Want to make an unusual Christmas decoration from something as surprising as baby food jars? A beautiful holiday tree and recycled craft! Create something amazing with this step by step tutorial.
This is an idea that I first saw in a craft show. Yep, I’m one of those irritating individuals that goes through craft shows taking notes. Looking at things that catch my eye and thinking, “I can do that”. Then I go home and try it out. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t so much. But the great thing about being a crafter is that there are so many ideas out there to inspire and inspiration is always right around the next corner.
The one pictured above was made for me by my sister-in-law. She is rather crafty herself. In fact, she has a craft room bigger than my living room and enough supplies to make the average craft store hang its head in shame. She made them for the Ornament Club one year. That meant that she made 20 of them. I’m thinking she was totally baby fooded out.
I made three of them myself and getting the baby food jars was sort of a challenge. Not having any small children or grandchildren or even friends with small children, I was forced to justify purchasing 51 jars of baby food. I fortunately came up with a plan. It seems that banana baby food is great for making banana bread. So there you go. My famous banana bread:
Okay, you can quit your laughing now. How, you ask? Well, I promise I stood right by that oven the whole time. I didn’t go anywhere. My husband monitors me now, keeps the batteries fresh in the smoke detectors and the fire extinguisher handy. He was fully prepared if needed. He knows the drill.
I finally did manage to get four batches of banana bread completed. But I had to learn a few lessons in the process. Don’t bake four loaves at a time, be sure that the baking powder hasn’t expired, flour is difficult to get out of your hair and off the dog. And did you know that one full minute in the microwave is way too long to melt a stick of butter? Just saying.
Anyway, I finally had my supplies.
For this project I used:
17 Glass Baby Food Jars
Gorilla Glue Epoxy
12″ x 4″ Wood base (Any wood base will work)
Strand of 35 miniature Christmas lights
Assorted miniature Christmas decorations
String of bead garland
3″ wide ribbon
Bow for top of tree
Awl and hammer
Begin by punching holes in each of the lids using your awl and hammer. The hole needs to be big enough to push your miniature lights through.
Choose what color of garland you would like to put inside the jars and cut about 2″ pieces to add to the jar. Remember that there are so many options here. All silver garland with blue lights is awesome, so is gold with white lights. I used silver garland and red stars garland and multi-colored lights. The possibilities here are endless. Just remember not to fill up the jar entirely. You want to be able to see the lights.
Because I do not have an unassembled tree, you’ll have to work with me here. The next step is putting the lids on all the jars and then using the epoxy to glue the jars into a tree shape as below.
It is important here to use epoxy or glass glue. Not hot glue. You see one of the properties of hot glue is that when it gets hot, it melts. Plug in that sucker when it is glued together with hot glue and I’m betting that within a half hour, you have a floor full of baby food jars. Ask me how I know…
Once the glue has set, you can push the miniature lights into the holes in the lids. Then stand it up on your base and use the epoxy to glue it down. Let it dry well before you go to the next step.
Cut your wide ribbon long enough to cover all the sides of the tree and glue it on with gorilla glue, pushing it into the crevices between the jars.
Take your beaded garland and glue it on the front in a garland-like fashion. You know, my youngest daughter always called it “garlic”. So that is actually how we refer to it in our house. I remember her coming home one day from middle school totally furious with me because one of her classmates had corrected her. I guess by the age of twelve, we probably should have corrected her ourselves, but it was cute! And embarrassing my kids is kind of a hobby of mine. So there.
Take your miniature Christmas decorations and glue them around the bottom of the tree.
Finally, add a bow to the top. I used a pre-made fabric bow and a couple of Christmas “picks”.
Then light that sucker up.
Pretty, huh? Makes me all Christmassy happy inside. And it’s only September! So you have several months to hurry up and consume some baby food for this project. I recommend the Blueberry Buckle… it’s kinda awesome.
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