The Country Cook: Mason Jar Lid Pumpkins
                                                   

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mason Jar Lid Pumpkins

Details are important.  I'm a stickler for details. The devil is in the details is the old saying. And it's true for so many things.  It is one of the reasons this blog transformed from being a blog that I simply used to compile my own family recipes and really turned into more of a teaching blog. Not long after I started this website, I started hearing from new cooks or less experienced cooks who were really enjoying the recipes but would ask, what I thought, were questions that everyone just knew the answers to. Maybe it was the difference between crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Or the difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Or could I tell them what size can of cream of mushroom I used or how much exactly is a pinch or a palmful of something? Could I give them more exact measurements? Or asking the difference between baking pans and slow cookers. These were just little bits of knowledge that I took for granted and thought everyone else knew too. But it turns out, a whole lot of folks didn't. And I was honored that they were entrusting me to help guide them. So I learned early, when sharing recipes, that these small details were super important to many people. 
It is why I take photographs of the ingredients. It's why I take step-by-step photos. Because, although I may say in my directions to brown and crumble ground beef, some folks may not understand exactly what that means, and by seeing the picture, it helps them know they are on the right track. Yes, it means a bit more work for me behind the scenes but I love to teach and guide folks on how to cook.  It is something I have felt called to do since starting this website. I absolutely LOVE working with new and beginner cooks!  And if that one picture helped them turn out a successful meal then that makes all the work worth it. 
I once heard from a Home Economics teacher that uses my website in her classroom. She hooks up her laptop to their smart board in the class and goes through my recipes with the step-by-step photos before the kids start making the meal. I was amazed and astonished and felt so blessed that I was helping this teacher to teach her students the basics of cooking. 
What an honor to be an extension of this teacher's instruction!
So details are important not only in cooking but in crafts. Have you ever tried a craft (or recipe) that you found on Pinterest and it just did not turn out anywhere near how it should have? Most of us have. I am not crafty at all so it's important that I'm given really small details that could affect the outcome of that craft. Exactly like a new cook would need to know the difference between sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. It's not that it is a bad craft or recipe, it just means that sometimes the small details are needed to help us make it AWESOME.
Such was the case with this craft. I thought it looked absolutely adorable but I wondered why I was having trouble with something that really should have been SO simple and it was because I was doing a couple of small things wrong and it was throwing off the whole project. But once I figured out what was needed to make this look like how it should look, it came together in a flash and now looks so adorable sitting on my coffee table.  Seriously, I love the country and homey feel of this Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin.  I think that this would make adorable centerpieces for your fall celebrations! Let's get started!
Items Needed:
20 mason jar lid bands
1 can orange spray paint
orange yarn
4-inch cinnamon sticks


Note: One of the things I learned after purchasing the ingredients was I bought the 3-inch size Cinnamon Sticks and I should have gone longer.  They look fine but I would have preferred a longer "stem", so the next one I make, I will buy 4" Cinnamon Sticks. Now, when you buy Cinnamon Sticks, it will be far cheaper if you purchase them at a bulk food store than at a craft store. I got that whole bag in the picture above for only $1.78. If I had bought it in a small jar at the grocery store or at a high-end craft store, it probably would have been double that.  Also, try looking in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store. In the Latin section, I recently saw a bag of the larger cinnamon sticks selling for just over a $1.00. Also, you need mason jar bands for this project. Boxes are sold usually with the lids and the bands combined. Just save the lids for your next canning adventure.
Directions:
Lay out some newspaper or craft paper in a well-ventilated area. I did this outside, which really offers the best ventilation, and on a day that is not windy or rainy (obviously).  Lay out all your mason jar bands onto the paper, making sure several inches separate them.  Note: if you are sensitive or have respiratory issues, I also recommend wearing a protective mask while spray painting.

