Although I love celebrating birthdays and baby showers, some of my favorite parties to style are for fancier events.
We have been blessed the last two years to have First Communion parties to host. And they are so much fun.
From putting out vintage photos of First Communions gone by to crafting a “God Bless” bunting. And don’t forget my favorite decoration – a customized First Communion poster to showcasing the First Communicant. Almost like being “Star of the Week” back in preschool. But better.
There are so many wonderful ways to make your First Communion celebration special.
As with most events that I host, for this First Communion party I wanted to have one handmade craft that was featured in the party décor.
I came across this beautiful mason jar centerpiece (affiliate), but didn’t have enough time to have it delivered. So, I decided to make one instead.
Although you could leave the mason jar centerpiece empty, it’s best to fill it with flowers. Flowers are one of the easiest ways to decorate a First Communion celebration. Particularly white flowers.
And you’ll see them everywhere on First Communion day. They’ll be adorning the altar at church. Surrounding you in the garden. And bursting from vases on the table.
What Kinds of Flowers Should I Use?
There are lots of different white flowers that you can use for your mini bouquets. Some ideas include white roses, tulips, zinnias, carnations and baby’s breath (for an accent).
If you don’t want to just stick with white flowers, you can also add in touches of pink, blues and even greens.
When choosing flowers, softer hues are best for First Communion. But if you are making this mason jar centerpiece for another occasion, maybe try brighter colors if they match your color theme.
Although pretty, purchasing flowers from a florist can be expensive and time consuming. You can’t buy them more than a couple days in advance of your celebration. You need to stop at the florist or flower shop, which isn’t always convenient. And multiple bouquets can be costly.
For this mason jar centerpiece, I used two bunches of flowers purchased from a make your own bouquet selection. I skipped the baby’s breath because it was too expensive, although I think it would have added a pretty touch. Sometimes, if you ask though, florists will add baby’s breath for free.
When arranging the flowers, I combined stems from both bunches. That way they worked together to fill the mason jars.
I was able to fill five mason jars with the two bouquets. If you have more mason jars in your centerpiece, you will probably need at least one more bunch of flowers.
Can I Use my Child’s Initials?
For my mason jar centerpiece, I used five mason jars. There are three letters in my son’s name and then I added two other jars with crosses on each side. This was just enough jars to spread across our sideboard.
But what if your child’s name is really long? Depending on space, a mason jar centerpiece with eight or even ten jars might not fit.
Instead of using your child’s full name, you could create a design with their initials instead. This way, there will be only 5 mason jars no matter how long their name is.
Can I Change the Colors?
Of course. I only picked blues because this mason jar centerpiece was for a boy’s First Communion. The First Communion invitation design that I used featured a variety of blue hues and greens.
When choosing colors for your mason jar centerpiece, select ones that match your invitation or party’s colors. If you are working with an invitation for a girl, you can switch the jar colors to pinks and purples. Or if your design has a more neutral feel, keep them more neutral with greens and creams.
What Kind of Paint Did you Use?
When making this mason jar centerpiece, I wanted a more rustic feel to the jars. So, I chose chalkboard paint. It has a duller finish and more vintage look.
You can find the chalkboard paint that I used for this project here (affiliate).
If you prefer brighter colors, you can also paint the mason jars with regular paint.
When choosing paint, be sure to read the back of the paint bottles. The paint needs to be able to adhere to glass. If you can’t find any information on the back of the bottle, research it online. Using the wrong paint can result in a lot of frustration.
Also, make sure that the paint you choose is good quality. Although this might mean the paint’s a little more expensive, you will need less coats. This equals less paint in the long run.
Do I Need a Basecoat?
So it turns out that when painting with chalkboard paint, a basecoat is a good idea. This first layer helps cover the glass. It also provides a layer of paint for the chalkboard paint to adhere to.
For a basecoat layer, choose a white paint that can work on glass. I used the same chalkboard paint, but in white. I liked applying the same kind of paint on each layer. It gave consistency to the coatings and good coverage.
Can I Spray Paint the Jars?
Of course, after I had already started hand painting the jars, I discovered that I could also have spray painted them. I do enjoy painting by brush, though, and HATE the smell of spray paint. So, for me, I think hand painting was probably best.
