Make It Personal: Painted glass jars

a painted glass jar with a fun quote

In today’s Make It Personal series I’m sharing something I made myself. Something simple and cheerful that would make for a nice personalised gift.

A gift for jar lovers

I love jars of all kinds. But I think glass jars are the best because they have so much potential. I see a glass jar and I think of innumerable ways to enhance it. With a little bit of imagination and some colour, you can transform an ordinary glass jar into something cute and fun.

And they can be a good gift for just about anyone…after all there aren’t too many people that don’t use jars! This would make for simple and nice gifts for a housewarming party, mother’s day and as a thank you.

Materials you will need:

  • A glass jar
  • Gesso primer*
  • Acrylic paint and paint brushes
  • Pencil and scissors
  • A ceramic bowl and aluminum foil
  • Scotch tape
  • A rag cloth ( to wipe any spills)

*Using primer gives the paint a smooth finish and better hold.

DIY – how to make a fun, cheerful glass jar

First write and cut out a small quote — I used sugar, spice and everything nice — in the shape of a blurb on a piece of paper.

DIY painted glass jar

Stick the paper on to the inside of the jar using scotch tape. It will give you an idea of the area and the shape you need to paint.

DIY painted glass jar

Coat the blurb area on the outer side of the jar with a coat of primer and allow it to dry.

DIY painted glass jar

When dry, paint the blurb a bright shade of blue. I used two coats of paint, allowing for drying time between coats. Remove the paper stuck inside the jar.

DIY painted glass jar

For the remaining sides, paint two parallel lines. Convert the upper line into a simple design of flowers and leaves while the lower line becomes the base for cute little birds hanging on a wire.

DIY painted glass jar

The process is similar – first a coat of primer followed by two coats of paint, once again allowing for drying time between coats. Choose bright cheerful colours like yellow, red, magenta and green.

DIY painted glass jar

Once the rows are done, write out the quote in white paint to contrast against the bright blue of the blurb.

DIY painted glass jar

For the lid, cut out any design that goes with the overall theme of your jar. Since this theme has birds and the colours blue and yellow, I cut out a blue and yellow bird from a magazine cover.

DIY painted glass jar

Using a glue gun, stick the circular cut out inside the lid. Paint an outline of the bird on the outer side of the lid using primer and then white paint. Allow the paint to dry completely.

DIY painted glass jar

For the base of the jar, you should aim for a simple and smooth white look. Fill a ceramic bowl with some white paint and dip the bottom of the jar into it.

DIY painted glass jar

DIY painted glass jar

Shake out any excess paint and place the jar on a piece of aluminium foil. Replace the first aluminium foil with another piece if there is excess paint dripping from the jar.

steps for a DIY painted glass jar

When dry, the bottom of the jar should look like this.

steps for a DIY painted glass jar

Your cheerful jar is ready! Since the paint is on the outside, you can store food in it.

birds on a wire in a painted glass jar


A baby shower

A custom made baby name sign

A name sign for baby Raphael

What's a gift with some pretty gift wrapping?

And it’s a wrap!

Today, I attended a baby shower for the first time ever! In India, some Hindu communities have a ‘woman only’ ceremony for the mother-to-be when she is in the 7th or 8th month of her pregnancy. It is called godhbharai in North India while in South India it is called Valaikappu or Pulikudi. The mother-to-be is decked in traditional attire and is showered with blessings by the women from her family and community. In India, it tends to be a religious ceremony while the western concept of a baby shower is oriented towards fun.

The one I attended was hosted for my Indonesian friend, Yana, by one of the girls from our Danish language class. Our host gave us a chance to experience a baby shower American style …but without the cheesy games! The entire room was decorated with ribbons, balloons and signs…all in blue. After some yummy homemade cake, a variety of finger foods and fun conversation we sat down to open the gifts.

