Mason Jars By The Hundreds!

Friday, February 26, 2016



My daughter and I have started the preliminary plans for our 2016 flower farm.  We've purchased our seeds and began working out the details of another summer and what we want to change and improve.  Very soon it will be time to work the soil and get our seeds planted.





In the mean time, there is something that really bothered me the last two summers.  You remember that our bouquets are all arranged and sold in quart size Mason Jars?  The hope is that our customers will return their jars when they come to pick up their next bouquets. And a lot of them do.  So, it is a continual job to wash and store jars for each day.  We are also purchasing jars and accepting donated jars.  Can I just say that it amounts to a lot of jars?  



They end up being stored in my stair closet in bins and boxes.  I am stepping over them, around them, and on them all summer long.   They must be stored inside to keep them clean and also we fill them with fresh, cold water each morning.  So it would not work to store them anywhere but in one of our houses.  



I started brainstorming ideas and looking at book shelves and other shelving systems that I could purchase but nothing was exactly what I wanted.  I decided to draw up my own design and build a jar storage system myself.  



It just so happened that my husband was out of town, so I was really excited to build something!  





I found some plans online for a large storage system and I printed those up and made some modifications to fit what I had in mind.  




I figured up my lumber and I purchased what I needed and got started.   




I think building something is kind of like sewing... measure twice and cut once!  (Or in my case, measure like 4 times!)  




After helping Eldon build our house, I got quite a bit of experience using the saw and the hand tools.  So I actually feel fairly comfortable with it.   I cut all my wood pieces first.




Then I began the assembly.  Because I'm not very good at countersinking my screws, I decided to pre-drill all my holes.  It took longer, but in the long run it made it much easier.  




I built the shelf ends first - they are sort of like ladders that the slats will attach to.  I did not want my shelf to be deep, as I don't have a long of space in my stair closet, so I designed it to only hold 2 jars deep.  I adjusted it until I got it exactly the measurement I wanted.  Then I cut the 2x4's to be the exact measurement and attached them to the outer posts.  




Then I attached all the 1x4 inch slats.  The slats were all 64 inches long -  exactly the length for each shelf to  hold 36 jars.  




After I completed this and set two jars on the shelf to check my depth measurement I realized that just a simple bump in the closet would cause the jars to fall off.  So I made another modification and added a little "lip" to the front and back of each shelf with a 1x2 board.  It worked perfect.




I painted the whole thing my very favorite Annie Sloan Emperors Silk Red and carted it into the house.  




Then I put on a coat of dark wax to antique it a bit and put it in the stair closet.  I used 2 inch screws and drilled them through the back of the shelf into the studs in the closet wall so that there is no chance of pulling the whole thing over!  And then the fun of unloading 144 jars and filling it up!




You cannot imagine how happy I am with it.  It fits snug against the closet wall and since it is only 9 inches deep, it hardly takes up any usable space.  




And I love opening the closet door to all these beautiful Mason Jars!




You can see how the lip is just tall enough to hold them snug.  




My plan for the top shelf is to use that for storing all of our other flower garden and bouquet supplies.  I plan to print and punch out all of our craft labels that we use on the bouquets so that we don't have to do that at all this summer.  We will also purchase the rolls of twine ahead of time.  Those things will all be stored handily there.  There is also room on the top shelf for any boxes of jars that we have to purchase.  




No more stepping on and over jars that took up all the floor space in my closet and drove me crazy!  I'm super happy with how my shelving system came out.  And even though there are all kinds of imperfections... it is okay because I made it and I love it!  



And did I mention it holds 144 jars?  
Smile!


43 comments:

  1. Dori, I love it.. You are one talented woman and brave one too.. Loved the post..

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    1. Thank you Connie! I'm so much talented as just crazy! :-)

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  2. Absolutely brilliant! The sight of all those jars sets my heart a fluttering! How proud was your hubby when he saw what you made? He must be a good teacher. ;0D

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    1. I agree - those jars would make anyone happy! My husband was a little shocked I think! :-)

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  3. Dori - your project is awesome and the red paint the crowing touch. Happy flower sales!

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    1. Red makes everything perfect doesn't it? We are looking forward to another flower season.... soon!

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  4. Dori, I'm so proud of you and totally impressed!!!!

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  5. Wow, Dori...this is such an impressive project. You truly are a woman of MANY talents.

