How to Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts

Sometimes, the best gifts are the simplest gifts. Mason jars make great gift containers, because the recipient can continue to use them afterwards. Once you’ve decorated your mason jar, you can then fill it with all sorts of festive goodies. Alternatively, you can turn the jar into the gift itself, such as a snow globe or a candle.


EditUsing Mason Jars as Gift Containers

  1. Create a custom label and wrap it around a jar for a quick project. Cut a tall strip out of paper that’s long enough to wrap around your jar with overlap. Write a Christmas greeting on it, then decorate it with Christmas-themed washi tape and stickers. Wrap it around your jar, then overlap the ends in the back and glue them in place.
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 1.jpg
    • Add a strip of double-sided tape to the back of the label first so that it doesn’t slide off the jar.
    • You can also design the label on the computer, or print a template off of the internet instead.[1]
    • “Merry Christmas” is a popular greeting, but you can also use “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” instead.
    • Fill the jar with anything, from spa kits to pet supplies to food.
  2. Paint the lid a festive color and/or decorate it with ribbon. Remove the lid from a mason jar, spray paint it a festive color, then let the paint dry. Choose a festive ribbon the same width as the jar lid, then hot glue it around the lid, overlapping the ends by .
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 2.jpg
    • Red, green, or white are classic colors, but you can use others too. Blue is perfect for a Winter Wonderland theme, while silver or gold will look more elegant.
    • If you can’t find ribbon, use washi tape instead! It comes in all sorts of colors and patterns, and you can find it in the scrapbooking section of a craft store.
    • You can do one or the other, or even both! Leaving the lid unpainted will give you a rustic touch.
    • The ribbon needs to cover the sides on the jar lid. If it’s too wide, it will stick out over the top edge of the jar, but it it’s too narrow, you’ll see the sides of the lid.
  3. Wrap twine around a jar lid, then add a jingle bell and holly leaves. Cut 1 to 2 holly leaves out of green felt or paper, punch a hole near the stem, then thread them onto a piece of twine. Add a red jingle bell to the twine, then wrap it around the lid of a mason jar. Tie the twine into a bow, then slide the jingle bell and leaves towards the bow.[2]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 3.jpg
    • If you’re using paper, crease the leaves in half lengthwise for a more realistic touch.
    • Holly leaves look like pointed ovals or almonds with scalloped edges.
  4. Make a waterless snow globe, then tuck a gift card into it. Hot glue a bottlebrush Christmas tree to the inside of a mason jar lid. Complete the scene with a mini Christmas figurine and some polyester stuffing for snow. Tuck a gift card into the scene, then screw the jar on.[3]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 4.jpg
    • Paint the jar lid a festive color, such as red, green, or white.
    • Don’t add glitter to the jar. You don’t be able to fill it with water, so the glitter won’t be visible.
    • If you can’t get stuffing, pull apart a cotton ball, and use that instead.
  5. Decorate the center of the jar to look like a reindeer. Cut a wide strip of brown paper. Wrap and glue it around the middle of the jar, then glue 2 large googly eyes in the center. Add a red or black pompom for the nose. Finally, wrap brown pipe cleaners around the top of the jar, then bend them into antler shapes.[4]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 5.jpg
    • If you don’t have brown paper, paint the strip instead using brown acrylic paint.
    • The length of the strip will depend on the size of the jar. Make it long enough so that you can overlap the ends by .
    • Fill the jar with any assortment of small gifts, such as candy, cat toys, spa items, etc.
  6. Make a snowman by painting a jar white, then adding 3 black buttons. Paint the outside of the jar with white spray paint. Let it dry, then glue 3 black buttons down the middle like coal on a snowman. Wrap and tie a piece if Christmas ribbon around the neck of the jar like a scarf.[5]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 6.jpg
    • Hot glue will work the best because it dries fast. Industrial-strength glue is another option if you don’t mind the couple-hour-long wait.
    • Use burlap ribbon for a rustic touch, or satin ribbon for a fancier look. Choose colors like red, white, or green.
    • Fill the jar with Christmas chocolates, candy cane, or other gifts, such as cat toys, dog treats, or spa items.
  7. Paint a jar with red and white stripes for a festive look. Paint the entire jar with 2 to 4 layers of white acrylic paint, allowing each layer to dry. Wrap painter’s tape around the jar to create stripes. Apply 2 to 4 layers of red paint, letting each layer dry as well. Let the paint dry completely, then remove the tape. Fill the jar with candy, and/or turn it into a soap dispenser.[6]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 7.jpg
    • Wrap a festive, red-and-white or burlap ribbon around the neck of the jar for a festive touch.
    • How long the paint takes to dry depends on the brand, so check the instructions on the back of the paint bottle. Expect to wait around 20 minutes, however.
    • Lightly sand the raised designs of the jar for a rustic look.
    • Use a foam brush or a wide, synthetic brush to apply the paint. Clean the brush between each paint color that you use.

