Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DIY Gifts: Chalkboard Mason Jars

Christmas just plain rocks. That's how I feel about it. If there is one thing I like, it's Christmas. Because CRAFTS, because FOOD, because FREE STUFF. How could anyone not like that?!

Oh yeah, because it's stressful, time-consuming, and expensive.

Today's craft is here to save you from all that nonsense. I made these as quick & easy Christmas gifts for my coworkers, but they'd be great for any age and any occasion! The best part of this DIY project is that your total costs come out to roughly:

$2 per person!

These jars are cute and functional with the chalkboard "label" painted on so friends & family can reuse them for storage purposes (pencils, coffee creamer, fingernail clippings, I don't care), but they will absolutely love the cake-in-a-mug mix that you fill it with! 

The 3-2-1 Cake Mix
Making the cake mix is the easiest thing you will ever do. Buy one box of Angel Food cake mix (this should be a "just add water" mix, like Betty Crocker's) and another box of whatever flavor cake mix your little holiday heart desires. I used chocolate because they why on Earth wouldn't I? Pour the dry mixes into a bowl and mix them up - JUST the dry mix - do not add any ingredients.

The Chalkboard Jars
Start off by using your blue tape to make the shapes you want to paint on each jar. I wanted to make this as easy as possible by painting squares, but you could definitely spice these up with different designs. Stripes could be fun, too!
Once that's done, paint a thin base layer onto the jar and make sure to let it dry completely, about an hour. You'll need to repeat this a few times until you're happy with it - I painted four layers to get the results I wanted. After painting your final layer, let the jars sit overnight so the paint can cure and become chalkboardy. That's a word, right? Ta-da, your jars are done! Fill them with the cake mix and any add-ins you choose, like M&Ms or crushed candy canes. 

Obviously you'll need to provide people with instructions for the mix, unless they really like a good riddle. The instructions will be at the bottom of this post. I typed up the recipe on Microsoft Word and printed out 12 copies on one page. Then, I cut them out and glued them onto some scrapbook paper I had laying around and tied them around each jar. To make sure everyone could use the chalkboard aspect of their gift, I taped a piece of chalk to the top of each jar. I'm pretty in love with how they turned out!

3-2-1 Cake Instructions
In a mug, mix 3 tablespoons dry mix with 2 tablespoons water. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Add any toppings, and enjoy!

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