Introduction: Frame and Jar Functional Wall Art, Hanger or Organizer

With the knowledge of my second child’s arrival pending, my husband and I had to make a choice of which one of “our” rooms one of us was going to lose.
My room was filled to the brim with craft materials, scrapbooking paper and yarn.
His room – an office.
Needless to say, I gave up my craft room so that my second child could have a nursery and bedroom.

It’s been close to three years and I still have not organized my tools, crafts and stuff like I should have by now.  Not having my craft space organized makes it harder to find things when I HAVE TO HAVE THEM, you know, right that minute.

Determined to eventually have my craft space organized by the time my last child leaves the house, I started off with a cute project that I originally found from Pinterest.

The original photo came from this site, (Balancing Beauty & Bedlam Blog) and it’s located in the middle of the page: 50 Ideas for Mason Jars

There was no link for the photo as far as a set of instructions to create this jar hanging frame, and I based what I did to make this framed jar hanger off of that singular photo.

My purpose was to use these jar holders as a means of getting dangerous (such as scissors) or potentially messy items (like permanent markers) out of little hands, while having those everyday items handy.   Not to mention the “wow” factor of having the cool frame hanging in my hallway….
But the possibilities of use for this wall hanger are numerous, including hanging purses, hats, using the jars as candle holders as shown in the photo, etc. etc.

I used a $5 frame I purchased at the flea market and cleaned and recycled food jars that I already had.  I also used champagne corks, something I had seen on another website, for the “hooks.”  I had to buy the screws that go into them, but everything else was in my craft stash.  The whole project cost about $8 and took just over 8 hours (including spray paint drying time) to complete.

One final tidbit of completely useless information – When my father saw the finished product, he called it “functional wall art.”  I like that term.  I really had a hard time giving this instructable a name that would describe the uses and purpose for this framed jar organizer, and I think “functional wall art” is one of them.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Used

Materials and Tools  I used:
  • Long and large frame – The one I used is forty-one (41”) inches wide by nineteen and a half (19-1/2”) inches high, and has a frame surface area of one and one-quarter (1-1/4”) inches wide, purchased from a flea market
  • Tools to take the frame apart from the art work, such as pliers and or wire cutters, and maybe a screwdriver or drill-if needed
  • Drill to place hooks and/or screws and to hang on wall
  • Measuring tape and pencil
  • Hooks
    • What I used:
      • Six (6) 1-3/4-inch long galvanized steel screws plus two (2) for the wall that were long enough to go through the frame and the champagne corks
      • Six (6) champagne corks
    • What could be used:
      • Hooks with screw ends and washers - evenly spaced across the frame, taking into consideration how many jars could be hung next to each other.
  • Painting / Distressing Tools
    • Clean cloth
    • Newspapers, drop cloth or cardboard to cover your work space while you spray paint the frame
    • Primer Spray Paint
    • Spray Paint of your choice of color
    • Various grits of sandpaper – I used 60, 100, and 150 grit
    • Acrylic Sealer
    • You could also use distressing ink and/or acrylic paint to distress the frame
  • Jars – I used six (6) recycled ones of various sizes, but Mason Jars could also be used.  Specifically, the recycled jars used to be for pickles, artichokes, maraschino cherries, jam, pimento stuffed olives and one that I've had in my pantry for years.
  • Twine, jute or hemp cording or wire like the photo to hang the jars
  • Scissors

Step 2: Prepare the Frame

I took apart the brown paper backing off the frame first.

I then took my pliers and removed the staples that were holding the art to the frame.

At the time, I was unsure what I was going to do about the frame hanger, so I left it on for now.

The next part to prepare the frame was to clean it and determine any rough spots using a clean, dry cloth.  As I was going to paint and then distress, I didn’t want splinters while I handled the frame.

Finally, I took some painters tape and covered the original hanger that I left on there so I could spray paint the frame over my covered work space.

Step 3: Paint the Frame

I knew I wanted to have a brown frame that was distressed with the original color underneath.

