DIY Mason Jar Bathroom Organizer

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Since moving on base in June we have slowly been adjusting to living in significantly less square footage. We have been making the best of it by doing lots of organizing and rearranging to make our furniture and style fit this little cookie-cutter home. One room that I am having a very hard time getting used to is our new bathroom which is basically the size of the powder room in our old house, lol (to see our old master bathroom and how we transformed it on a budget check out this post). The lack of space is killing me, the vanity won’t even provide enough space to fit our toothbrushes and toothpaste and there are no drawers, just a small cabinet below the vanity that is already crammed with bathroom paraphernalia and extremely disorganized. So, in the spirit of organization and making the best of our tiny bathroom, I decided to try my hand at a Pinterest project that I had been eyeing for quite some time – a mason jar bathroom organizer. Since I already had mason jars all I was going to need to do was get a piece of wood (which I ended up getting out of my neighbor’s trash, score! lol) and some metal hose claps (I’ll explain below), for just a few dollars (literally a few, I think my total project cost was just under $4.00) I was able to create a beautiful and functional little addition to our not-so-master bathroom. This is SUCH a simple project and can be fashioned using scrap wood and any size jars since the little hose clamps come in several different sizes. Need more than three jars? No problem! Just a use a longer piece of wood and additional jars. There’s nothing I love more than a project that is simple with many options for variation so that I can duplicate it in other areas of the home (I plan to make a cute little addition to our laundry room soon so be on the lookout for that!) so I’m super excited to share this with you as a tried and true Pinterest trial!

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SUPPLIES:

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NOTE: if you are happy with the look of your wood as is you need not go through the trouble of painting and distressing it, this just happened to be the look I was going for. This supply list and step-by-step instructions apply to my specific variation of this project.

  • 1 piece of scrap wood – mine was cut from a 12′ board we scored from a neighbor’s trash. I cut mine to be 16″ long, it was the perfect fit for the space and the three jars.
  • grey chalk paint – I used left over paint from my hand-painted sign and shutter shelf, check out this post here to see how I made my own chalk paint using sample sized latex paints, this one is “Stone Mason Grey” by Valspar.
  • white latex paint
  • Minwax Paste Wax in “Special Dark”
  • 2 keyhole fasteners
  • black foam brush
  • regular 2″ paint brush (for dry-brushing the wood)
  • sanding blocks, sand paper or electric sander
  • 3 mason jars (I used standard 16 oz. jars)
  • 3 stainless steel metal hose clamps (available where the HVAC supplies are at your local home improvement store, if you can’t find them just show an employee a picture of the craft, they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about)
  • 6 standard picture hanging hooks and the nails that come with them (see picture below, these are available at the dollar store, supermarket and countless other places, make sure they look like the ones that I have pictured or they will not work!) NOTE: if you have a good quality power drill and strong drill bit you can skip the picture hooks and drill a hole directly into the backs of the hose clamps and use a 1/2 inch screw to attach the hose clamps to the wood. I will tell you that takes some SERIOUS elbow grease and a very strong drill, when our drill bit wouldn’t even make a dent in the steel my hubby improvised the hook idea so I could finish my project that night – ain’t he sweet 😉
  • Needle-nosed pliers (you only need these if you are planning on using the hook method)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: I began by prettying up my trash wood. Please refer to my post on creating my DIY Rustic Picture Display for a detailed description on how I go about painting and distressing most of my wood pieces. In short, what I did was apply a coat of chalk paint to my wood (or two, I can’t remember, lol) using a black foam brush, then once it had dried I used my regular paint brush to dry-brush the surface and once that had dried I used my electric sander to distress the edges and surface with 150-grit paper (this can also be done using a sanding block or regular sand paper). Finally I used a rag to apply a coat of paste wax and then buffed it once it had dried.

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wood – before

painted wood

painted wood

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wood - finished

wood – finished

Step 2: Once my wood was ready I attached my keyhole fasteners to the backs of my wood piece, one in each corner. Don’t leave this until the end as it will be very hard to do once the jars and hardware are attached.

Step 3: I then marked where I wanted my mason jars to be placed on the board. NOTE: if you have a fancy drill and plan on drilling holes in the backs of the hose clamps and screwing them into the wood this is the point at which you would do that (then simply fasten the clamps around the necks of the mason jars), if you are planning on using my less conventional “hook” method read on! We (I say we because this is where J’s crafty brain stepped in, ha) then fashioned make shift little holders for the mason jars out the picture clips. I took my picture hangers and using pliers unfolded the top part of the hook so it sticks out (kind of like the bottom does to begin with) then flattened both ends over the back of the metal hose clips, two per (making sure to unscrew the hose clips first). The key was to ensure that when I folded over the the tops of the hooks (the part with the hole was always facing UP) the two holes at the top became pressed together to form one nail hole (this is how I nailed them to the wood).

we tried a nail first, didn't work out so well, lol.

we tried a nail first, didn’t work out so well, lol.

The picture hooks I used. See how if you flatten the tops the two holes will come together to for a tab with a hole in it?

The picture hooks I used. See how if you flatten the tops the two holes will come together to for a tab with a hole in it?

Hose clamp after attaching the "hooks", two little tabs stick up with holes through which the nails can hammered.

