DIYdiy projectskate pruitt

diy project: ikea celeber decal food jars

by Grace Bonney

i have eyed ikea’s celeber jars for some time now, but something has always prevented me from buying them. i realized that i while i love the mix of white ceramic and dark wood, a row of them on my kitchen shelf seems like too much white. i love any project that involves image transfers, so i decided to jazz up these simple jars with some decals of the foods they would contain. i loved the cookie and coffee bean jars so much, i decided to make salt and pepper jars out of the mini celeber jars (isn’t it crazy what salt looks like in mineral form? it reminds me of carly waito’s amazing paintings). these are made using decal transfer paper, which was coincidentally featured on d*s in january in melinda’s project to make lovely personalized mugs. i used this bake on laser paper, which eliminates the need to use any fixative and also creates a much more durable surface. i was amazed at the rich color the printer produced; it really pops against the white. if you aren’t into the food thing, you can create a decal of pretty much anything; i could see these jars holding paperclips, buttons, or any number of fun supplies. find some images you like from magazines or the internet, or you can take the images yourself if you have a camera with a good zoom lens. have fun! –kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


1. waterslide decal paper (this is available online or at art supply and craft stores)
2. scissors
3. ikea celeber jars
4. dish with warm water
5. printer
6. fixative (only if you are using the non bake decal paper)


decal paper: $15
jars: $ 5-8


1 hour (plus 24 hours drying time)


1. print the decals according to the directions on the paper pack. if you purchased the bake on paper, you need to use a laser printer. i printed mine at kinko’s (okay i know it’s now fed-ex office, but to me it will always be kinko’s). also, most office printers are laser printers. you might want to print a black and white mock up of the decals on regular printer paper first to see if you like the size of the decals. you do not need to worry about printing in reverse, because the decals go on the way they are printed, so what you see is what you get.

2. when you print your sheet of decals, allow them to dry for at least 30 minutes. you can use this time to clean and dry the jars.

3. if you chose the non bake decal paper, you need to add fixative. now is the time to do it. let the fixative dry completely before cutting out decals.

4. cut out the decals, cutting right up to the image so there is no extra paper surrounding the shape.

5. fill a shallow bowl with warm water and place your jar nearby.

6. dip your decal in the warm water. the edges will probably start to curl up. use your fingers to gently push the decal down on the sides for a few seconds, and as the water sinks in it will flatten out. let the decal sit in the water for 30 seconds to a minute. when the decal can slide easily off the paper backing, it is ready.

7. slide the decal off the backing and place it on the jar front. you can easily slide the decal around to position it, and when it is the right place gently smooth out any air bubbles. sit the jar somewhere to dry.

8. bake the decals on each jar in your oven or microwave after they dry (follow the steps on the packaging for temperatures and times). then repeat steps 6 and 7 with remaining jars and let them all dry for 24 hours.

9. fill jars with goodies. these can be cleaned with soap and water. the bake on paper claims to be dishwasher safe! i haven’t tested this yet:)


Suggested For You


  • oh, it took me the longest time to figure out that the “chewed up bacon remnant” was the salt representation! Right??

    Love the idea! Reminds me that I need to label my spice jars…

  • this is so cool, it kind of blows my mind that you can make such great decals with a home printer! Who knew? It makes me want to make dorky mugs with my friends’ faces on them like Kelly did on The Office!

  • These look great… my own Ikea celeber jars have been designated to my office… They’ll look just as great with little paperclip and pencil decals!

    Anyone else have less than happy experience with these jars? Mine can be difficult to open due to the suction at the lid and the wood on my sister’s eventually split and broke.

  • Wow, thanks for the tip. I had no idea that there was such a thing as baked on, laser print decals. Oh, the possibilities!

  • Love this idea and am so excited to hear about a new crafy-type product I can use for cool projects. Also love the idea of using it for things other than food/spices! It would look great with a giant paper clip or pencil on it.

  • What a fantastic idea. Never heard of these types of printable decals before. I will have to find something to use these on around the house. I wonder if they’d hold up to wear and tear better with a coat or two of clear lacquer.

    I do love the idea of a jar of bacon though.

  • Did you skip a step? I clicked the link for the bake-on paper, and it indicates that y0u have to “Use your conventional oven or microwave to bake the decals onto your item to be decorated.” I swear I don’t see a step in here where you actually baked the decals onto the canisters! Or am I crazy? (Totally possible, btw…!)

  • clever :o) one could really run with this idea and make it their own! i actually have a couple of those jars already… one with our toothbrushes in it haha

  • katy-
    you are right! sorry about that. step 8 should say bake them in your oven or microwave after they dry. i let them dry for a whole day, but you probably an bake them after a few hours of drying time. thanks for noticing!

  • These are really effective! (I do like Jenny’s comment about the cookie jar though!) I bought some of this paper ages ago, and then put it in a drawer and fogot about it. What a good excuse to try it out :)

    I adore these jars. They look great clustered together in different sizes. The only problem is that after about 18months, the lids don’t stay on about a third of mine – you push them down and they just push themselves back up again – I must have gotten a dodgy batch!! I’ll practise on these ones first ;)

  • abby – the wallpaper is by cole and sons, it’s available online in several places.

    katy – i think you might be able to find some water slide decal paper at michael’s, but i have not seen the bake on decal paper. you might have to buy that online or at fine arts supply store.

  • I noticed that the bake on decals say not to use in an oven or microwave that is used for food preparation. Did you do this?
    I don’t know if I want to take the risk and use my kitchen oven or if I should find an old microwave to use…