How To Make Garden Treasure Jars. Easy Kid Craft.

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How To Make Garden Treasure Jars
Easy Garden Art Project
I started making these garden treasure jars when my kids were little and they wanted to make their own garden art. Made from used food jars, you can decorate them with glass gems (flat-bottom marbles)—or whatever you like—and place them in the garden. Tiny toys and secret notes can be hidden inside—like little time capsules in your garden.

Glass garden art projects like this one look really beautiful outdoors with the sunlight shining through. You can also add little solar lights to have them glow in the evenings as well.

The small size of the jars makes this a quick and easy craft for kids and adults.

Please Note:
1. Read over the instructions and material list and use your judgement whether this project would be suitable for your kids.
2. Have a adult handle the silicone sealant/adhesive – read the product label carefully and follow all manufacturer instructions for safety, application, and drying times.
3. I specifically recommend one brand of silicone sealant (to use as an adhesive) -listed below- because it works. If you substitute for another product, your glass gems may not stick to the jars or will fall off later.

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I have a free monthly(ish) newsletter – you can sign up here. And here’s a listing of all of the DIY garden art projects on this site.

How to make garden treasure jars

Treasure Jars With Glass Gems
You might want to make a whole bunch of these at once. They would look fabulous lining a garden path or surrounding an outdoor patio. Pick a colour theme for the glass gems or mix it up like the colours in a flower garden.

You could also make use of them indoors as votive candle holders or a place to store small items.

How to make garden treasure jars

Garden Treasure Jar Materials

  • Used glass jars with lids.
  • Flat-bottom marbles (see them at Amazon.com) Also called ‘glass gems’. (You could also use small stones or decoupage the jars). A 4″ tall jar needs approximately 75 ½” flat-bottom marbles.
  • GE II Silicone Sealant (clear, waterproof-buy the stuff made for either gutters and flashing or windows and doors: It’s not a glue but instead grabs the marbles IF you apply it at least 1/4″ thick).

THIS IS ESSENTIAL-I get emails from people saying the glass gems didn’t stick because they tried using some other glue. I’ve only tested the product shown here. Here are tips to make sure things will stick.

If you want to stand them in the garden—

How to make garden treasure jars

How To Make Garden Treasure Jars

TIP: There’s often a few smaller-sized marbles in each bag. Set these aside and use them to fill in any odd-size gaps as you work.

  1. Place the jar upside-down, so the lid/opening is on the table. Cover the sides of the jar with silicone sealant.I do the bottom of the jar last so I can put my fingers there to steady the jar while applying marbles to the sides. Sealant washes off hands with soap and water.
  2. Attach flat-bottom marbles to the jar, working in circles from bottom to top, leaving room for the lid to open and close.It’s important to work from the bottom up so that the marbles rest on each other in rows: this way they won’t slide around while the silicone sealant is drying.
  3. Last, cover the jar bottom with silicone sealant and attach the rest of the marbles.
  4. Allow to dry.

DIY Garden Treasure Jars

To Mount The Jar On A Post

  1. Punch a small hole in the jar lid. I used an awl and a hammer for this.
  2. Attach the lid to the top of the wood post with a wood screw. OR glue a copper pipe cap to the outside of the jar lid, allow to dry, and place on copper pipe.

How to make garden treasure jars

 

The jar screws onto the lid on the post:

How to make garden treasure jars

But wait!
Hide a note and a treasure inside the jar.

How to make garden treasure jars

Attach the jar to the lid on the post. If your kids are rascals like mine, you might even find out later that the treasures have been switched out for something you weren’t expecting.

How to make garden treasure jars

More Project Ideas For You
There are 19 more projects using glass gems here. This is a great way to use up leftover craft supplies.

But Wait!There’s More!…

How to make a stone birdhouse

Gaden art project How to make a stone birdhouse

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Comments

  1. Lorraine says

    This is a lovely idea! If using solar lights, you could leave the bottom of the jar (which becomes the top) without any marbles so that the sun shines through to energise the bulb.

  2. says

    Oh I absolutely LOVE these! So pretty and so creative. I’ve seen a lot of mason jar crafts lately, but I think these are my favorite. I’m pinning them. Have a great day!

