Originally written December 2013. Updated March 2020.
My sister and her family do this neat thing at her house; they all contribute to what they call the ‘smile jar’. Anytime someone says something that makes them smile (or in the case of my nephew — makes him crack up), it gets written down and added to the ‘smile jar’. On New Year’s Eve, they sit down and reread all the smiles. I thought it would be special to make them Mason jar top decorations for their ‘smile jar’.
Select a resin mold that will fit nicely within the size of your Mason jar. Spray it with a light mist of Castin’ Craft mold release and allow to dry. Next, mix 1/2 ounce of Resin Obsession super clear resin using our stir stix and plastic mixing cups to make sure you mix it thoroughly. If you have never worked with resin before, this article explains how to measure and mix resin in five easy steps. Cover the mold and allow the resin to partially or fully cure.
For the middle layer, create artwork that you can include. In this case, I created an ‘M’ logo, which is the first initial of her last name. I printed it with my black and white printer, then took it to the local copy store where they printed it onto a transparency sheet. Pro tip: Transparencies are nice to use with resin because you don’t have to seal them first. Trim the transparency to fit your resin mold. Remember, you are working ‘backward’, so in this case, you want to make sure the front of the design is face down.
Mix and pour another small batch of resin. Pour in just enough to cover the first layer.
Pro tips to keep from trapping bubbles underneath the transparency:
1. Coat some resin onto the transparency first. This breaks the surface tension.
2. When placing the transparency into the resin, put it in on an angle. This minimizes trapping air pockets underneath.
Cover and allow to cure.
For the next layer of the Mason jar top decorations, mix another half-ounce of resin. Add enough to the mold to fill the remaining space about halfway full.
For the next layer, add something to make your Mason jar top decorations really special. In the case of my sister, it’s popcorn. Her family is gourmet popcorn freaks! I added in a little bit of popcorn at a time, then added more resin as necessary to completely cover it.
Note: Since the popcorn is organic — meaning carbon-based — you need to seal it before adding to the resin, otherwise, it may take up moisture stains. I sealed it this popcorn with a couple of layers of our Castin’ Craft resin gloss sealer spray.
Once your mold is filled with popcorn, add a little bit more resin to get everything covered.
Cover and allow to fully cure.
To demold the cured resin casting, twist the mold while pushing from the back. I also found it helpful to push on the pointed edges of the casting to help get it out.
Once demolded, sand off any rough edges.
While waiting on the resin casting to cure, I started decorating the rest of the Mason jar top.
After applying a thick layer of clear drying glue, like Ultra Seal, apply decorative fabric to cover the wring. You can also cover the ring with glitter glue or paint.
Use E6000 to glue the resin top to the metal ring around the jar. Allow to dry for 24 hours before use.
Voila! Your Mason jar top decorations are done and ready to make someone smile.
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