DIY, oh my!

Since I last posted about the DIY stuff I am trying to accomplish for my wedding, I am proud ashamed a little dismayed to say that I have not yet picked up where I left off!

But fret not! A recent development is pushing me out of my inertia; one of my two closest girlfriends, F, who asked me in our Whatsapp group chat if I need any help for my wedding, is now relatively free and has booked a date with me next week to come over to help with one of my DIYs!

And which DIY item would that be?

It’s my DIY mason jar table centrepieces! Yes, that’s what all those used glass jars are for.


When F asked me some weeks back if I need any help, I took the chance to tell her my idea. And I passed these photos to illustrate what I meant / what my inspiration is:






I said that the images were just for them to get a better idea of what I intended to do, not how I actually want the jars to be decorated. The only thing I was sure about at the time was that I wanted fresh flowers to go into the jars.

Since then, F and I exchanged ideas (in the midst of also planning a meetup with H who was going to be in town all the way from KL for the Deepavali weekend, in the same group chat). After telling her the colour scheme I’d like for the fresh flowers, F passed me this photo:


She found the rust colour nice and thought we could paint the jars, or even better, trace mine and the mister’s initials and paint it in. I liked the initials idea, but the colour didn’t appeal to me because I prefer to keep the look clean and clear. The thought of painting the jars  also seemed like too much of a hassle for me (told ya I’m a want-to-DIY-but-don’t-want-too-much-work BTB).

And then, I came across something which looked simple and manageable enough to do:


I already have the chalkboard paper which I bought off those online deal stores (got 3 rolls in one shot because even if I have any left over, I could still find a use for it), so I wouldn’t need to get any other material. It comes with adhesive so it’s really convenient to paste onto any surface.


F didn’t really give a response when I showed her the chalkboard-name-label-on-mason-jar photo. Maybe she didn’t want me to get offended if she gave me her honest opinion. I was really just thinking out loud and my heart wasn’t really set on the idea anyway. On second thought, it looked a little too simple and casual so I continued my search. Found another idea that incorporated the chalkboard element:


These round chalkboard tags look a bit more put together, yet still simple enough. I could write mine and the mister’s initials on them with chalk. F responded and said these could do too, with green-coloured chalk (which unfortunately I did not have – the chalkboard paper only came with white, blue, pink and yellow chalks). I thought of using plastic bottle caps which I hoarded had been collecting at work, with the intention of recycling them, but we all thought the size might be too small. So I thought we could just cut out circle shapes from cardboard.

Then, in early November, F told me she saw glue gun in Daiso. I thought I might need one, so I went to the Daiso nearest to my place to look for it. In the end, I couldn’t find any glue gun, but I saw something else that could be used for my mason jar table centrepiece:


Since the buttons are already circular in shape, I thought it would be easy to just wrap and paste the chalkboard paper on it. I like the look of having a certain thickness to the tags, just like in the original. F said since the front of the buttons are curved rather than flat, the chalkboard paper might not get pasted on smoothly and evenly; there might be folds or air pockets. She tried to convince me to just stick with the initial cardboard idea, but I went ahead and bought a pack anyway since it was only $2.

I also bought the brown paper twine to tie the buttons around the jars:


That same night, I was really excited to put my ideas together so I decided to do a (very rough) mock up.

I didn’t even bother with drawing a proper circle. I just put the button on the chalkboard paper and traced a circle shape using chalk, cut, then just pasted it over the button. I took out the backing of the button, put the twine across and simply reaffixed the backing. Then I used a simple left-over-right, right-over-left (aka Girl Guide scarf) knot to tie the twine together. Obviously, it just looks like what it is – a rushed piece of work.

Prototype #1

Then I decided I didn’t like how I wrote our initials so I rubbed them away and wrote it in another way, as seen here:

Prototype #2

I sent the above photo to my mister and you know what he said?

He said: Apasal macam cacat ‘Z’ dengan ‘T’? (Why does the ‘Z’ and ‘T’ look distorted?) Did your niece draw that?

I gave him an ishh and said no.

Then he honestly said: Tak lawa..(Not nice) The ‘T’ kelakar (is funny).

I told him to wait as I sent him a photo of my next prototype:

Prototype #3

I thought it would look nicer to have the tag hanging on the twine from the top rather than the twine coming out from the centre, and for the loop to be closed in front rather than tied untidily at the back. So i took out the button backing, made the twine go one round in the inner circumference, leaving just a bit of loose twine hanging out on one end, and the rest of the twine on the other. Then, I reaffixed the backing, looped the long end of the twine around the jar and devised a knot so that everything’s tied up in front. Oh yeah I also peeled the chalkboard paper, cut a bit of the edge off free-hand so that it becomes a smaller (but misshapened) circle and pasted it back on the button.

I also realized there was still a bit of twine hanging out so I fixed that somehow (I have absolutely no memory on how the final knot was tied, so good luck to me in trying to reproduce that with F later). I also rewrote the initials and this is the next protoype:

Prototype #4 – Front view

Prototype #4 – Side view

The mister’s response?

“Hmmm… bottle nice. Idea nice.”

Me: But..?

“That black thing. Ada macam off sikit. (There’s something not quite right about it.)”

So I knew the shape of the tag wasn’t a perfect circle, only because I did not draw it out properly. I told him I’d use a compass to make it a perfect circle for the actual thing.

The next day or so, I rubbed off our initials again and decided to try with yellow chalk instead of white:

Prototype #5

I thought our initials look clearer as the contrast seems better. What do you think?

Anyway, I thought I’d try to see how the look would pull through with flowers. I borrowed the fake flowers my mom bought from Ikea. These come with stalks that can be bent, so I could modify the height of the flowers just so:

Prototype #6 – Side view

Prototype #6 – Front view (and a sneak preview of my other DIY item haha)

And that’s where I left the whole project, slightly more than 2 weeks ago! Except that I’ve taken out the flowers, bent the stalks back to original state and placed them back where I took them.

While I was working on that one jar, my mom commented that it was a bit plain and thought maybe I should add a ribbon or some lace or what-not.

Initially I didn’t pay much heed to what she was saying, brushing it off as typical makcik (auntie) mentality in not seeing beauty in simplicity. But towards the end of that mockup effort, it did occur to me that the jar would look a little plain from the back, where all one can see is just one string across the top of the jar. I could tie a ribbon there, I guess, but my mind has been going back to this one idea that I came across on this site .

And the outcomes look so pretty!


I know, I know, I’m totally contradicting myself now because this idea involves painting, when I’ve already said I thought painting was too much of a hassle. But I really like how these look, especially the heart-shaped one. I wouldn’t do the silhouette image obviously, I’d just stick with the solid heart shape. The painting work seems simple and manageable, if I were to trust the description.

Now, can anyone tell me where I can get paint suitable for glass, preferably non-toxic?


2 thoughts on “DIY, oh my!

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