Mason Jar Toppers

Mason Jar Toppers
The familiar and iconic food preserving jar known as a Mason jar has been around since the 1860s. The jars have become embedded in our cultural consciousness evoking a standard in home and commercial food preservation. Putting a simple fabric cover as a topper on the jar and tie with twine, jute, raffia or ribbon suggests a vintage-era nostalgia and a natural country style esthetic.

Ball Mason and Kerr Mason jars are nearly identical, owned by the same company, screw bands and lids interchangeable and made in America. Ball Mason jars have measurement increments integral to the glass. What makes a glass canning jar a Mason jar is the top of the glass jar has a screw ridge that accepts a metal screw band that covers the jar and single use gasketed flat lid. Any thick-walled, heat tempered (although not for oven use) glass jar with the integral screw ridge can be considered a Mason jar. However, for canning purposes, the canning lids and screw bands must be able to fit alternate use glass jars and only for use in a water-bath method of processing.

To make a traditional Mason jar fabric topper:

Fabric Scraps - generally cotton prints or gingham are often used cut into 7 or 8-inch diameter circles for wide mouth jars, 6 or 7-inch circles for regular mouth jars. If desired a square shape can be used in place of a circle shape. Use pinking shears to trim the fabric outer edges to prevent fabric edges from fraying. If using burlap fabric leave the edges raw for a rustic effect. Alternatively, a small vintage embroidered hankie can be used in place of a fabric scrap. No cutting needed.

One-quarter inch-wide elastic lengths cut to about 6 to 8-inches long.
Fold the fabric circle (or square) in half and in half again to form quarter marks and mark the fold lines. Fold the elastic into quarters and mark those folds with a pin.

Match up the elastic and fold lines placing the elastic about 2-inches in from the outer fabric edges. Stitch using a straight or zig zag stitch directly onto the elastic as pinned to the fabric. Gently stretch the elastic around the fabric circle when sewing.

Place the topper over the Mason jar and tie around a length of jute, raffia, or ribbon to finish off in a bow.

Note: if stretching and sewing the elastic onto the fabric is a challenge, a simple no-sew alternative is to leave off the elastic and just place the fabric circle or square onto the jar, secure with a rubber band (ponytail bands work too!) and cover the band with a length of ribbon.

Mason jar toppers look especially charming when the fabric edges are stitched with a narrow width lace trim. Consider using small lace doilies instead fabric scraps for the topper too. There are many ways to personalize the jar covers using just small, saved bits of fabric, lace and desired trims. Fill the Mason jar with nature's summer harvest of fruits or veggies, top with a jar cover and present as a welcome to the neighborhood gift, hostess gift or thank you gift to helpful colleagues.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.