Since I knew that my friend was having a boy and having pried out the baby’s name, I had made a cute and colourful name sign for the baby. I painted the letters in the name in white and yellow against a dark blue background. I then peppered it with some cute animals – an elephant, a whale, an owl, a butterfly and a bird. Some nifty work with gift wrapping paper, magazine strips and a gift tag followed to complete the job.

Little Hippo rompers!

The gifts from the rest of the girls included a cute hand knit brown sweater, a pair of pretty blue wool socks by Lisbeth Dahl and a set of tiny white and green rompers with a matching cap that said “tiny hippo”:-). The mother-to-be was of course thrilled with the baby shower and the gifts and a good time was had by all.

Wool baby socks

A pair of cute, blue baby socks in wool

Baby sweater

A hand-knit sweater to keep the cold out!

A gift for dad: This time it’s personal

Taking heed of the advice I generously dish out to others, I gave myself ample time to think up the perfect gift for my husband’s birthday this year. Much thinking later I still had no idea on what I was going to do.

Having ticked off the normal suspects like shirts and ties (has several!) ), I realised I needed help and decided to revisit one of my earlier posts — gift ideas for the hard to gift — in which I had shed some light on some gift ideas for the singular group of people who are hard to gift…men! As I read the post, I mentally crossed out the options. Books? Nah, I’ve given them before. Watches? No again. It wouldn’t be special enough as my husband has already has received watches as gifts from others.

A painted set of my daughter's hand and foot prints

A painted set of my daughter’s hand and foot prints

It was time to do some serious thinking. After putting my brain into the overdrive mode for several days on what could be the perfect gift, I decided to do things differently. This time the gift would be personal… this year I, no make that two of us, would make the gift. What could be more personal for a father than getting a gift made by his little girl?

I decided to make a painting with a set of four canvases I painted in bright, cheerful colours. My daughter, just two and half years old, pitched in with her hands and feet (literally) by turning out a perfect set of her hand and foot prints in just one go. That she had loads of fun playing with normally inaccessible colour goes without saying. Completing the painting was a message that read, “To dad, with love”.

So if you’re in a quandary about what to gift a man in your life, I would say maybe it’s time to get personal. From a collage of special photographs to a set of coasters with personal messages, a framed hand painted caricature or a beautifully designed family tree, the options can be endless. Give it a shot.

Help! I don’t know what to gift!

Prologue: Hello. It’s been a long time since my last post, but I’m back and raring to go! This post is dedicated to the one person who has been eagerly awaiting a new post on my blog. Here’s to you Jos, thanks for the encouragement and support!
Ever being in a situation where you have to buy a gift for someone and have no clue what to buy and very little time to do it? Most of us have experienced this at some or the other. And it gets worse when you hurriedly buy a gift for the sake of it and the recipient hates the gift.

Get creative with these staple-free taplers

Being a person who’s always looking for something creative to gift, I’m constantly in search of new ideas and things to gift. During this search, I’ve come across some amazing sites that can help you choose the perfect gift.

The best part of the online world is that there are so many good ideas floating around. It’s a boon for both groups of people: those who want to get creative with their gifts and for those who have no clue what to gift their loved ones. There’s something out there for everyone, every occasion.

Here are my current top 3 gifting sites: Bored of the mass-manufactured stuff? If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind gifts, visit the handmade gift guide site. As the name suggests, it’s a guide on all things handmade. Have a perfect gift but not the perfect gift wrapping? Worry not, Tapeswell will come to your rescue. This site has given tape a new identity. From classic black&white designs to cute, colourful birdie designs, Tapeswell can help you transform even simple gift wrapping paper into something beautiful. You can even gift these decorative tapes! I ordered two and got them delivered to India real quick!  They also have decorative envelope labels.  As the tagline says, the site is all about ‘gifts that rule/gifts that don’t suck’. The gifts range from sheep stools and gecko lamps to cat&dog staple free staplers and sea-side toe-rings. It doesn’t get more creative than this. 



Cute Gecko lamp


Dear readers: Know of more interesting gift sites? Feel free to share them by posting your comments. The more the merrier.