    Debbie

  3. says

    I am so excited about this project and about finding your blog! I recently joined Home Talk and found you there! I have been working on a “Bucket List” of projects to do with my children while on Summer Break. I love this idea! We will definitely be making these!! Great tutorial also! I show my little ones helping in my garden a few days ago on my blog! I am hoping to do more garden posts myself. I am your newest Google Plus follower and subscriber! Can’t wait to see what’s next!
    Jeanne

  4. Laurie mooney says

    I’ve done similar projects and found that using a dot of hot glue in the center of the gem and a little rim of silicone around that, on the starting row, allows you to have a quick set , then you can add your next rows without them sliding off the item.

  5. monica says

    just found this gem of an art on facebook do you know if you could use it for citrocella candles to keep bugs away?

  6. Kate says

    These look great! Those little ‘flat-bottom marbles’ things are actually called glass ‘cabochons’. I agree about the flame requiring air — holes punched in the lid should work nicely. I gotta try this one!

    • says

      Many online shops list them as ‘glass gems’. Where I get they are labelled as ‘flat marbles’ – just in case anyone is searching for them. Also, I don’t recommend these treasure jars for any objects like candles.

  7. Tonda says

    I think I will try this for the nursing home, some of the residents need something to do and I believe this might work for their garden. The maintenance man can do the wood work, Thank you sooo very much. I ran across you and now I will keep trying some of your ideas.

  8. says

    Hi Marianne,

    Checklist for success:
    1. GE II Silicone Sealant is fresh (there is a best before date on the tube).
    2. Jar is clean and grease-free.
    3. You apply the sealant 1/4″ thick or more.
    4. You apply it from the lowest point of the jar first – create a row of flat marbles, apply another ring of sealant above that row, and let the next row rest on the ones below.

    The most common errors I see are not applying it thickly enough and not working with gravity (starting at the bottom).

  9. Virginia says

    The product reviews on GE II Silicone Sealant indicate that there is a chronic problem with it refusing to harden, even when the specific tube of it is marked well within the expiration date (like, 8 months before!). See product reviews on Amazon.com.
    Sounds like the key is making sure the silicone is EXTRA FRESH!
    I still plan to try this project, as I love the idea!

    • says

      I’ve never had a problem with it though I’ve seen others get bad batches. Based on how many people have no problem with it, odds are, if the best buy date is recent, the product will be good.

  10. Mary Powers says

    Hi all…the link provided here is for GE II Kitchen Silicone Sealant and it does get terrible reviews on amazon. However, there is another GE II Silicone sealant which gets overall very good reviews. The containers are 2 different colors. Here’s the link to the “good” stuff:

    http://www.amazon.com/GE-Silicone-10-1-Ounce-Cartridge-GE5000/dp/B0000CBJ7W/ref=pd_cp_hi_0

    I love this project…I have bags and bags of those flat glass marbles and now I have something to use them for!

  11. Nancy Marchinko says

    I made 3 jars today. Bought the GE 11 sealant at Home Depot, glass pieces and jars at Michaels. jars were $1.99 each. Also got the wood posts at Home Depot for 60 cents each. I will paint the posts a contracting color to the glass beads and spry the posts with a clear varnish to prevent weathering. The sealant does work just remember to use enough ad you can do 1 pr 2 rows and wait till it sets before adding more rows.

    Going to the dollar store to get solar lights. Think these will look awesome when completed and going o make my cousin a few for her garden.
    Thanks so much. I’m always looking for easy and cool projects to add interest in my garden.
    Nancy

    • says

      Hi Milly, I wash and dry the jar and then wipe it with a spray of rubbing alcohol, and wait until it evaporates, of course. For some people the big problem is natural oils from their hands, so not touching the jar is key. But, it’s no big deal – the adhesive is very good despite some grease or dirt.

  12. night_fury_77 says

    I use marine goop. Found with boating supplies at Walmart down the fishing isle. It is really great stuff. Waterproof and UV resistant also. I use it for everything and never had a problem.

  13. wendy frazier says

    I love glass. these are going to be so cute in my garden. cant wait to make them.
    thanks for the idea.

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