EditFilling Mason Jars with Gifts

  1. Fill a jar with a powdered milk bath, bath salts, or a sugar scrub. Find a milk bath, bath salt, or sugar recipe online that you like. Prepare a batch using Christmas colors and fragrances, then scoop it into a small mason jar. Decorate the jar further by tying a matching ribbon around the neck.[7]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 8.jpg
    • Examples of Christmas fragrances include gingerbread, vanilla, and peppermint. Use essential oils or soap making oils; don’t use candle making oils.
    • Match the color to the fragrance. For example, brown works well for gingerbread, while red or white works for peppermint.
    • Make 2 small batches of a sugar scrub. Color 1 batch red and leave the other batch white. Put them into the jar in layers, like a candy cane.[8]
  2. Turn a large mason jar into a spa, manicure, or pedicure kit. Pick a color scheme first, such as white, silver, and blue. Next, find nail polish, a travel-sized bottle of lotion, and a manicure kit in those colors, and stuff them into a jar. Give the jar a final touch by tying a matching ribbon around it.[9]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 9.jpg
    • Beauty supply stores carry mini lotions, hand sanitizers, and manicure kits in all sorts of colors and fragrances.
    • Choose Christmas-related fragrances if possible, such as peppermint, gingerbread, or sugar plum. The stocking stuffer section in your local beauty supply store should carry them.
    • Other great items to add include: mini bath bombs, mini bottles of bath salts, toe separators for pedicures, and so forth.
    • If you’re adding nail polish, add other items into the jar to cushion it, or wrap it in colored tissue paper to keep it from breaking.
  3. Fill a jar with the dry base of a hot chocolate or brownie recipe. Find a hot chocolate or brownie recipe that you like, then mix together the dry ingredients. Pour them into the jar, then close the lid. Print the recipe in cardstock, then tie it to the jar with ribbon.[10]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 10.jpg
    • For a nicer presentation, layer the ingredients. For example: sugar, cocoa, and toppings. Decorate the recipe card with Christmas stickers too!
    • If you’re using a brownie mix, consider add red-and-green M&Ms or crushed peppermint for a festive touch.[11]
    • Use a jar that’s big enough to hold all the dry ingredients with no more than of extra space at top.
  4. Place a cup cake or hot fudge into a jar if you’ll be gifting it right away. Set a Christmas-themed cupcake into a mason jar lid, then screw the jar on so that it’s upside down. Alternatively, stand a jar right-side-up and fill it with your favorite hot fudge recipe. Just be sure to tie a spoon to it with ribbon.[12]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 11.jpg
    • The hot fudge may last longer, but the cup cake needs to be given within 1 day.
    • Don’t just use any cupcake. Choose a cupcake that’s decorated with a Christmas theme, such as a sugar Christmas tree, or red-and-green sprinkles.
    • For an extra-festive touch, choose peppermint fudge!
  5. Make the gift pet-friendly by filling it with dog treats. You could use store-bought treats, or find a recipe online to make homemade ones. You could also fill the jar with wild bird seed or fill it with cat toys! Give the jar a final touch by painting the lid red or green, then tying a burlap ribbon around it.[13]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 12.jpg

EditTurning Jars into Decorative Gifts

  1. Turn a jar into a snow globe by gluing a figure to the inside of the lid. Take the lid off of a 16-ounce (475-mL) mason jar. Hot glue a Christmas-related figurine to the inside of the lid, then fill the jar with water. Add some white, silver, or iridescent glitter, then put the lid back on. Turn the jar upside down to complete the snow globe.[14]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 13.jpg
    • Chunky, flakey glitter works the best for this because it will look like snow!
    • Make sure that the figurines that you use are water-resistant. The ones used for mini Christmas villages work great.
    • Paint the lid red, green, or white for the ultimate touch!
  2. Fill a jar with wax and a wick to make a candle. Hot glue a tabbed wick to the bottom of a small mason jar, then melt some candle wax. Add a Christmas-y fragrance to the wax, like peppermint, then pour it into the jar. Let the wax set, then trim the wick to .[15]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 14.jpg
    • Tie a red-and-white ribbon around the middle of the jar for a nicer touch.
    • You can use other fragrances too, such as gingerbread. An online store that sells candle making supplies should have lots of options.
  3. Make a luminary with Epsom salt. Paint small, wide-mouthed mason jar with white school glue, then roll it around in Epsom salt. Let the glue dry, then stick a candle into it. Here are some other ways that you can upgrade your luminary:[16]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 15.jpg
    • Mix white, iridescent glitter into the Epsom salt for a magical touch.
    • Paint the jar with 1 coat of red, white, or green paint first, let it dry, then add the glue and Epsom salt.
    • Cut a Christmas-y shape (e.g. star) out of contact paper, then stick it to the jar first. Add the glue and salt, let it dry, then remove the shape.
  4. Turn an 8-ounce (240-mL) mason jar into an air freshener. Mix 1 teaspoon (2.8 g) of polymer absorbent crystals with of hot water. Let it cool down, then stir in 20 drops of essential oil. Cut a circle out of tulle, place it over the mouth of the jar, then screw the lid on.[17]
    Decorate Mason Jars for Christmas Gifts Step 16.jpg
    • Use a 2-part mason jar lid. This way, the recipient can remove the inner lid and leave the ring on. The ring will hold the tulle in place.
    • Rosemary and spearmint make a perfect wintery combination, but you can try others too.[18]
    • You can use all 1 fragrance or combine 2 fragrances. For example, you could do 10 drops of cinnamon and 10 drops of orange.
    • Make the circle about twice the circumference of the jar’s mouth. This will create a nice ruffle when you put it on and close the lid.


  • Red and green are classic Christmas colors, but you don’t have to use them. For example, blue and white are perfect for a Winter Wonderland theme.
  • You can use these ideas for other occasions too, such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or birthday.
  • Choosing the right colors and fragrances is key to making a Christmas-themed mason jar.

EditThings You’ll Need

EditUsing Mason Jars as Gift Containers

  • Mason jar
  • Acrylic paint or spray paint
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Hot glue
  • Craft supplies (buttons, pompoms, pipe cleaners, etc.).

EditFilling Mason Jars with Gifts

  • Mason jar
  • Bath salts or scrubs
  • Hot cocoa mix or brownie mix
  • Gift cards
  • Dog treats, cat toys, or bird seed

EditTurning Jars into Decorative Gifts

  • Mason jar
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Candle making supplies

EditSources and Citations

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