diy project: kate’s canister makeover

today’s final diy project (and the project before!) comes from kate pruitt, an artist based in oakland california. kate’s diy crafty-ness landed her in the finalist roundup (twice!) for the 2008 diy contest and today she’s sharing a new project: canister makeovers. kate will be joining us while derek and lauren are on posting-vacation so i hope you’ll help me welcome her to the site! her introduction, material list and instructions are below, just click here for kate’s full post or click “read more” below. thanks, kate!

from kate: i love everything about candy stores, but i think it’s the endless, neatly lined rows of glass jars that appeal to me most. i wanted to recreate that aesthetic at home but give them a little more color. we use these to store our pastas, rice and other dry groceries, but you could use these in craft rooms, offices, stores, etc. or fill them with candy! the steps for this project are simple and perfect for a weekend activity. click here for the full project!

Kate’s Canister Makeover

What You’ll Need:

-glass candy jars with lid (these are inexpensive versions from target. you can also use vintage ones, just try to find canisters where the handle on the lid is screwed in, rather than welded or glued)
-glue – fabric glue, rubber cement, elmers (whatever you prefer working with)
-phillips head screw driver
-decorative knobs (if they don’t come with it, you need a nut that fits the knob)
-foam brush or mini roller


1. Use the screwdriver to remove the existing metal handle from the canister lid.

2. Trace the lid onto the fabric, making the circle about two inches larger in diameter than the lid so you have enough to fold over the sides. If your fabric isn’t a continuous pattern you may want to think about how the pattern will line up when you glue it onto the lid and trace your circle accordingly.

3. Using the brush or roller, spread a thin even layer of glue over the top of the lid and place the fabric on top, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles.

4. Spread glue on the sides and carefully fold the fabric so it is tight over the sides. You can cut small slits in the fabric to have the fabric flatten more evenly.

5. Spread glue on the inside of the lid’s rim and tuck the fabric under. Let dry. Snip any excess fabric and re-flatten. Let dry.

6. When dry, find the hole in the metal lid with your fingers and poke through the fabric and the hole with an awl or a small knife. Place the knob through and tighten with the included hardware or the right size nut.

7. Use goo-gone or other cleaner to remove any extra glue on the inside of the lid.


Where is the fabric from? It is very cute and colorful!

Shannon Ashley

This is too cute, I love fabric and believe that it is the solution to every design problem, I guess Kate is proving me right. It’s a wonderful idea with great colors also!


Love it. I’ve just bought my first ginger jar. It’s filled with ribbons and I call it my wonder jar. I plan to get a whole selection together – one for my threads, one for my labels, one for my piping….it’s going to be such a wonderful collection.


never thought of the idea of swithcing out the knobs. anthropologie, here I come!


what a great Idea!! I have some containers similar but not sure if they have screw in handles/knobs. I am going to check first chance I get.



thanks everyone! the knobs and the fabric (originally a table cloth) are both from anthropologie! gotta love em.


A good place to look for knobs are trendy bars, maserati dealerships, or midwestern states like minnesota too.


Another great knob website, which has even more beautiful knobs is a store based on Portobello Rd called Chloe Alberry. I’ve used many of their knobs as regular pulls, but also as hooks by just screwing them into the wall!


Just to make it neater and more likely to last longer, you could always line the inside lip of the lid with ribbon. It will cover up most of the raw edges of the fabric and give it a finished look.

What a great project, though!

Mandy Saile

The painted jar lids is a nice ideal. I am always telling my friends that you don’t need a ton of money to pull a room together, you just needs some nice paint colours…this is a perfect example.


beautiful and creative! i love how you turn ordinary items into beautiful objects. :)