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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tidbits with Tiffany #1: DIY Mason Jar Cups

Tiffany is sharing a bonus post with us this week!
I have seen these adorable mason jar cups all over Pinterest and blogland.
Tiffany shares the advantages, and a super easy how-to for making your own.
She loves them so much, she ditched all her other kid cups!
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Mason Jar Cups


When I first saw mason jar cups at 2 Little Hooligans I fell in love with the look of it.  When I made them myself for my Mario birthday party I realized that there was so much more to them.  They are cute, affordable, and incredibly versatile.  I liked them so much, I replaced all my sippy cups and kids cups with them.  Not only do they make my little guy feel like a big kid, my big kid doesn't feel like a baby but also doesn't spill his drinks anymore.  They are great for picnics and outdoor parties because they keep the bugs out.  If you want a bigger cup (like say, for yourself) then attach a bigger jar to the lid.  And you don't have to use the lid because the jar itself works as a perfect cup.

They are also practical.  Despite being glass, I haven't had a single one break, crack or chip.  They have been dropped on all sorts of hard surfaces.  I even had one roll off my refrigerator onto the hard wood floor without so much as a mark.  Also, no longer do I have cups that flip over in my dishwasher and fill with dirty water because they are heavy enough to stay in place and any water that gets in the lid pours out the hole. There are no longer any small holes and crevices that are difficult to reach or mold.  I keep the metal lid to the cups as well because when I am going places, I simply fill the jar and put the metal lid on.  Then when it's time to use the cup, I switch the lids or just use the mason jar as a cup.  Also, the cup with the metal lid is great for taking along snacks and keeping them fresh and in one piece.


So, here is how I make the cups that changed my life.  

You will need:
 a Mason jar (a pack of 12 runs about $8)
 a pack of plastic mason jar lids (a pack of 8 runs about $5) 
and a drill with a 1/4 inch drill bit.

If you want to personalize your cup with an image, you will need:
 some vinyl, glass etching cream, x-acto knife, and paintbrush.

To start off, you will need to mark the inside of the lid where you want the hole to go.  This is entirely your preference.  I like my hole close to the edge.  Some like it right in the middle.


Place the lid on a piece of wood so that the inside is facing up.  You want to drill from the inside to keep the lid from splitting.  Now you are going to want to drill.  Don't be afraid.  If I can do it, you can do it.  Although, I did beg my husband to do it the first time around.  But once I got the guts to do myself, I realized it wasn't so bad.  So here is the girl version of how to drill a hole in the lid.

Place the drill bit on your mark  so that the drill is going perpendicular to the lid.  Drill, giving it a little pressure until the lid starts spinning around the drill bit.  Then hold the lid with one hand while you make sure the drill has gone all the way through the hole.  


Now, there will be some extra plastic around the hole.  Use a box cutter to carefully cut that off.  I also shove a pen or pencil in the hole as far as I can to make sure it's really opened up.


And now you have your lid.  You can put it on your jar and it will fit just about any disposable straw.  Some straws are snugger than others and I fold the end to a point before pushing them in.  I prefer these snug fits because it keeps it from leaking.  

Now, I like to personalize my jars with a picture.  It makes them a little more special to the kids.  So I will teach you how to etch an image to your glass.  

I will use a Lego head image inspired by Jaimee's Trinket Keeper Pockets!

First, draw your image onto the back of a sheet of vinyl.  I use cricut vinyl.  


Then carefully cut it out using an x-acto knife.


Now comes the hardest part.  Peal the back off all your pieces you are using and place them carefully on the jar, making sure to smooth out all the wrinkles.  Be careful not to stretch the vinyl because that causes wrinkles.


Now, using the paintbrush, glob the etching cream on the image.  
Make it thick, so that everything is white and covered.


Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off.  
Pull off the vinyl and wipe is clean with a clean wash cloth or paper towel. 


And you have yourself an awesome new cup that can be used so many different ways with an image that won't chip off after a few washes.

If you are struggling for an image idea, here are 10 sketches of my own that you can use.  Just cut out the pieces and trace them onto the back of your vinyl!  


And don't be embarrassed if you find yourself drinking from your kids' cups!  
They are stylish enough for adults too!

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