least. :)

  22. Katie

    loooooooove! how pretty and brilliantly simple.

  23. Angie

    OOOO i love the beach one and the key one and the Snow one!!! I have a ton of these at the house!! I can going to have to make some!! I can already see the snow ones on my mantel!

  24. Debra

    Very cute… and versatile! I’m making these! Sand would be nice in the starfish one.

  25. Jenny

    I love these!! What a simple, classic look with so many possibilities! Thanks for sharing. :-)

  26. Karen


    LOL, I am totally the same way—I’ve given up the notion that I can make slip covers from drop cloth and refinish a table that looks better than the broken down table I found for $2 at Goodwill. It is freeing and it’s so good to know your limitations! That said, your jars look doable even for a craft-challenged person like myself…thanks for sharing this great idea.

  27. Katharine

    This is awesome, and perfect, and just what I needed! You are the new Martha, (plus you made me laugh out loud, she never does)
    Have a great weekend!

  28. Angie

    Look at your crafty self! These are all beautiful and simple…that makes them an A+ to me. :)

  29. Kim

    I love the simplicity and beauty of these candles. I’m going to try them. By the way, I have to ask, is that your Westie in the photo? If I knew how I’d send you a picture of my Westie. They’re great dogs!! Thanks, Kim

    • Melissa

      Yes, that is Winston! He is 15 1/2 now…such a sweet dog!

  30. Gina

    Love these ideas! And so easy for quick gifts-or just around my house :)

  31. DeAndrea

    LOVE it!!!! At first glance I thought you used the fake snow stuff you find at the craft store. Epsom salt, great idea! I have some blue canning jars and I think I will try it in those for a frosty appearance. By the way I loved the canning jars you did a couple of years ago that you did with candy corn and had it in an old canning jar holder. I had to go on ebay to get an old holder. I borrowed that idea for an outdoor autumn party I had. My table looked fabulous! Thank you!

  32. Beth

    These are so lovely!
    May I ask: do you put a “bare” candle in the epsom salts/pebbles, etc., or are they contained in something else, like tea lights are? I’ve tried this before, but the candle melted all.over. inside the jar, and was next to impossible to remove because it all stuck together. (I stuck in a bare candle into sand.)

    • Melissa

      Yes, I just stick a bare white candle down in the Epsom salts, it eventually will melt into the salt BUT it is easy to pluck it out and star fresh. I only use the smaller, like maybe 1 or two inch candles so they can’t melt to the side of the jar.

      I also use tea lights sometimes but they don’t stay lit as long.

      • Beth

        Thank you so much!

  33. anne

    Perfect! since i am also a slightly impatient crafter and although i can do a few things quite well, the rest is often slapdash… these are charming, as always an enjoyable post!

  34. Rene

    Love how the salt looks like snow in the jar!! Thank you for sharing your cute ideas!

  35. Tammy

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE these. The simplicity, the options. Thanks for the inspiration. I may use this idea for our Thanksgiving table…

    Best wishes,

  36. Lila Ferraro

    I love this idea. I have saved all of my sons baby jars and could totally use them for this. It might be a little smaller in scale, but I think it could work!
    Lila Ferraro

  37. Dionna

    Love them. Love simple and elegant – because I’m not a good crafter either. :)

  38. Roberta

    Very cute Melissa…simple is always best. You should have these in your windows on your banner ;)

  39. Jimi Ann

    You are too funny! I love to read your posts and laugh (with you, not at you)! Your writing is so refreshing and light. Thanks for the jar-of-all-seasons idea!

  40. Lauri Thomas

    Oh my GOODness. You are KILLING me! You are hilarious :) Love the epsom salts idea – totally stealing that one ;)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. Carmen

    I’m definitely trying this. I love yours. So pretty! :)

  42. Fiona's Mosaic

    So sweet these mason jars are!!!! Wonderful ideas Melissa! Good girl! And you didn’t lose a digit! lolol

    I have some pretty aqua ones sitting in the basement. Me thinks I have plans for them!

  43. Lauren

    Haha! And I thought every American woman was tested in glue gun and ribbon-tying skills?

    You give the rest of us useless (disinterested?) sorts hope — and some breathing room from Ikea’s standard-issue tea light holders, wahoo!