Spray paint the bands well with orange spray paint. I spray painted one side first, allowed to dry for a few hours, then I flipped them over and sprayed the other side. Make sure you are spraying the sides well too.  Allow lids to dry completely overnight.
 Once lids are completely dry, it's time to tie them all together. First, make sure all your mason jar bands are facing the same direction. In the picture below, you'll see the groove part of the bands are all facing one way.  *This really is important to get this pumpkin to fan out nicely.*
Wrap a piece of orange yarn through the bands. Then pull as tight as you can.  You want a really nice, taught string.  It may help if you have someone helping you on this part. My son put his finger on the string to keep it in place so I could tie a tight knot. *This is another important detail to ensure this pumpkin shapes up properly when fanning out the lids. *Cut off any excess string.
Once you have it tied, it should just be a matter of gently separating the lids so they are spaced evenly.
Pop a few cinnamon sticks in the middle to be the pumpkin stem and you are done! It may take 5 or 6 cinnamon sticks per pumpkin you make. It just depends on how wide the sticks are.
This makes one Mason Jar Lid Pumpkin.

Happy Fall, Y'all!


Looking for more Mason Jar projects? Check out my Mason Jar Lanterns!


Craft Inspiration from Fun Home Things

41 comments :

  1. i love this i have been looking for the perfect centerpiece..i found it thank you for sharing..gonna try to make this... have a blessed day..

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    1. Thanks so much! You can also use the wide-mouth bands for this if you have those too! It will just make a bigger pumpkin :)

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    2. You can also use this method to create snowmen or Santa Clause. Just paint them white or flock them and add a styrofoam head.

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  2. Adorable Brandie...your recipes will keep on giving year from now with those students! I have recipes that I use from my home economic days still today. So proud of you :)

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    1. Thank you Kay! That was such an amazing blessing to hear. I had no idea and had never thought this blog could be used in that way so I was so thankful when she reached out to me to tell me about her class. It would be a huge honor and joy to know these kids are still making these recipes years from now!

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  3. I recently sorted through my lids to take out the dented and rusty ones. I plan on using them for the pumpkin. We also have a great Amish thrift store that sells used lids by the dozen. I think I'll head up there soon and see what she has laying around. Do you have any ideas for crafting with the lids? I have vintage Bernardin lids from 1976 that are printed with a farmer and corn stalks. I'd love to do something with them other than the obvious wreath.
    Love the home ec story and your blog. Thanks, Beth

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    1. Perfect! Yes, I have a bunch of old ones myself that had started to rust and I ended up using some of those too. I bought the above boxes just to get an idea of current price, etc. But I definitely recommend using those older, used lids for this craft if you have them. I love that you have some vintage lids. I bet those are gorgeous!

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Julie! I am continually amazed when a craft actually turns out for me! Ha!

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  5. Brandie - these are SO cute! You are so creative!

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  6. I LOVE THIS! I believe I have enough lids to make one too...just gonna have to get some paint...and then get my craft 'on'. Just adorable...a new project to me. I like these kind that don't take long. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I LOVE IT!!!! think over the weekend i'm gonna try it out!!! I love doing crafts & finding things that are different. Thank You so much for sharing :)

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  8. Such a crafty and cute idea, I think I have collected enough lids to make this happen!

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  9. Wow Brandie! You've done it again, amazing the rest of us w/your very detailed step-by-step tutorials. I LOVE that pumpkin and you made it look so easy! It is just too cute! Thanks again for sharing.

    Tanya

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  10. This is perfect for the holidays and looks so easy. I love crafts as long as it doesn't take all day to put it together.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Fall!
    Sharon

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  11. Brandie! These are adorable and I have tons of old mason jar lids from canning in a bag that have a few rust spots on them. This will be perfect! I can make these this week!

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    1. Kelli, those would be perfect for this. Regular or Wide Mouth work great!

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  12. Brandie, Think this is a precious idea~ I picked up a couple of Regular Mouth, Lids with bands today. What is the size of the pumpkin supposed to be? For some reason I thought it was larger than the bands that I bought. Do bands come in different sizes? As you probably figured ut by now, I don't can or "put up fruits or veggies". Any info is appreciated.

    {{{Hugs}}},
    Kathi B.
    Warner Robins, GA

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  13. reallllly neat idea!!!!

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  14. Since I wrote my first "comment" I have learned there is, "in fact" ,a larger size "Band with lid" that is called "WIDE MOUTH" and the smaller one is "Regular"...so the size in the picture I think is the WIDE One...maybe that should be added to Instructions. Now I need to find 5" cinnamon sticks...wish me luck!

