This episode is subtitled: ‘Treat time at Easter…’
How was your Easter? It was a lovely family time for us – thankfully not hosted by me, but my sister Laura. Blue and I spent the whole of Sunday with her, Ray and the children, Jake and Hannah.
They love it when we go, although I totally understand that Blue’s the real attraction. I only get the slightest of welcomes from Jake and Hannah as they race into battle, competing for the bigger share of Blue’s affection (truth is, he’s a pushover for anyone who gives him attention). It’s only a couple of weeks since they had him overnight when Kim and I went on our spa break and they’ve been pestering me about when they can have him again. Trouble is, I miss him too much when he’s away.
It was a lovely, lazy Sunday – an extravagant lunch, a long walk then some Easter treats.
‘It’s Mary Berry’s Simnel Cake,’ I said nervously, as I passed over my contribution for the day, wishing Mary Berry really had baked it. My sister is such a domestic queen and, true to form, Laura was preparing a big roast dinner when we got there so I rolled my sleeves up and started peeling veg while Jake and Hannah played with Blue and Ray kept us topped up with drinks while we worked.
It never ceases to amaze me how lively family meals are. Obviously Blue and I aren’t silent (and I do enjoy the relative peace and quiet) but it’s lovely to be part of the hubbub of chatter once in a while, and watch Ray, the master at knowing just how far he can pull Hannah’s leg without upsetting her.
‘Did you bring us any Easter eggs?’ Hannah asked me.
‘You’ll have to wait and see,’ I said. Easter treats were to be exchanged after our walk, after the mammoth lunch. I know I suggested something other than chocolate to give at Easter when I showed you how to make the painted eggs but for an eight year old there’s only one safe option. At 14 I’m sure Jake isn’t bothered but, just in case, I brought chocolate for him too.
After lunch we put our wellies and waterproofs on and headed for the woods. What happened to that lovely spring weather we’d been having? Never mind, drizzle is ok when you’re dressed for it and it was great having the rest of the gang with us for a change. We felt we’d earned our Easter treats when we got back and Laura even made us all hot chocolate with whipped cream to have with our Easter eggs – way too many calories!
Of course Blue couldn’t join us for chocolate but I did prepare something for him so we didn’t leave him out. It’s quite difficult to see the etching on the picture at the top of this post, so here’s a slightly better view of the etched writing. I even etched his paw print on the top of the jar too.
I save all Douwe Egberts coffee jars, whatever their size, because they are just too good to recycle straight away.
I cleaned the jar but then went over the outside with methylated spirit to make sure I’d got rid of all of the grease (and rinsed that off). I found it in the shed – you can see that it’s old by the B&Q logo! I used glass etching cream to eat the surface of the glass to create the design. The bottle in the picture is from Amazon and cost about £17 for 10 ounces (283g) but I did have a go with a smaller bottle (3oz/85g) a while ago which I got from Fred Aldous in Manchester which was enough to do a few small projects.
You’ll need some stick on vinyl to create your design. I got 20 A4 sheets for about £7 from Amazon.
Cut your design out of the vinyl either with a craft knife or a cutter such as a Cricut. I’m lucky enough to own a Cricut Explore (which I love!) and it cuts your design easily and precisely once you’ve worked it out on your computer. It’s all very simple and I think you can even use it with a tablet these days.
I prefer to use the negative because it’s easier to apply it to the jar (most of it is in one piece), although I believe you can buy vinyl transfer paper to help if your design has a few pieces that need to be aligned because it will transfer it all in one go.
You can see that I’ve now added the little bits for inside the letter e and a, and I’ve added Blue’s paw print to the lid of the jar. Make sure the vinyl is well stuck down everywhere to avoid the cream getting in the wrong place (but don’t use greasy fingers for this!).
Read the instructions with the etching cream very carefully because it’s very powerful stuff! You need to apply it quite thickly and make sure it only touches the parts of the glass that you want to have an opaque effect.
It only stays on for a minute so I did the jar and the lid separately.
Once the cream has been washed off and the vinyl removed it looks like this.
Then I filled it with dog biscuits for Blue!
I also etched a couple of smaller jars to make some personal gifts.
Tips (a lot of tips this week!):
- Read and follow the etching cream instructions carefully because it’s a very powerful substance.
- Protect every surface, including your hands.
- Have a look for the seams on your jar so you can position your design away from them.
- Have enough vinyl round your design to ensure you don’t get the etching cream where you don’t want it because it may run a bit.
- I find it best to lie the jar down and make sure it’s not going to roll anywhere, but this means it’s not practical to do an all round design in one go.
- Make personalised gifts or to jazz up your kitchen storage (eg RICE…..SUGAR….UTENSILS)
- Glass coffee jars
I hope you enjoy creating these lovely containers. Once you’ve got the etching cream and the vinyl it’s very quick and really effective. Let me know how you get on.
What other ideas do you have for the empty coffee jars? I’ve got quite a few of them in my salvage box!
See you all again next week.