Trash to Treasure - Sponge Painting

I absolutely love turning trash (in this case, recycling) into treasures.  Trevor and I made a bunch of glass jars for the MOMS Club end-of-year banquet I'll be attending tonight.  Can you guess what this was in a former life?

Answer: a baby food jar!

With a small present tucked inside, these jars make great gifts for family, friends, or teachers.  They can be fun placecards for parties, events, sports banquets, etc.  They also make great pencil holders, vases for dried flowers, or coin jars. 

To make one, you will need: 
     a clean jar (baby food, applesauce, spaghetti sauce, etc)
     acrylic paint - at least two colors
     a container for the paint
     a piece of sponge
     ribbon or raffia

Before I explain the steps, take a look at the container holding my paint.  That is a margarine container dating back to the 1970s.  My mom (and her mom before her) diligently saved margarine containers for crafts (back before we knew that butter is in all ways superior to margarine).  There are pictures of me as a child painting with this margarine container in front of me.  I have moved at least 6 times since someone consumed this margarine, yet the containers have moved with me every time.  

Alright, now on to the tutorial!  Squirt paint into your margarine cup (or other repurposed container).  Dip the sponge into the paint.  It should look like this: 

Pounce the sponge over the surface of the glass jar.  At first, Trevor was trying to brush instead of pouncing, but he learned quickly that brushing muddles the paint.  After a few pounces, dip the sponge in fresh paint and continue.  

Set the jars aside to dry.  If necessary, you can do a second coat over any areas that are sparse or muddled.  If you'll be using these with water (for example, as a vase for cut flowers), you'll need to spray on a coat or two of sealant.  We didn't do this, since ours won't be getting wet.

Add a ribbon or piece of raffia and you're done!


  1. That is soooooooooooooooo awesome!!!! LOVE how these turned out!!

  2. very pretty! I love giving something another purpose.

  3. Perfect recycling project. These turned out great.

  4. Oh wow! Love that the paint containers lasted through 6 moves! These turned out awesome...gotta try this sponging technique! :)


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