I sprayed one coat of white primer on the frame and let it dry (at least an hour.)

I ended up spraying a total of three coats of the brown spray paint, holding the paint at least six inches (6”) away from the frame each time and letting it dry at least an hour in between coats.

Truthfully this project took me the 8 hours over the course of three weekends, because I was only able to work on it in small blocks of time.  I could easily see this project being done in one weekend if time was available though.

One of those weekends was devoted to painting and distressing….

Step 4: Distress and Seal the Frame

Taking my various sizes of sandpaper, I began with an overall sanding around the edges, corners and along the sides of the frame using a size 100 grit piece of sandpaper.

I distressed the corners more using the 60 grit piece of sandpaper, and once I was satisfied with the final look, I sanded the entire frame with a 150 grit piece of sandpaper, cleaning it along the way with a cloth.

Lastly, I sprayed a coat of acrylic sealer over the entire front of the frame.

I figured if I didn't like the look of the sanding, I could have used watered down acrylic paint and actually painted on variations in color.  I did not end up doing that, as I was pleased with just the look the sanding gave the frame.

I also knew I could just re-paint the frame and start over.  I thought long and hard about spraying a top layer of black spray paint, and then distressing it, but I did not end up doing that either.

There are various instructables that discuss giving items a "distressed" look, if you need more information or other ideas on how to give your frame a distressed look.

Step 5: Add the Hooks

It wasn’t until this step that I decided to take the original hanger off the frame.  We used the drill to remove the screws and wire.

I measured the inside area of the frame using my measuring tape, and divided the space evenly so that I could place the six screws and corks evenly to hang the jars.

My husband drilled the screws into the frame for me and I placed the champagne corks onto the screws. 
There was no need to pre-drill a hole into the corks because the corks take a screw pretty easily, and I just slipped them on after all of the screws were drilled through the frame.

Of the six saved champagne corks, three of them have dates written on them of events that happened and my husband and I saved the cork for memories.  One of the corks had the date my eldest son came home from the hospital after his birth.  An important memory indeed.
I’m glad I can use these corks in a meaningful way and look at them often now, rather than having them stashed in my cork holder.

Step 6: Prepare the Jars

After cleaning the jars and removing all the labels (I use Goo Gone to take labels off), I measured one length of jute compared to my jars just for a reference.

I looked on instructables for a knot to tie to hang the jar, and I used this tutorial, via a link at the bottom of the page: scaffold knot/multiple overhand sliding knot.  The actual you-tube video is here: How to Tie a Multiple Overhand Sliding Knot

The knot was useful because one end could be pulled to make the loop and hanging cord smaller.

I tied each side of the hanging strings for each jar with the loop mentioned above, and slipped a second long piece of jute through the two loops.

Starting on one side of the jar, I wrapped the jute around the top of the jar, under the cap screw area.

I wrapped the jute around the jar three times total, going through the loops each time the cord passed around them.

I tied a tight square knot on the cord wrapped around the jar, before tying a cute bow and trimming the ends up.

Step 7: Hang the Frame & Jars and Decide What to Display

After hanging the frame, I placed the jars at their original various lengths on the corks.

That’s where the knot of the loops were useful to pull the jars up to create the balanced look that I was looking for.

As stated in the intro, I knew I wanted to use these jars to organize some of my craft supplies.

The original photo showed the jars holding candles, and because I used jute to hang the jars, I used LED tealights to take a photo of my hanger with ‘candles.'

A relatively quick project, I am very pleased with the way my functional wall art frame and jars came out!

Comments

author
Am6ercat (author)2015-09-25

love this! thanks!

author
DeandrasCrafts (author)Am6ercat2015-09-29

Thank you! We still use it everyday.

author
slice_rulz (author)2012-08-04

very nice work. i love your finish on the frame.

author

Thank you VERY MUCH! It was the first time distressing anything other than paper. =)

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Bio: I crochet and do crafts. Oh and I also work full time and have a family to take care of. I'm on here because ... More »
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