Throwback Thursday: DIY Mercury Glass Jars

As you can tell, I’m all about new things lately. Well, new blog ideas (I posted about the newly introduced Makeover Monday here). I of course still love all things vintage and making used goods lovely again. So while this blog idea is new, it’s about honoring the old.

Every Thursday I will repost a beloved previous post. I may add a few thoughts or an update if applicable as things have had time to evolve. But most of all this is a fun way to revisit some great past projects, especially for those of you who have jumped on board more recently.

I’m excited to look through past posts every week. I think it will help me to see how much I’ve done and in turn be encouraged for the future. I have big ideas for our house and know it is one step at a time. Looking back will help me to see all the steps I’ve taken so far.

I hope you will enjoy Throwback Thursdays!

And now onto our first #tbt….

DIY Mercury Glass Jars

Do you love mercury glass? I do. I’ve seen a lot of it lately….

Target.

Threshold™ Lamp Base-Antique Mercury Glass Large (Includes CFL Bulb)

Pottery Barn.

Mercury Glass Bath Accessories

It has such a classy look. Such beautiful shine. The gold and silver specks. Swoon.

However, mercury glass is typically pricey. But when I saw on Pinterest that you could replicate your own, I was instantly interested and couldn’t wait to try!

According to Wikipedia, mercury glass, or silvered glass, was glass blown with two walls and a silvering agent (mercury at times) used in the middle. No wonder it’s so valuable- a true work of art.

While I would love to own actual mercury glass, my wallet can’t afford it now and I am willing to settle for a DIY replica. I followed directions from a Pinterest pin, and it worked great! I wanted to start with something little that wouldn’t matter if this project didn’t work. What do I have plenty of that I can spare? That’s right. Mason jars.

What can’t you use a good mason jar for? I planned to use them to hold utensils for our family gathering, so I did three jars.

The key to this project is Krylon’s Looking Glass spray paint. It can be difficult to find, but I got it from WalMart for about $10 for a small can. This is more expensive than your typical can of spray paint, but considering how much you save on making your own mercury glass replica, it is worth every penny.

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After making sure the outside of the jars were clean, I set them on my spray paint area in the garage. Some tutorials said to spray the inside of the jar, but I wanted to be able to use these as vases in the future without worry so I followed one with directions to paint the outside. After shaking the can really well and making sure it was an appropriate temperature, I sprayed a light coat on the outside of the jars. You don’t want the paint to run, so make it a light coat for sure. I let it dry, and repeated twice for a total of three coats.

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At this point it should be pretty smooth and you should be able to see your reflection! How cool is that?!

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When it is dry, I sprayed the jars with a 50:50 mixture of water and vinegar. Where the mixture beads up, the paint will come off– giving the splotchy look of mercury glass.

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I let the mixture sit for a minute and then blotted it off with a crumpled paper towel. You can rub a little more to take off more paint depending on the look you are going for. To make these jars have the dimension of mercury glass, spray the jar again with a single light coat. This will fill in the paint-free areas but they will be lighter than the rest. This created a great vintage look- each jar is unique.

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I love how they turned out! Looks like a good replica to me. They fit perfectly in this cute lil’ basket I picked up from a thrift store and repainted in French Linen. And they look even better filled with red plastic ware!

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I’m so happy this project turned out, these cuties will be great to use for many years!

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You gotta love a great DIY project that saves tons of money! Do you have any mercury glass? Or are you like me and just drool over it?

Update: I’m still in love with these jars. We use them every week in this same box to hold flatware for our home group. It’s a great easy way to make something simple lovely.

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