When we were kids our parents, king and queen of thriftiness before being thrifty was in fashion, would squirrel away summer fruits by preserving, saucing, jamming and drying so in winter we could still experience the sweet taste of summer. I have fond memories of eating crunchy toast on cold winter mornings and warm bread and butter pudding in the evenings, both spread thick with my Mum’s apricot jam.
This time last year, the lovely Robyn from Bespoke magazine contacted us and asked if we’d like to feature an article in their winter edition. I decided this would be the perfect time to learn how to make my Mum’s jam and create a crafty DIY to decorate the jars using my newly acquired sewing skills. I’m so excited to now be able to share the recipe and DIY with you here.
Jam makes a wonderful gift, made all the sweeter if you decorate the jars with pretty material, ribbons and lace. I got so much pleasure from handing these out to all my friends and hearing how much they enjoyed the jam.
I promise I’ll post the recipe here very soon but first let me share the jar cover tutorial.
To make your own jam jar covers you’ll need…
Fabric (the amount of fabric needed will depend on the jar lid size)
Suitable coloured cotton to match your fabric
6mm wide elastic pieces
Lace, ribbon, buttons, craft glue and hand needle for decorating
Recycled glass jars and their lids
♥ Prepare your jars
Begin by giving your jars a good clean with hot soapy water. Remove sticky labels from the jar and lid by soaking overnight. If you find sticky residue still left on the jar after removing the label, add a dollop of vegetable oil to the jar and rub gently. After a minute or so the oil will dissolve the glue and you’ll be able to rinse it all away without needing to scrub.
♥ Calculate your lid cover size
Measure the diameter of your jar lid with a ruler and then add 4.5cm. This additional measurement provides allowance for the lid height and the elastic. Once you have your total, half this.
For example, if your lid diameter is 6.5cm, add 4.5cm giving 11cm, then half to get 5.5cm.
♥ Create your pattern
Once you have determined your cover size, take the compass and measure out the distance using a ruler. On the tracing paper, draw a perfect circle using the compass.
Use the ruler to check that your circle is the correct diameter. Using our previous example, the circle should be 11cm.
Cut out the circle, pin the circle pattern to your fabric and then cut the fabric.
♥ Attach the elastic
Place your fabric right side up under the presser foot on your sewing machine. Lay the elastic piece flat on top of the fabric with the outer edge of the elastic aligning with the outer edge of the circle.
Sew a couple of stiches forwards and backwards along the elastic to secure to the fabric. Then, using a zigzag stich, sew over the elastic, pulling tightly as you go.
If you are creating a cover without lace, follow with another round of zigzag stitching to tidy up. This time make sure that the point of the stitch falls neatly over the inner edge of the elastic. This ensures when you flip the cover right way out the elastic won’t show.
♥ Add some lace
To create a cover with lace, attach the elastic as described in the previous step. Then, with your fabric still turned right side up, lay the lace flat on top of the elastic. The top of the lace edge should align with the outer edge of the circle and the bottom of the lace should be pointing into the centre of the circle.
Sew a straight stitch approximately 7mm from the outer edge of the circle. Ensure this stitch is neat and covers the elastic as this is what will be seen when you flip the cover the right way out. This can be fiddly so just take your time and go slowly.
Tidy the outer edge of the lace and prevent fraying by running a zigzag stitch around the outer edge of the circle.
Flip the cover and place onto the jar lid to ensure it fits correctly. Finish by decorating your cover and your jars with pretty ribbons, lace and buttons.
Happy crafting adventures!