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Emma H.        23/04/2017

By transforming a broken teapot into a DIY motivation jar!

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By transforming a broken teapot into a DIY motivation jar!


I’m writing this post to show you that I, too, struggle the best I can. I follow a modified Paleo diet to heal endometriosis naturally. Recently, I’ve bought a pack of biscuits after I hadn’t had any for a very long time. They were organic, home-made, traditionally made with wheat and butter. I simply couldn’t resist and grabbed a pack when I was getting some tea in my favourite tea shop. They cost 6 euros and I finished them in less than five minutes.

In the evening, when my stomach was giving me trouble and I couldn’t fall asleep, I started thinking (a hundredth time over) that this has to stop. That there is no point in undermining my own health and that I need to devise a system to motivate myself. (I have to note that motivation can be quite challenging for me. Not getting motivated, that is the easy part, but with keeping it up for a longer period of time. I usually need to look for new incentives fairly regularly.)

It occurred to me that it would be great to have an app that would help me realize how much money I save by avoiding unhealthy purchases. Every time I’d stand in front of an unhealthy sweet treat, I’d simply type in its price, and with time I’d see how much I’ve saved, and could in turn spend for something that would help me heal. After all, those who quit smoking use apps for checking how much they’ve saved on cigarettes, why couldn’t I do the same with sweets?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any such app. Well, not in Europe, anyway. (There is a smart iPhone app for US users called Tip Yourself, which enables you to send small amounts of money to yourself whenever you choose.) In the absence of such an application, I came to the conclusion that I will have to make do with a good old savings jar. I checked Pinterest and found some beautiful craft-made jars that would surely motivate me to stick to healthy eating habits. And because it’s me, I just decided I’ll create such a savings jar myself. If I put effort in it, it will surely motivate me even more.


So I started looking up instruction videos on painted mason jars. I knew nothing about the topic, but it seemed relatively easy. (By the way, looking up videos definitely was a great distraction strategy from my tummy ache.)

A few months ago, my basic glass-and-plastic teapot broke down, the glass bowl getting separated from the plastic handle. The glass bowl looked still looked pretty though, and I decided to keep it and use it as a vase or a candle holder. But I was never able to make it look nice enough to be satisfied. Now was the time to recycle it and make it into something useful again. I decided I’d make a one-of-a-kind savings jar from it.

I checked more instruction videos and went to Amazon to get all the tools I needed (see below for more info). My supplies arrived two days later, and I could finally put my hands on the project. Even though I had never painted a jar before, I managed to complete it with no issues, and I like the result! (Of course, it’s not perfect, but it’s mine!) It was great fun doing something new and different.

So what’s the moral of this story? We all do what we can. Just keep up whatever motivation will work for you. Any creative project can be healing, no matter how easy, or silly. Creative expression provides an outlet for frustration, and gives you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. If you come up with a project and complete it all by yourself, I can guarantee you’ll feel better, wherever your life journey has led you.

I’d like to encourage you to try things out. Let me know how it went and feel free to share pictures on my Facebook page! I wish you all the best in your creative healing journey!

DIY Recycled Teapot Savings Jar

(Inspired by Wendy Bentley’s video.)




glass mason jar (or any other glass container – I recycled an old teapot)

rubbing alcohol to clean it

acrylic paint

paint brushes

multi surface sealant for chalk paint

sandpaper to scrape off unwanted paint

decorative twine

paper towel

mat or old cloth / paper to protect your working space

(second acrylic paint for decorative writing)

(thin paint brushes for decorative writing)






1. Prepare your working space. Use mat and/or old cloth or paper to protect the working surface.

2. Use rubbing alcohol to clean the glass jar. (This is especially important if you’re recycling an old jar.)

3. Use brush to paint a thin layer of acrylic paint on the jar. Let dry. Clean brush with water.

4. After the first layer has thoroughly dried, add a second layer, and let dry.

5. After the paint has dried (it’s best to wait overnight), use sand paper to clean unwanted paint from the top of the jar. Then use brush to apply a thin layer of sealant over the paint. Let thoroughly dry, ideally overnight again. Clean brush.

6. If you’re adding decorative writing on the jar, use pencil to sketch the desired pattern first. Then overwrite the pencil markings with paint, using a thin brush. Let dry.

7. When all paint is dry, place decorative twine around the top of the jar, and finish it with a bow. It serves not only as a decoration, but also to cover imperfections caused by the paint.

8. Place the savings jar on a well-visible place to help you with your healing journey!

More tips

As you can see in the picture, the paint cracked in some places. I suppose it depends on the brand. (Mine also did not hold on to the glass as well as in the instructional videos.) After I’ve done more research, I’ve come to the conclusion that Martha Stewart products are recommended most often for this type of project.)

It is always preferable to apply two thin layers with enough time in between to let dry, than go for only one thick layer.

I’ve done my decorative writing in dark grey because I was afraid that black would stand out too much. Now I think it could easily been done in black, too.

Don’t forget to wash your brushes every time you use them, so that the paint doesn’t stick to them, and they’re ready to be used again when needed.


More useful articles and videos

If you enjoy this type of DIY projects, check out some other videos I’ve come across. Maymay Made It Crafts has a great video on how to paint jars, leaving a transparent shape or symbol in the middle. Cynch Makes offers simple instructions on how to create a frosted mason jar. Nilla Watson shows in her video how you can clean your old candle jars to recycle them for other projects.

I, too, recycle old candles. If you have a candle jar with a lot of leftover wax, you can melt the wax in a hot bath (place the candle jar in a pot filled with some water and let heat gradually, but do not boil) and then pour the melted wax in a newly prepared jar. It’s fun! Here are two articles that helped me learn to recycle old candles: DIY Mason Jar Candles by Something Turqoise and How to center candle wicks by Nature’s Garden Candles. There are tons of similar videos online, I’m sure you’ll find what you need.





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