But if you prefer spray painting and in a time crunch, you can definitely spray paint the mason jars. Start with a white for a base layer. Then, add the top coats in the desired color once they’ve dried.
This is definitely a quicker way to paint.
Do I Need to Use Sandpaper?
When I made this mason jar centerpiece, I originally wanted a vintage look. So, I had planned on using sandpaper to sand the edges of the painted jar. I found that this really wasn’t necessary. The burlap ribbon hides a lot of the jar, so the sanded portions are lost on the finished jars.
If you want a vintage look, though, you can sand down the jars after painting. Focus on the sections with raised designs. When sanded, these sections give a nice vintage feel.
How to Make a Mason Jar Centerpiece
You Will Need
Set of 32 Ounce Mason Jars (affiliate) – You will need one for each letter and two crosses on the end
Chalkboard Paint (affiliate)
Foam Brush (affiliate)
2.5″ Wide Burlap Ribbon with Wire (affiliate)
Cross Stencils – These cross stencils were a little big for the ribbon, but I used them anyway. I just painted a portion of the cross onto the ribbon. Another option is that you could make your own stencil using a cross SVG design (affiliate) and cutting machine (affiliate). Then you can resize the cross to fit the width of the ribbon.
Glue Gun (our favorite kid friendly one is here – affiliate)
Sand Paper (optional)
1. Paint the mason jars with a base layer of white chalkboard paint. You can also use regular white paint that adheres to glass. Let dry.
2. Paint the top coat of chalkboard paint. I chose 2 shades of blue for my mason jar centerpiece design. I made the letters the darker blue and the crosses the lighter blue. Before starting painting, decide which colors each mason jar will be. This will help with your planning.
You can also spray paint the mason jars, if preferred. See note above.
3. After the first top coat is dried, paint on the second top coat. Let dry.
4. Measure a length of burlap ribbon for each jar. It should be approximately 15 inches long. The burlap ribbon needs to wrap around the center of the mason jar.
5. In the center of each piece of burlap ribbon, stencil on the letter.
A quick note about burlap ribbon… Burlap has little spaces woven into the fabric. That’s what gives it the rustic texture and look. It also means that when you stencil on it, the paint will go through. At least some of it. So, be sure to place a piece of newspaper underneath. This way your table surface won’t get messy.
6. After you’ve painted on each letter, stencil two pieces of ribbon with the cross designs. Let dry.
7. If desired, sand paper the mason jar to give it more of a vintage feel. Focus on the raised edges when sanding since these will stand out more.
8. Attach the burlap ribbon to each mason jar. Before adhering onto the jar, do a test wrap around the center. Decide where to place the end of the ribbon to get the design in the center front. Trim off excess burlap ribbon, if needed.
Once you know where to attach the ribbon, use Glue Dots or a bead of glue on the edge of the burlap ribbon. I like to use Glue Dots for this part since it let’s me adjust the ribbon to make sure it’s even and centered.
Wrap the ribbon around the center of the mason jar. Attach on the other end using Glue Dots or a glue gun. In order to keep the ribbon in place, a glue gun was necessary.
9. Continue attaching the burlap ribbon to the other mason jars. When placing the ribbon, I compared the mason jars to make sure they were all even. You could also measure from the top or bottom to be more exact.
After you’ve completed your mason jar centerpiece, line up the jars. Fill with flowers or leave empty.
You can display your mason jar centerpiece on a sideboard or the center of a table. It makes a beautiful decoration for First Communion, Baptism or even a graduation event.
Can I Make this Centerpiece for Another Event?
If you want to use for something other than a religious event, you can add a different motif on the end mason jars. For a graduation, a cap or rolled diploma would be fun. You could also stencil the last two digits of the graduation year.
Another idea is to make this centerpiece for a birthday party. For the end mason jars, you could stencil the person’s age instead of a cross. This would be a perfect decoration for an elegant first birthday party.
Or you can use it as a DIY decoration at your wedding. Instead of a first name, use the couple’s new last name. What a beautiful way to display flowers at an elegant event.
Love this craft idea and want to save it for later? Be sure to pin it below.
Planning a First Communion celebration? Check out these tips for hosting a beautiful First Communion party that your child will always remember. And if you need some help choosing favors, I’m sharing my favorite ideas here.