Felt Labels for Mason Jars

Felt Labels for Mason Jars

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Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams/Bluegrass Goodness

Throughout the winter, friends and family members have handed over empty half-pint mason jars with hopeful glimmers in their eyes. For me, the deliberate return of a clean and empty mason jar is an act of goodwill towards the maker of its contents—perhaps even an unspoken down payment on something yet to come out of my canning kitchen.

Whether you give your canned goods away, keep them for your family or use them as a source of profit at the market, the simple jar and bronze ring won’t do the contents of your jars justice. That’s why hobby farmers reach for scrapped fabric, lace, twine, paper tags and even fancy printed custom labels to dress up and identify the contents of their jars. While there’s no dress code for canned goods, a little flare never hurt to attract wanted attention at a farmers’ market or product showcase.

Labeling and adorning your mason jars can be a creative expression that’s almost as labor-intensive as the canning process. With these simple, cheery and charming tokens, you can label and embellish your canned goods on a tiny budget. Plus, the fool-proof representation of the contents in the jar will have your customers plucking your goods right off the shelves. These labels, when paired with the construction paper background, can even turn mason jars into dining room table centerpieces or colorful pieces for a bookshelf.

This is a fun activity to do with kids—and you can even improvise by making your own creative shapes and figures along the way.

Materials You Need:

  • quarter
  • pieces of felt or scrap fabric, plus extra green and brown felt
  • sharp fabric scissors
  • fabric pencil
  • glue gun
  • “sticky doos” or thick double-sided tape (found at local craft stores)
  • construction paper or scrapbook paper (optional)

Step 1

Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams/Bluegrass Goodness

Choose a piece of fabric or felt in the color of fruit you are recreating. I know I’ll be making three of my favorite preserves this summer—blackberry jam, strawberry jam and peach butter—so most of my labels will start as perfect circles. Use a quarter as your guide to trace a faint outline of the circle, and then cut out.

Step 2

Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams/Bluegrass Goodness

Snip the circles look more like fruit. For strawberries, cut a sliver off opposite sides of the circle, making a heart-shape that mimics a strawberry. For apples and peaches, cut a small upside-down triangle at the center of the topside. For blackberries, snip tiny triangles around the edges and a few more around the circle to round them out. Don’t get too worked up about precision—the shapes should look whimsical and fun. Use your imagination and don’t get discouraged if you think your fruit isn’t “shaping up” to look like the real thing!

Step 3

Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams/Bluegrass Goodness

Add stem and leaf embellishments to your fruit. Leaves can be made simply from a half-inch thick strip of green felt. Cut out small squares from this strip, snip the edges to create small circles, and then cut down the middle. Now you have two semicircles that can be used as leaves.

Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams/Bluegrass Goodness

For the strawberry top, shave a rectangular piece of your strip of green felt less than an inch wide. Cut out slivers on the topside to form a stem, and on the opposite end, cut a series of tiny triangles for a jagged effect. Place on top of your strawberry cutout.

For apples and peaches, use green or brown felt for leaves, stems or vines.

Step 4

Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams/Bluegrass Goodness

Use a hot glue gun to assemble the layers of your fruit. Use as little glue as possible and layer your stems on one single dot.

Step 5
If you want further definition on your fruit, use a brown permanent marker to dot seeds on seeds or other details.

Step 6
Once your figures have set and cooled, pull out the “sticky-doos” or double-sided tape. Cut to at least 1/8 inch thick, and peel off the protective paper. Use it to stick the label to the top of your jars.

Step 7

Photo by Elizabeth Troutman Adams/Bluegrass Goodness

For a fun backdrop, pull out construction, colorful scrap paper or another shade of leftover felt. Use flat jar lids as a stencil. Cut out the circles and place them over the lids of your jars, then tighten on the screw. Stick on your labels for a flashy, cute and fun way to present fashion-forward mason jars at the market.

About Elizabeth Troutman Adams

Elizabeth Troutman Adams is a freelance writer, public-relations specialist and blogger based in Lexington, Ky. When she’s not churning out words, she loves dabbling in the kitchen, riding and jumping horses, improving her home with her own hands, and bringing people together with the sentiment of old-fashioned hospitality. Look for her DIY marketing projects each month on The Craft Hub, and get to know her better at Bluegrass Goodness.

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Tags canning jars, craft, farmers' market, mason jars, preserves