Get a free year on Tuts+ this month when you purchase a Siteground hosting plan from $3.95/mo
After some cool and colour co-ordinated storage containers? Before you splash out on a brand new set, you might like to try this fun project. Give your old jars a new lease of life (and a set of legs) by recycling any broken dolls or figurines you might have around the house. A dash of glossy spray paint in a nice block color ties them all together for a bold and cohesive statement. Let's get started.
- Empty jam jars.
- Small broken or unwanted plastic dolls.
- Coping saw.
- Cutting surface.
- Strong glue.
- Gloss spray paint.
- Safety glasses.
- Safety mask.
Step 1: Clean the Jars
Start by cleaning the jars and removing all the tags. You can leave them in water to soak and then use a cleaning sponge to remove the stickers and glue. You can also try boiling the jars for five minutes before washing - the stickers will be super-easy to remove.
Step 2: Remove the Doll's Arms and Legs
This is the weirdest part of the tutorial – and it’s also not my favorite. You basically need to cut the toys in half so you can glue the lower halves to the jar lids. It is helpful to cut the doll somewhere around the waist, instead of cutting off each leg separately. This gives you a bigger surface area to glue to the lid.
You can also cut off the arms as well. Just keep in mind that certain types of plastic cannot be glued after they’ve been sawn in half. Avoid flexible plastic dolls as the plastic stays sticky and won’t adhere properly.
It’s advisable to wear safety goggles while you’re sawing, and a mask to ensure you don’t inhale the plastic dust. Please note that not all plastic dolls are easy to cut; some types of plastic may take extra time and patience. If you haven’t used a saw before, ask someone with experience for help.
The safest way to use the saw is by firmly gripping the object with clamps, and keeping your fingers and hands away from the saw’s teeth. Place the saw’s central teeth on the point you need to cut and push the saw in a short stroke to start the cut. Then, start moving the saw forwards and backwards, cutting along the same line.
Step 3: Smooth the Limbs
Now all you need to do is sand the cut surface with sandpaper for a smooth finish.
Step 4: Glue the Legs to the Lid
Add some strong craft glue to the smooth cut surface of the legs and arms and stick them on the jar lids. Press firmly until they hold and are secure.
Step 5: Spray the Leggy Lids
When the glue is dry and the legs are firmly fixed, your jar lids are ready to be spray painted. I made mine emerald green. Place the lids on a sheet of newspaper or scrap paper, shake the spray paint and spray the lid from a distance of 20cm. (7.9 in.).
You should wear a mask for this step. Take care to spray from every possible angle and apply a smooth layer of color all over the lid and the legs. Allow the lids to dry for a few hours (or according to the instructions on the bottle) before using them.
Display Your New Set of Storage Jars
That's it - you've now made a set of fun leggy storage jars!
In this tutorial, you've learned how to transform a bunch of plain jars into a set of novelty storage jars.
You could use the jars to store all of your craft supplies. They'd look amazing filled with colorful pom-poms, ribbons and Washi tape. Or you could use them to store all of your pantry staples. I've used my leggy jars to store my tea and spices and they always make me smile.
Did you like this project idea? Let us know how you go with this tutorial in the comments section below.