11 DIY Mason Jar Compost Pail

So two weeks ago the amazingly talented and super sweet Danielle from Framed Frosting started this link party called Craft with What You Got. Unfortunately, it hit me on my already crazy busy week prepping for the blog event. But this week, well there is no excuse except coming up with an idea around the theme Mason Jars

Surprise, we ended up with this beaut:
It took a while to come up with the idea but, early sat morning (when most of my ideas hit me) I got up to go clear away some dishes, glanced over at our sad excuse for a compost dish (regular ‘ol bowl),
and pick off some dead leaves from our plant-topia (post coming someday), you know normal stuff. Then it FINALLY hit me. You see we’ve been looking for a compost bucket/pail forever! It was on our garage sale list
and even pinned (here or here).

So why not combine the two things, convert a mason jar into a compost pail?
A quick trip to my local thrift store snatching up the best looking one for $0.79. It seemed like the perfect size for just the two of us. In the past we used a medium Rubbermaid container and it took forever to fill. And by the time we got around to empty it, there was some unpleasant smells coming from it.
So then came the easy part, brainstorming. We didn’t want something see-through, you know because it’s garbage and all. So like many other mason jar creations, paint was the name of the game.
If y’all know me by now, I just can’t leave anything well alone so some flair and holes in the top for ventilation were in order. Here’s what I did:
  1. Cut some scrap paper to see what size font would fit nice.
  2. Measure the scrap paper.
  3. Spray paint the Mason Jar.
  4. *Cut out your font (the Silhouette Cameo makes it easier). I tried matching the “Kerr” Mason Jar font as close as possible and thought Sverige Script Demo (free to download here) was close enough.
  5. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge.
  6. Apply and adhere the cutout.
  7. Apply a top coat of Mod Podge.
*You may have noticed that the paper used to cut was white, I snuck in there and colored the letters with a sharpie.

The design on the side was a little trickier. I originally wanted to cut it out and mod podge it onto the jar, but the lines were just too thin. And instead of wasting more time in Photoshop, I decided to print it out and use the old grade school trick when you scribble and trace over the top.
You may be wondering why I chose to paint one side, no it wasn't because I was lazy, rather it sort of reminds me of tattoos. You know the ones which creep from your rib cage down. Yeah those, that's why I left the other side blank. That and it would look a bit crowded.

And finally, since all the compost bins I looked at had holes on top for ventilation, I figured the project wouldn’t be complete without them. A drilled hole left unattended could lead to cuts (when we go to clean it), and since safety comes first, four eyelets were placed on top for ventilation.
Sure it looks a little bumpy on top but I think it adds a little character. Plus over time I’m sure it will show its share of abuse use.

Hey, now every craft can’t go according to plan:
That’s the whole Hot Glue (like this) and even regular Elmer's Glue craft trick. Good thing they both peel off easy (hot glue with a razor blade).

Here the Mason Jar is again in all his Mason Jar/Compost Pail Glory:
How do you come up with projects? Do they randomly come to you? Have you had any fails that were fixed easily? What do you think of the compost/mason jar combo?
P.S. We were not paid or perked from any of these vendors; we just happily picked up the supplies necessary for the job.


  1. Beginning paragraph,last sentence you have "we'll" but you should have 'well', where you have "safety comes" I think you wanted "safety comes first" and I think it's "compost pail" just a heads up! :)

    1. You're a life saver! Either that or I put them there on purpose for someone to find?! haha JK!

  2. I really like the mason jar/compost jar idea! I've never composted, how does it work?? Also, why do you need the ventilation holes? Won't it stink up the place?

    1. We're total beginners too, I hope to write about it in the future if we are a success. It's really hard to find the info and no one around here seems to have had one or know anyone who has.

      I think the ventilation helps the elements to decompose, maybe to avoid molding so quickly. So far our piles haven't been very stinky just the one bucket- which was like 2-3 months worth of stuff. Even then it was more like a musty smell.

  3. Such a good idea! We don't have much of a back yard so this would be a great option for us!

    1. Never thought of it as a mini compost pile, we were using ours to collect and carry to our bigger pile. Kudos!

      P.S. If you attempt, please let me know if it works for you!

  4. What a great idea! I'll have to set this up for my kitchen counter!

  5. I love love love this idea! While it wouldn't work in our home with 15 people, I still think it is adorable! I am adding a link below that has answers on composting from Mother Earth News, they have the answers to everything and almost any questions you may have to live greener.

    1. Holy cats Robin, thats a large household!! Thanks for the link info, we totally try to live a little greener everyday!

  6. Fantastic idea! We have had the pleasure of living in Germany for the last 3 yrs. Germans are huge in recycling and composting. And...it saves our trash can from becoming too full of course. We are heading back to live in the states Monday morning, and were trying to come up with a thrifty idea for compost. Thanks for sharing!


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