Introduction: Decorated Jars With Silhouette

I love to make my own beauty and pampering products - for myself and as gifts. And I like to make sure that the packaging is as lovely as the product inside! Vinyl cut with a Silhouette cutter is a perfect stencil for decorating jars with - this is what I will show you today.

You will need:

  • Empty jars. You can save and reuse them, or purchase them new (mine were inexpensive and from a ubiquitous Swedish furniture retailer). Wherever you get them from, make sure they are scrupulously clean, inside and out!
  • Silhouette cutter (I used a Portrait) and computer running Silhouette Studio
  • Self-adhesive vinyl
  • Low-tack masking tape or transfer tape
  • Hook/probe tool
  • Glass paint

Step 1: Designing Your Stencil

First, you need to design your stencil. You can design in your choice of software then import and trace the graphic, or you can design right in the software as I have. I chose fonts and placed them where I wanted them - note the placement of the overlapping 'e' and 'b'! When you are happy with your words and placement, select all of the text (if you have more than one selection of text, hold the shift key and you can make multiple selections). Then, right click and select weld to weld the text. This will weld the letters together so that they form single cutting areas where needed. Add an outline for your stencil (mine was round to match the side of the jar I was using). Check the cut lines and, when you are happy, send the file to the Silhouette and cut it out of vinyl.

Do double check your cut settings and ratchet blade settings before you cut - the recommended ratchet cap setting is just one, and you may need to edit the settings to reduce the cutting depth further, particularly if your blade is still fairly new and sharp. The goal is to 'kiss cut', that is, cut the top layer of vinyl without cutting the bottom backing sheet.

Step 2: Placing Your Stencil

Once you have cut your stencil, it is time to transfer it to your jar.

First, weed out the waste areas of the stencil with a hook/probe tool. Be careful not to dislodge any 'island' parts of the stencil from their proper place.

Cover the front of your stencil with transfer tape, if you have it, or low-tack masking tape. If you are using masking tape, stick it to your clothing a few times before using, to reduce its tack further - even low tack tape is still tackier than ideal.

Make sure that the jar is scrupulously clean - wiping with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and a lint-free wipe is ideal. Then carefully stick the vinyl onto your jar, carefully smoothing out any bubbles as you go. Once you have done this, very slowly and carefully remove the transfer tape, ensuring that any 'island' parts of the stencil are transferred into place.

Step 3: Paint Your Jar!

Once your stencil is securely in place, you are ready to paint your jar. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your product - I used an Edding metallic glass paint pen, which air dries (some have to be baked on). I found that I got best results by 'flooding' the stencil with paint, rather than painting it on, but this significantly increased the drying time.You may notice that the paint switched from gold to silver in the 'finished' picture. That's because the original jar got bagged by a friend before I got to take the photo.

Once the paint is dry, you can carefully remove the vinyl stencil and fill your beautiful decorated jar with whatever you like! I filled mine with DIY beauty products, some of the instructables have been published and some are yet to come ;-)

Before and After Contest

Participated in the
Before and After Contest