  44. Cheryl

    Very fun! Thanks for the inspiration. Made 3 already, each featuring a small picture frame that includes a stanza of The Winter Day poem by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I plan on making more for Christmas gifts featuring different winter poems or quotes.

  45. Michele

    I think Mason jars have a natural, simple beauty. If I had to choose a fave it would be between the cinnamon stick and starfish. Those are wonderful! You are so not craft-challenged! I am craft-challenged! But so many of my friends are talented and creative. I’m going to start a segment on my blog called vicarious crafting to highlight their amazing creations and projects because I don’t have any to share myself. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!

  46. Gramma T.

    I am so ready for the little ones today. They are coming to stay over and we are gonna make candles for mom and other Gramma and Aunties. Yaaaa Thanks for helping me make a memory with my grandsons. Hope it is as easy as it looks!!

  47. Mary Beth

    What a lovely idea-one that I think I will try! You are so funny…you made me laugh out loud…yes, I too love crafts and often find that I am better off ‘admiring’ others than actually making my own…yet, I buy supplies, tons of them, arrange them by theme, season, holiday, etc…..then just look at how pretty they are and imagine someday actually doing something with them….. perhaps I need to wear some hazmat gear the next time I try my hand at crafting..better safe than sorry. : )

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  48. Kim Fahrni

    Thanks for the chuckle! And you ideas are great, btw.. :0)

  49. Amanda

    I love this idea! I love mason jars for everything too! I’m going to make some of these!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  50. Natasha

    You always have the best ideas! Thanks so much for this one. Now I’m a twitter-er I am going to re-tweet it!

    Best wishes,

  51. Tammy aka

    Oh my LOVE IT! Please make sure you keep ‘showing off’ such great ideas!

  52. Kristin

    Thanks for posting this, I’m totally with you on the liking craftiness but not having the gene. I used your idea today for the epsom salt, which I’ve been wanting to try…I linked to you from my post too…thanks for the great ideas!!

  53. Leen

    You are so very clever. I love them all but will be borrowing the starfish idea for my winter at the beach decor I’ve got going on :)

  54. heather ritchie

    oh my goodness, I’m SO going to make these! I’m hosting a small Christmas party in a few weeks and kept thinking it would be nice to line my walkway with some sort of luminaries and this is just the project!! Thank you for the idea, I’m so excited to make these :)


  55. Amy

    I just love Mason jars (aka “jelly jars”)! They are so versatile and so many neat things can be created with them.

    Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  56. Judy

    Made some of these to give family on thanksgiving so they can put out with christmas decorations. So thank you for this simple and inexpensive gift idea. The only thing I did differently was to use red raffia ribbon instead of twine.

  57. erin / dfm

    oh melissa, you are so fantastic! great work!

  58. Traci

    Your blog was so funny! I love the idea of the decorative mason jar for all seasons. Thanks! I’ll keep you bookmarked!

  59. carol

    Melissa, when I read your blog I feel like you’re sitting in my kitchen or like you might be at my dining room table and we’re about to do the mason jar thing— together. I kinda feel like you’re my friend I’ve never met. And when I read this post it tickled me way down deep inside. You’re so dang honest. I love it. Hoping your Thanksgiving was blessed!!

  60. Bonnie Jackson

    I too am craft challenged but I do love these jars. They ring true as pure and simple. I think I can do that!

  61. Theresa

    I live in Barcelona. Can I use any other type of salt instead of Epsom salt to get the snow effect? It’s not easy to find here, and where I have found it, it costs at least 6 euros per 100 grams.

  62. Amy

    I found your blog through both (in)courage and The Nester (and maybe Simple Mom too?) and I’m hooked. Thank you for these ideas – I’m horribly craft-challenged but I absolutely think I can do this.

  63. Dawn Camp

    Cute! It makes me feel better that you consider yourself craft challenged, too. We recovered our dining room chairs (technically not a craft, I suppose) the night before Thanksgiving, but my husband really did all the work. I cut cloth and sprayed Scotch Guard. :)

  64. Jaclyn

    Over the years and with the passing of family members, I’ve collected far too many Mason jars…and most without lids! (My kids can’t even put bugs in them, b/c there’s no lid!) This is a great way for me to pull those out and set them along on our patio during gatherings! GREAT IDEA!

  65. Scooper

    Oh, I am in love! I can handle this craft. What great gifts {I’ve been looking for something inexpensive and homemade like this.} The starfish one from your “summer collection” may be my fave.