    {{{Hugs}},
    Kathi B.
    Warner Robins, GA

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    1. Hi Kathi! It might be hard to see from my items picture above, but I used regular lids for this. However, I just talked to a reader over on Facebook and she made them with some wide mouth lids she had and it turned out great. It just makes a bigger pumpkin so the bigger one is next on my list to try!

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  15. I'm thinking I'll have to make a wide mouth orange pumpkin and a cream/white regular mouth pumpkin. And maybe a glitter one, too. These are so cute! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  16. That is so cute-thanks for instructions on how to make. I am 74 and still learning new things.

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  17. Brandie, I believe you have discovered the gift God gave you. You use it well with the step by step instructons and pictures. God bless you dear.

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  18. Hi Brandie, I just love all the great idea's you have. Thank-you for sharing them with everyone . I am 83 but still love doing craftsI am going to make the pumpkin. It is soo cute.

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  19. Really cute! I think I am going to make a few of these for gifts. I do have a question, how do the cinnamon sticks stay inside the pumpkin? Thanks!

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  20. Just another option, I first saw this at a friend's home. She hadn't painted the bands and they looked beautiful. It's possible to use the "pewter" look, the gold/brass color or a mixture. I preferred this to the painted look. I really enjoy white pumpkins and would like to see how this would look with white bands but I'm so impressed by the upainted look that I'll probably just stick with that.

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  21. Thanks for this wonderful idea i am having a fall themed wedding and had no idea what to do with the leftover lids/bands from the mason jars i am using. I will enjoy this new project and will add it in to my yearly fall home deco. You Rock!!

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  22. You are a genius !!!! Super cute ,would make a great gift too , thanks for sharing!!!

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  23. I love the pumpkin and plan to make it but I also found how to purchase just the bands(rings) and thought I would share the link to help others like me.....https://www.lehmans.com/p-4784-bulk-canning-bands-regular-mouth.aspx?show=all

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  24. I'm a little confused with the picture right after the painting of the lids. you mention to make sure that all the lids are pointing in the same direction but it seems that the first 4 on the left are facing opposite the rest. Are we to follow this as well? I plan to make these this week so your comment would be greatly appreciated. thanks so much..these look adorable.

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  25. This is so beautiful! It is the perfect gift for someone who has everything. I just have one question. I am allergic to cinnamon. What would be best to us in place of the cinnamon sticks?

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    1. You could use twigs from your yard or even twisted up pipe cleaners.

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  26. I am trying this but used newspaper to lay them on and they stick to the paper. Also, I plan on using old bands that are a little rusty do I need to sand them and then use a primer before actually painting them?

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  27. Now that pumpkin season is upon us again and mason jars are all the rage, and easy to find in many stores, this craft idea is on my list!

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  28. I have a question. I'm planning this for a craft night and I have 24 women who would like to make this. So my questions is how much cinnamon sticks should I get. I know each pumpkin needs 5-6 sticks. It's cheaper to buy in bulk so would you think I need 1,2, or 3 pounds of 4" cinnamon sticks?

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  29. I used ribbon instead of paint on my mason jar pumpkins. I cut my ribbon the length to fit around each lid, applied a very thin line of school glue to one edge of the entire top length of ribbon and rolled it around using the lid ridge as my guide. I used 3 colors of ribbon, Orange, white and a sequence gold (which really gave it a Cinderella look!). I strung them up in this order; Orange, gold, Orange, gold, white...and to thicken my cinnamon sticks I tied 4 sticks in a bundle with jute, then used orange ribbon on top of the jute for thickness. This gave them a snug fit when pushed sticks were pushed into the center. I also added white and gold ribbon (desired length) to the center stem for a pretty fall off the pumpkin. I found that 15 small rings to be perfect or 20 large rings.

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  30. Caroline Simpson JonesJuly 25, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    you are awesome kiddo, so talented and simply creative.

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  31. Do you have to use 20 kids or can less be used to maybe make smaller pumpkins?

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  32. Do you know the dimensions of the finished project with the wide mouth lids?

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  33. Do you think a zip tie would work better than yarn? I LOVE this idea, but would like a more "sturdy" option.

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