If you have a Pinterest account, you probably have a small collection of mason jars. I’d say that mason jars were moments away from jumping the shark – if they weren’t so damn useful! Chevrons for example – over em, moving on. Mason jars – they might have to tuck one in my coffin. I’m a big believer that form follows function and I have a fun project for you today with – oh, about 900 functions. Literally I wake up in the middle of the night with more ideas on how to use these things (we’re really saving the world – tackling the big issues over here).
So I present to you the wood mason jar holder that, aside from some basic tools (and, trust me, you’ll need those tools for more projects I have up my sleeve for you) you can make 6 of these for about $5 in wood.
You’re probably thinking whoopity freaking doo, a board with some holes. BUT WAIT – let me show you how this humble little thing can help you be better in 2015.
Give Great Gifts
Do you know someone special who loves craft beer or brews their own? Make a craft beer sampler. Add a couple labels from the hardware store (these are the kind that you get by the keys) and let them show off their favorites. Make six or ten of these and you’ve got enough for your home brewer to share their creations at a sampling party. Thoughtful gift, right?
Did you notice that you can carry these like a tray too?
Line up three or four of these stands and fill them with grocery store flowers and candles. This is only $25 dollars worth of flowers from the grocery store, but grouped this way it makes a dramatic statement. (Guys, take note – Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.) You could imagine doing this on a dinner table, a picnic table at night, or heck – do one long piece of wood (you can get them up to 16′ long at Lowe’s) and decorate long tables at a wedding or event.
Turn down those lights. Oh – swoony.
My Mom and I are really close and she spends a lot of time with my kids. She spent an hour or two with them after my oldest got home from kindergarten for about two months – just hanging out and bonding. After she left, my kindergartener asked for a snack. “Mom, can you just bring me some hor d’oeuvres?” WHAT THE WHAT?! I asked my Mom what the hell kind of standards was she setting. She said, “Oh yea, I’d put out healthy snacks for the kids everyday and act like it was very fancy and all that stuff they wouldn’t eat before – they’ll eat it if you dress it up.” OK, let’s put some lipstick on that pig….errr, I mean carrot. Put out crudité, call it hor d’oeuvres and watch in amazement as your kids eat it. You could probably trick yourself into snacking on some veggies more regularly too.
Be More Social
The weeks can run you down. Honestly, I feel like I’m always working for that moment when the laundry is done and the kitchen is clean, email is under control and I can sit down and have a great adult conversation and be in the moment. I imagine this scene with a kind of dreamy golden filter over it. I think that moment has happened maybe 3 times times since I’ve had kids. Stop waiting. Instead just kick the laundry in the closet and call some friends over to hang out and reconnect. Honestly, that perfect moment (the whole 3 times it happened) never felt as great as laughing with my best friends. Throwing together a bloody mary station in the blink of an eye is easy for a Sunday brunch. If you consider bloody marys a religion (i.e. you have Slim Jim straws, pickled green beans, and bacon vodka in your house) you might need two or three of these stands in a row to get all the fixings.
OK are you convinced you need one to six of these things? Let me show you how to make them.
- 2×4 whitewood studs – I got 12′ of whitewood from Lowe’s for $4.98 and had it cut into 6 2′ lengths
- 2 5/8″ hole saw and hole saw arbor (this will run you just under $30 but hole saws are amazing for cord managment too – a good tool to have)
- electric drill (if you don’t have one just buy one already)
- rotary sander with rough (80), medium (120) and fine (220) grade paper
- tack cloth
- stain or paint – I used Minwax Wood Finish in Red Oak 215 (~$8)
- protective coat – I used a Minwax Polycrylic finish in satin coat (~$17, note: the stain and coat start jacking up the cost of the project but later I’ll show you how to make industrial pipe tables and you’ll use the same supplies – a little goes a long way)
- old rags & a paintbrush
- mason jars in 1/2 pint and 4oz sizes
- labels (optional)
- Figure out how many mason jars you want in your stand. I like odd numbers so one always hits right in the center. I chose 5. Put a line down the middle of your wood in pencil (we’ll sand it off later). Then mark off where you want the center of the mason jars to hit. (I marked off at 2.4″, 7.2″, 12″, 16.8″, 21.6″)
- Drill your pilot holes all the way through the wood.
- Using your hole saw attachment, put the hole saw arbor in the pilot hole and start sawing. It will take awhile and look like this after a couple minutes.
- Flip the board over and do the same thing on the other side. (If you only drill from one side with the hole saw, you’ll leave raw edges on the back when you push through. Bad!) Keep drilling. In your head you’ll be saying “Are we done yet? Are we done yet? Are we done yet?” it takes around 7 minutes per hole. Annoying but necessary.
- Yea! Once you’ve done all your boards, time to sand. Use rough (80 grade), medium (120 grade), and fine (220 grade) sand paper. Hand sand the inside of those holes – doesn’t have to be perfect but get rid of anything that will give you slivers. Rub it down with tack cloth to take all the fine dust off it.
- Stain it. I used one coat of the Minwax Wood Stain Red Oak 215. Put it on with an old rag. This is the fun part. The transformation in instantaneous.
- Finish it off with a coat of the Polycrylic. You’re going to get some use out of these so protect them. I love the satin finish. It’s rich yet still wipes clean with spills. Don’t go glossy – yuck. It looks like bad 70s furniture.
That’s it. You’re done. Stand back admire your work and dream up other things you can do with this stand. I’ll give you some other uses off the top of my head:
Makeup brush organizer, painted to match your bathroom (fact: I have one of these)
In the summer, I’m dreaming of serving frozen Snickers mason jar sundaes at a dinner party.
Movie night snacks with licorice, pop corn, milk duds etc.
What other uses can you dream up? Share them with us!