Hose clamp after attaching the “hooks”, two little tabs stick up with holes through which the nails can hammered.

Step 4: Once all of my hooks were fastened to the hose clamps I used the nails that came with my picture hanging hooks to nail the hooks into the board (using the little tabs at the top that were created by flattening out the hooks). After my three hose clamps were attached to the board I re-screwed the clamps around the necks of the jars. All done!

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Although the “hook” method may seem a little wonky these jars have stayed put and since they hold our toothbrushes and toothpaste we are handling them multiple times a day. That being said, this is a GREAT project for a renter, not only does it free up space in smaller bathrooms but you only require two small screws in the wall to hold it up. Additionally this project can be made using items readily found at your local home improvement stores (which will cut the wood to size for you), Walmart and dollar stores, which is great for people who may not necessarily have many tools on hand (you can buy a hammer and pliers at the dollar store, I checked, haha). 

DIY Hand Painted Sign

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Please forgive that my past few posts are all related to the laundry room/command center that I am yet to post about (I promise to do so soon!), but it just so happens that a lot of my DIY projects as of late have been part of that particular little room makeover. This little sign I made as decor for our little family command center, emphasis on “little” since I didn’t have much space to work with, this cutsie little sign was the perfect thing to jazz it up. Another reason I am so excited about this little sign is because it was my first attempt at a hand painted sign using this particular method (printing out the wording and using painters tape cut with an X-acto knife to create a stencil). Additionally this project was my guinea pig for what will be two larger painted decorative signs that I am now planning to get to work on in the next few weeks given that this one came out so well! So if you’re like me and love the idea of DIYing something that fetches a fortune on Etsy (like hand painted signs!), give this one a try, all you need is wood, some painter’s tape and a steady hand. I also want to add that my inspiration for this project was both my glass etchings (see tutorial here which is generally the same idea only with glass and etching cream as opposed to wood and paint) and my friend Courtney of Wildly Domestic’s tutorial for her growth chart ruler in which she uses this same technique for stenciling and painting the ruler! If you’re skeptical about your ability to pull this one off give it a try anyway by practicing on some scrap wood, just be careful with that X-acto knife, I wouldn’t want my project to be the reason for any DIY-induced ER trips :-P.

DIY HAND PAINTED SIGN

WHAT I USED:

  • 1 small wooden plaque – normally I would just use scrap wood or cheap lumber from Lowes, however, my laziness got the best of me when I saw this little pre-cut plaque at Michael’s for only $2.99 that fit the space perfectly and already had a decorative edge.
  • chalk paint – you need not use chalk paint, that is just what I had left over from my previous projects and the color was right for the space. Any latex or even acrylic paint will do. Check out my post on using homemade chalk paint here. For this particular piece I used “Stone Mason Gray” by Valspar, read about my love for sample size paints here!
  • white paint – for distressing the wood. If you do not plan to dry-brush the wood for a distressed look you can skip the white paint altogether. I just used latex trim paint we had lying around from our work on the Honey Tree house.
  • acrylic paint – I used acrylic paint for the wording but latex paint will do as well if you have some lying around in your desired wording color, it will just take a little longer to dry than if you were to use acrylic.
  • sanding blocks or sandpaper
  • foam brushes, for painting
  • regular paint brush, for dry-brushing
  • small paintbrush, for wording
  • clear topcoat – I used this Krylon Matte Spray Finish purchased at Walmart for about $3.00, since I had it leftover from my DIY Painted Plastic Planters (post coming soon!)
  • painter’s tape
  • scotch tape (or any clear tape)
  • X-acto knife

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: I began by preparing and painting my piece of wood. For a more detailed description of how I dry-brushed and distressed the wood check out my DIY Rustic Picture Display to see the step-by-step instructions on a larger piece. For the purposes of this post I’ll give a more concise version  – first I sanded down the wood surface quickly so as to remove any roughness or scratches, then I painted the wood piece with a coat of chalk paint (you may need more than one depending on your paint color, I only used one). Once the coat of chalk paint had dried, I dry-brushed the surface using a regular 2″ paint brush (see above mentioned post for detailed instructions) and once that had dried I sanded down the edges and a bit on the surface to give the wood a distressed look and wiped it clean with a dry rag.

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Step 2: Once my wood was prepped, I used painter’s tape to cover the surface of my wood. Then I simply created a document in Word of my wording in my chosen font and printed it out. I cut each of the words out individually and used scotch tape (any clear tape will do) to secure them onto the painter’s tape by covering the entire surface of the words with clear scotch tape.

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Step 3: I used an X-acto knife to carefully cut out each of the words. This is pretty tedious but goes much faster if you have some SVU re-runs on in the background :).

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Step 4: Once you’ve cut out all of your words use your smaller paint brush to paint the wording onto wood inside of your makeshift stencil. As soon as you have finished painting all of your words carefully remove the painter’s tape from the wood (I gave mine a few minutes to dry before removing the paint but didn’t wait too long because I didn’t want any of the edges to glob up against the painter’s tape and dry in weird pattern).

Step 5: As soon as your piece has dried apply your top coat and you are finished! If you like the way your piece looks sans topcoat this is fine too since your sign will most likely be mounted on a wall indoors, there isn’t much need for added protection to the wood.

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