DIY: Another “Dress Your Jar” Tutorial

Two years ago, I won a contest. 25 free magazines a month, a selection of my choosing. I like a good laugh from Cosmo, take inspiration from Rolling Stone, and peruse Vogue for what to emulate the next time I go to the thrift store. But over time, it accumulated, to where four large cardboard boxes sit in my room. Filled with glossy paper. Given that my job doesn’t carry itself into my room, requesting all-nighters, I can now focus on using that paper for crafting.

Mod Podge, which is basically fortified white glue, puts all the paper to use and brings boring items to life. Last year I also got a gift card to the craft store. One of my gift projects didn’t fall through, so I ended up with a drab coin jar sitting on my desk. I’ll be happy to describe a process you can apply to any old decorative item.


1. Mod Podge (the “matte” variety will do. You can also get the “antique” type from the same hobby shops. Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc. The “antique” Mod Podge gives the paper a brownish tinge and an Instagram effect, depending on how many layers you apply).

2. Magazine paper.

3. Scissors.

4. Paint (Optional).

5. Clear Spray Paint (Acrylic Sealer, Resin Spray, Varnish, etc.)

6. More paper, or cardboard, to protect your floor.

7. Paintbrushes


This was a coin jar I attempted to paint with yellow acrylic paint. It wasn’t going well. I grabbed one magazine with a lot of print. You can choose any color scheme, but in my case, I settled on standard text on white paper.

1. Cut your magazine paper into many pieces, in whatever shapes you like. I aimed for triangles, though I’m sure some rhombuses made their way, as well as some trapezoids. Sort the pieces according to color, shape, or whatever variable you’ve chosen to add to your household object (coin jar, pot, vase, glass, etc.).

2. Get a brush and dip it into the Mod Podge. For neatness’ sake, you may want to pour a little bit of Mod Podge (You will not need a lot if you are cautious and conservative) into a small plastic cup. You can apply the magazine strips in several ways, including:

Brushing the Mod Podge onto the backs of the paper strips, and then pasting the paper onto the object, OR

Brushing a layer of Mod Podge onto a large portion of the object, pasting the strips accordingly. 

3. For a strong paper coating, repeat step 2 twice. 3 layers of paper pasted onto your object should be sufficient. It is a lengthy process, though the tedium pays off. For this project, it took me around 5 hours to paste the paper, and that was while watching a movie and chatting with people.

4. In this case, my object had a lid. I repeated steps 2 and 3. Do this for all pieces of your object, unless you want a part or two uncovered by paper, or you would like to add another creative touch.

5. Give the project 2 to 3 hours to completely dry.

6. Spray your sealer to all parts of the object. Follow the directions on the product’s can. You may need to complete multiple sprays given the shape of your object. My coin jar was completely covered in 3 layers of sealant. DO NOT spray indoors. It’s just not safe.

7. Wait 72 hours for the sealer to completely dry.

OPTIONAL: Add texture or color. I attempted to “splatter paint” the jar because I thought yellow paint would go well with the predominantly blue lid. Follow your paint’s directions when waiting for it to dry.

Finally, enjoy! Or give your newly dressed object to someone you think will enjoy it.

Today, the coin jar resides in Virginia. I am not in Virginia. I miss the little coin jar.

(What cool things have you done with Mod Podge?)


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