  66. Karla

    My coworker made these for us in our little office after I showed him your blog post. He put sand in the jars and mixed spices in with the sand – cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The smell, once the candle is heated, is faint and lovely!

  67. Holly

    ok how come i haven’t seen your blog before! i mean seriously! you had me laughing the entire time! i may have peed myself! oh goodness this is great! i think i love you!

    wow thats a lot of {!} in this sentence!!

  68. Emily

    This was the funniest post ever. Going to be linking back to it tomorrow because well, I somewhat copied you, I think? :)

  69. Shirley B.

    Love mason jars and truly enjoyed reading your blog detailing your ‘intricate’ decorations. Made me LOL!

  70. tBone

    i feel your pain. i too am craft challenged.
    you’re an inspiration :)

  71. Bonnie

    How cool!

    Yesterday I attended a craft show. First one I’ve attended, by myself, in a long time. It gave me the crafting bug–AGAIN! This craft just nudged me in the crafting direction, too!

    You rock!

  72. JennyLeigh

    Cute jar candles! I had to chuckle when I saw the pic with your little Westie’s nose poking in. We have a Westie. He has to be in the center of EVERYTHING. They are wonderful, sweet, completely annoying little dogs. We are crazy about our Max.

  73. Lori Lesley

    I am wanting to do mason jar candles for a high school graduation party this weekend! Nothing like waiting til the last moment lol Any suggestions on filler or an idea thats festive yet classy.
    Thanks! I am doing bright colors of fresh flowers in jars for tables, I thought somehow adding a picture of the graduate would be cute…..but how :)

  74. Ashley

    Where did you find the antique key?! I love love love the whole look…it’s almost exactly what I envision for centerpieces for my wedding. Just need the keys! Thanks. :)

    • Melissa

      I actually got them at Michaels in their $1 bin! SCORE!


    I am thrilled with the Epsom salt idea..I thought I needed to find an old beanbag and tear it apart for the styrifoam but I have not found any…Plus it will be easier working with the Epsom salt..thanks a bunch..I am so hooked on Ball Jar decor..

  76. Audrey

    And to think i almost thru out the epsom salt this past weekend! Kept wondering what I was gonna do with Epsom salt…NOW I know! :)
    Thanks for sharing!

  77. Deanne

    I love these! Simple and easy. I have lots of jute and jingle bells. Mainly because I forget I bought them and bought more. I do that alot! I also collect keys. I wanted to incorporate some into my Christmas decor. I sprayed some with glitter to catch the light. Thanks for all these ideas!

  78. Betsy

    These are great! Versatile and simple – my kind of project!

  79. Seed Sprout Haven

    I found exactly what I was looking for when I found your blog.
    I too try my patience when trying to make my craft “look like the picture”
    That seldom never works for me. So I have to walk away and think about it:) with the twine wrapped around the mason jar….it doesn’t work for me:( So, I took the twine and crocheted a band to fit around the mouth of my mason jar. I came to your blog via Pinterest looking for ideas on what to attach to my twine band.
    Thank you for your ideas.
    Seed Sprout Haven aka Tammy Sisler

  80. Ann

    Wonderful! Wish I could do real candles but I have many cats and it would be dangerous. Oh, I could place one or two up high someplace, but I might forget them and start a fire. (Maybe I just won’t light them.) I do love that you have identified for me an alternate use for the 3 boxes of Epsom salts under my bathroom sink! I don’t remember when or why I picked those up (perhaps I had foot ailments at the time), but I never opened them. I assume my salts are white and fluffy like yours and look like beach sand. I know what you mean about wanting to create breathtaking crafts but doubting your abilities due to past failures. When I am living in that fearful place, I remind myself how far I have come. Just less than 10 days ago, I repaired my own refrigerator. That’s right. All. By. Myself. It required buying Masonite to protect wood floors and studying several YouTube appliance repair videos. And before I was finished, I’d purchased the wrong sized hex screw socket–twice. When I began, the lumpy-milk filled refrigerator was a warm 60 degrees and the freezer was sub zero and noisily blowing snow chunks all over everything. When I was finished, the refrigerator was 39 degrees and the freezer was zero and quiet again. We imagine we can’t do stuff, but we can. We really can.



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