I just adore these leather covers that turn any old Mason Jar into a coffee mug. It's the perfect DIY gift for guys, gals, or anyone on your list.
Now you can buy these online, but $$$ CACHING! Expensive! Now you can make your own. They are quite simple to make and create a rugged, manly type gift for those difficult guys.
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Step 1: The Basics...supplies...
1. To create your Mason Jar cover you will first need to have your Mason Jars on hand so that you can measure them for the size.
2. Next you will need some pretty sturdy leather. Using an old coat or an old purse to recycle the leather isn't going to give you the thickness needed for this project.
Now I know that leather can be expensive unless you get it in remnant bulk bags or find some discount rolled hide online somewhere. I happened to have part of a roll of leather left over from the quiver I made my husband a few years ago. But you can find very cheap thick leather at Hobby Lobby in the leather working section. Bags of remnants are anywhere from $6 - $19.99 depending how much you want and then you can use your 40% off coupon they always have. Save that $$$ and get some now.
3. You will need a heavy needle with a big hole (an embroidery needle will work just fine for this as you will not be actually punching the hole with the needle just passing the string through the holes)
4. Some waxed linen cord (also found in the leather working section at Hobby Lobby), fake sinew, or other heavy cord.
5. Good scissors for cutting thick leather.
Step 2: Measure Twice, Cut Once...
Measure your jar. Do not measure from the tip top of the rim but just under the screw on lid lip of the jar down to where the jar just starts to curve. (This will be your height.)
Now measure around the top of the jar, just under the lid lip. (this will be your top width)
And measure around the bottom of the jar, just where it starts to curve in at the bottom. (This will be your bottom width.)
Most Mason Jars are bigger at the top than they are at the bottom. So you must measure the width at the top and bottom to make a cover that will fit snugly and not be saggy at the bottom.
Using these measurements, create a template for cutting your leather pieces.
Your template will resemble a rectangle but the top will be a little wider than the bottom.
Step 3: Cut a Piece for the Handle...
The "handle" is more for carrying than for actually gripping to drink (unless you use some REALLY thick leather).
To use you would put your hand around the cup with fingers through the hole for the handle while drinking.
Your handle will be about a 1" - 1 1/2" wide (as you think is necessary) and as long as you need it to be for the size Mason Jar you have. Keep in mind that the top of the handle goes inside the cover about an inch, and the bottom of the handle is flush on the outside of the cover. See photos.
Step 4: Stitching...
1. To create stitch holes in your leather you have several options. Use a pair of leather hole punch pliers. (which can be pretty expensive) OR use a hammer and a nail to punch holes over a piece of scrap wood OR use a drill and drill bit (or Dremel) to drill holes into the leather over a piece of scrap wood.
Go down each short side of your leather pieces and create holes, making sure to make the same number of holes evenly spaced on both ends.
Now drill/punch 4 holes at each end of your handle. Try to space the same as the holes in the body of the cover.
2. Once holes are drilled it is easy to stitch this project together. Thread some waxed linen through your embroidery needle and tie a big not in the end.
Starting at the bottom of the cover bring both sides together along with the bottom end of the handle and stitch through the first 4 holes (2 per side). Then stitch up the seam until you get to the last 4 holes. Fold the top of the handle inside and proceed to stitch the last four holes (2 per side) through the cover body and handle. Tie the end off and you are done! Slide the cover over the bottom of the Mason Jar.
Enjoy giving these easy Mason Jar Coffee Mugs to friends and family or keep them for yourself.