My Canning Jar Discovery


Canning jars (also known as Mason jars) certainly seem to be enjoying a new revival.  I’m sure there are plenty of folks using canning jars for their original purpose of preserving food, but there’s probably more people using canning jars for all kinds of other practical and decorative purposes.

I’m not immune to the canning jar fever either. Over on Pinterest I have a Mason Jar Love board just for all the cute canning jar ideas I come across.  The crafty folks of the world are turning their Mason jars into pincushions, terrariums, soap dispensers, oil lamps, candle holders, and more.

Apparently we all  Mason jars.

Mason jar pinterest board

I decided to get a little crafty with a couple of my canning jars too by tinting them blue to jazz them up a bit.  That sounded like a fun way to make my own vintage blue colored jars which I thought would be lovely to use as a flower vase.

Thinking about vintage blue Ball canning jars inspired me to do some research . . .

and that’s when I made an unexpected discovery.


Oh My – I Have 80 Year Old Canning Jars!

Let me begin by saying that the first step in my canning jar tinting project was to go to my stash of canning jars and pick out a couple of likely suspects to use.  I didn’t want to use any of my wide mouth canning jars so instead I reached way back on my shelf and grabbed a couple of regular sized mouth jars that were tucked away behind all the other jars.

I then had my crafty time, made some nice blue jars (and an experimental green one too!) and all was well.  *Happy Thoughts*

THEN, I started some research on the vintage blue canning jars.  The blue jars were only made by the Ball company and were discontinued some time around 1937.  That’s when I also found a helpful picture guide to determining the age of your Ball canning jars.

NOW, look at  the history of the logos in the picture below – and then look closely at one of the canning jars I grabbed off my shelf for my tinting project.

Ball canning jar logos

Do you see what I see?  That’s the logo from the 1923 – 1933 era.  (One of the only logos that doesn’t have the line under the words).

Yup, I took an antique 80 year old canning jar and then tinted it so it would look old and  “vintage”.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

In Memory of Grandma

Once I got over my initial “Oh crap, what did I do!” moment of shock, I decided all was still well.  I hurried back down to my canning jar shelf and saw I still had one more of the jars from that era that was still in its original condition.

canning jar vaseI had forgotten that many years ago when I was still something of a newlywed, I was happy to take some of my grandma’s old canning jars after she passed on.  I guess as the years went by the canning jars from my grandma had just gotten mixed in with other canning jars I accumulated. And I’m guessing I probably gave some of them away unknowingly with food gifts over the years too.

But you know what?  Maybe that 80 year old canning jar is fake blue now and no longer has its antique value.  BUT, it will make a lovely flower vase as I intended and every time I see it, I’ll think of my grandma.  Who knows how many times she may have used that jar to can peaches or pears, or vegetables, or even meat.  (Yes, my grandma canned meat!  She canned everything during the Depression!).

So yeah, maybe that old canning jar doesn’t have value on the antique market anymore, but it has priceless value to me and every time I use it as my new flower vase, I’ll have a moment of connection with those fond memories of grandma.

All is well.  I’m back to *Happy Thoughts*

Instructions Coming up Next . . .

Because I took a little extra time to give you the story behind this project, I decided to write a separate post with all the details for how to make your own tinted Mason jars.  I tried a couple different methods and I’ll be sharing what worked best and the steps I used.

Stay tuned for the full instructions coming up next! 

Get the complete instructions here = = >  How To Tint Canning Jars




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  1. These old jars are lovely; my hubby found 13 of the old 1910 – 1923 ones in the basement when we moved into this house, all but one had the cover. Love the old style covers & wire closures. I tried to sell in my garage sale but no-one seemed interested.

    1. Sometimes vintage things go at garage sales and sometimes they don’t . . . the right buyer has to come along to appreciate it. If I had been there, I probably would have bought your jars 🙂