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    1. Thank you Rosanne. Not that talented.... but I have to say that there is something about building that is very fun to me. But only when my husband is gone since it means taking over his work shop and making huge mess! Ha!

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  6. Dori, what a perfect solution to your jar storage! You did a fantastic job making it too. Wow, I am impressed!! Painting it red makes it even more special. Anything red screams happy to me!!

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    1. Thank you Winnie! Red screams happy to me too! :-)

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  7. Oh my word! BIG High Five!!!! You should be so proud of yourself..that is awesome!!! Very inspiring! ♡

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    1. Thank you Melissa. I am pretty happy with it. I've built other things before... they are usually sort of a failure!

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  8. You go girl!! What an awesome solution to a storage problem....and how impressive that you did it all yourself!

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    1. It is the best solution. And now that it has been in my closet a few weeks it is even more impressive as it hasn't been in my way at all. I love it.

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  9. This is wonderful! Happy planting and growing season.

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    1. We are really looking forward to our flower season. It'll be here soon!

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  10. Nice job, Dori! All those jars look wonderful. And will look even prettier filled with flowers. If I lived closer I'd be a regular customer for sure. :D I'm not sure what kind of screws you used. Looks like regular Philips head? Anyway my husband discovered the screws a while back with the star shaped head and boy do they work a whole lot easier than flat or Philips type. They counter sink like going in hot butter. So well that you have to watch the countersinking part so it doesn't go all the way through. ;) Of course a nice rechargeable screw gun helps as well. It's very satisfying making something we can be proud of, isn't it.

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    1. Nancy, thank you so much for the tip on the screws. My husband said the same thing when he came home! So next time (and there will be a next time) that is what I'll use. I guess I could've asked a the hardware store huh?! :-) I did use a good rechargeable screw gun but I'm thinking it must be all the in screws and the wrist strength! :-) Someday I'm going to get courageous enough to use the nail gun!

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  11. An absolutely fabulous shelf and so perfect for the way you want to use it! I am a little phobic around power tools, so you are way ahead of my on that particular DIY project. I would draw it up and hand it to the husband.

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    1. Usually I do the same thing Kathy.... but there is some stubborn part of me that wants to "do it myself"! Ha!

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  12. I love the shelf! I wish I could build something like this and surprise my hubby as I have asked for things to be done around the house and he never finds the time.

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    1. I think my husband was totally shocked Carol. First I told him about it on the phone, then I sent him a picture to prove it because I think he was pretty worried about what it would look like! :-) He was impressed!

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  13. Planning ahead is smart and the shelves you made in the pretty red is awesome! Kathleen in Az

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    1. Hello Kathleen.... we plan so far ahead on all of our flower garden things, but somehow the last couple summers we just didn't take jars and marketing things into the planning ahead stages and I felt like we were playing catch up all summer. So we're ready!

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  14. You amaze me with your building abilities! Love the red paint. Would the jars stay cleaner if you stored them upside down?
    I hope to learn a lot about growing flowers as I follow along with how you ladies do this.

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    1. Thanks Kim. Frankly we go through SO many jars that there is no time for them to get dirty, as long as we store them inside. Having them at our flower garden (we have a great work shed there) sounds like such a great idea. But in the heat of the summer, we have found that using ice cold water in our jars makes a world of difference. So we fill them at the house with ice water, put the lids on, put them in our carrying crates and drive to the garden. It works like a dream. So I think this shelf will solve all the frustration this summer. We'll see!

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  16. Always creative! Great work and such a space saver! Enjoy the flower selling season! Your customers are blessed to have your flowers fresh each week, love the idea and your marketing ideas! Blessings always. :)

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  17. I love it! Great job my friend. I love using my hubby tools and build projects around our home. Inspiring. Looking forward to the flower garden posts.

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    1. Thank you Teresa! I think I want my own set of power tools! :-)

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  18. You are a good woodworker! I love the jar shelves and I especially like the little addition of the lip to keep the jars from tumbling off. You do good work! Happy Flower Garden Planning!
    ~Jody

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    1. Thank you Jody. I really love how the design came out. I've actually had a few friends ask if I would build one for them for their canning jar set-up. So I may. They can only get better with practice right?!

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  19. It looks fantastic and does the job, too! Well done.

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  20. holy smokes - you're my hero!!! linda r (phila burbs)

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  21. Awesome storage! You are so talented! I would smile every time I opened the door.

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    1. Thank you Shirley. Yes, I smile every time I open the door too!

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