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A few weeks ago, our family adopted two young female rats, Stitch and Sprocket. A few days later, our curious puppy Mocha, discovered the high protein bag of food stored on the shelf under their cage, broke open the bag and had a feast! The Rustic Rat Food Jar is how I nipped this problem in the bud :)

Step 1: Materials and Equipment:

  • 4L glass jar with metal lid (I used a large pickle jar)
  • small piece of 150 grit sand paper
  • clear acrylic spray paint for use on metal
  • green painters masking tape
  • graphic file for label (CorelDRAW)
  • access to a rotary jig and laser cutter

Step 2: Refinishing the Metal Lid

Remove the lid from your 4L pickle jar. Holding a medium coarse piece of sandpaper (150 grit) in your hand, make circular motions following the shape of the lid to remove any ability to read the words, while still leaving hints of colour here and there, to give it a rustic, worn out look.

Once you are satisfied with the colour remaining on the lid, head outside with your clear spray paint and give the lid a couple of light coats. Be sure to catch the edges of the lid all the way around, to help to protect it from rusting if the lid ever gets wet.

Step 3: Etch Your Label

Prepare your graphic file for the laser cutter. I used the KB Zipa Dee Doo Dah font (free for personal use) and CorelDRAW to design my label.

Once you decide on the size and location of your label, use masking tape (green) or wet paper, to cover the print area on the jar to prepare the glass for etching.

Set up your rotary jig in the laser cutter and then place the masked jar in position. I used the metal clip add-on, to grip the open edge of the jar to help keep it in place when it rotated.

Once you have entered your print settings, send your file to print - it took about 5 minutes to etch my label! (Print settings for 600 DPI on the 60 watt Epilog Fusion were: 60 Speed | 100 Power).

Remove your etched jar from the jig and peel back the surrounding tape to reveal your label. I left the internal green lines of tape in the letters for now, because the colour complimented the lid and it made it even easier to read! (When the tape starts to wear off, I will remove the remaining tape to fully expose the etched glass label).

Step 4: Fill It Up!

FIll up your fancy new pet food jar, screw on the lid, and enjoy! Your rat (gerbal, guinea pig, etc.) food jar looks great, and will keep your other pets from helping themselves!

<p>Nice! My sister's cats are the same way. No paper or even plastic bag is safe, if there's cat food inside. She bought a little garbage can with a foot pedal, so they can't get to it. But since rats don't eat as much, something smaller like a jar is the perfect solution.</p>

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