Pinterest is my favorite social network. There are no filters, there is no pressure to be witty in 140 characters, and no pressure to prove that I am, indeed, a 24-hour party person.
While I appreciate Pinterest's ability to summon me heartbreakingly beautiful photos and ideas, there's one universal truth: Pinterest reflects a reality that is, by far, way better than anyone's current reality. If you remember that, you won't get bothered by the massive amounts of photos from bloggers who seemingly have nothing better to do than art-direct their lives and families.
If you forget that, however, you will start feeling bad about your utterly average life. These pins may or may not solely exist to inspire those feelings. Who are these people and what do they do with their days?
What could be more Pinterest-y than mason jar ideas?
Okay, so the cookies-in-a-jar gift is nothing new. But really, who could resist these adorable dino-jars for holiday baked goods, cocoa mixes and premade recipes? Dreamed up by <a href="http://hotpolkadot.com/">Hot Polka Dot</a> blogger Lindsey Bell, these whimsical jars feature old kids toys and bright, bold colors for a look that's sure to keep your loved ones smiling. Use Bell's <a href="http://hotpolkadot.com/2012/07/10/how-to-tuesday-chocosaurus-rex/">photo tutorial</a> to attach the tiny trinkets to your jar lids and add some personality with cheery paint, patterned ribbon and a quirky message. Then, simply fill with your favorite treats for a sweet, simple and sustainable gift. <em>Tip:</em> For poshed-out packaging to suit everyone on your list, feel free to swap out the dinosaur toys for other mini animals such as sea creatures, birds or whatever unwanted picks your little one has in the toy box. Small plastic toys like these can also be found for pennies at thrift stores. <a href="http://earth911.com/news/2012/11/29/leftover-produce-cookie-recipes">Sustainable Baking Ideas: 5 Holiday Cookie Recipes Using Leftover Produce</a>
<a href="http://vickiehowell.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-love-to-create-its-about-twine.html" target="_blank">Vickie Howell</a>
<a href="http://content.photojojo.com/diy/glass-jar-photo-frames/" target="_blank">Photojojo</a>
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/craft-of-the-day-mason-jar-votives_n_1939616.html" target="_blank">Fellow Fellow</a>
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/10/craft-of-the-day-salt-votives_n_1659030.html" target="_blank">Crafts By Amanda</a>
Charming 8-ounce Mason jars add an alternative twist to the traditional advent calendar in this eye-catching reuse idea from <a href="http://www.studiodiy.com/">Studio DIY</a> blogger Kelly Lanza. <a href="http://www.studiodiy.com/2011/11/30/free-diy-advent-calendar-printables/">In a few simple steps</a>, the Los Angeles-based crafter will show you how to attach free printable numbers to your Mason jar lids and prepare them for your holiday countdown. Lanza lined her jars with black tissue paper and filled them with small presents to mark each day of advent. But feel free to get creative and fill your recycled calendar with whatever strikes your fancy before gifting it to a lucky friend or relative. <em>Tip: </em>Since only the front of your printable numbers will be visible, try printing on the back of scrap copy paper or card stock from your recycling bin to cut back on waste. <a href="http://earth911.com/news/2011/12/12/7-eco-friendly-holiday-cards/">Try This: 7 Eco-Friendly Holiday Cards</a>
Almost anything spray-painted in gold seems elegant and classy -- as long as it's used judiciously, of course. These mason jars, a project we featured by <a href="http://clairebock.blogspot.com/2011/11/diy-thanksgiving-tablescape.html" target="_blank">Claire Bock</a>, for example, is exemplary of gold spray-paint used the right way.
"Ever since seeing this DIY on Pinterest, I've been loving the thought of making something similar," Arizona crafter Emily Benzinger <a href="http://www.yesterdayssweetheart.com/2012/07/mason-jar-wood-wall-piece.html">said of this project.</a> "It was perfect timing when we found this old piece of wood laying around that came from our newly redone deck." On her blog, <a href="http://www.yesterdayssweetheart.com/">Yesterday's Sweetheart</a>, the vintage enthusiast will show you how to transform recycled wood, Mason jars and antique doorknobs into this stunning wall hanging that's perfect for displaying cut flowers. Check out Benzinger's detailed <a href="http://www.yesterdayssweetheart.com/2012/07/mason-jar-wood-wall-piece.html">photo tutorial </a>to see how she did it, and gift a lucky loved one with a boutique-worthy present on a budget. <em>Tip: </em>Benzinger used scraps of recycled wood she already had to complete this project. But if you don't have any wood bits on hand, head to your local <a href="http://www.habitat.org/restores">Habitat for Humanity ReStore</a> or another recycled building materials retailer for low-cost, secondhand wood. <a href="http://earth911.com/news/2012/10/22/10-simple-reuse-projects-in-30-minutes-or-less/">Handmade the Easy Way: 10 Simple Reuse Projects in 30 Minutes or Less</a>
We've seen mason jars used as mugs before. No surprise there. But a sippy cup? Well, there's always a first for everything! Learn how to make one of your own from our cover of blogger <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/craft-of-the-day-mason-jar-cup_n_1291284.html" target="_blank">A Bit Of Sunshine</a>.
If you're looking to take a truly unique approach to your Mason jar gift, you'll love this ingenious monogram light from <a href="http://www.oleanderandpalm.com/">Oleander and Palm</a> blogger Jeran McConnel. After creating a basic fixture from plywood and outdoor lights, the Canadian-born crafter added upcycled canning jars as bulb covers for an off-beat and original look. To give McConnel's idea a try for a loved one on your holiday list, head to her <a href="http://www.oleanderandpalm.com/2012/08/mason-jar-monogram-light.html">photo tutorial</a> at Oleander and Palm for tips and step-by-step instructions to help you do it right. <em>Tip:</em> As you may suspect, this craft does require mastery of a hammer and drill. So, if you're not the best with power tools, enlist the help of a handy friend or family member to complete your project. <a href="http://earth911.com/news/2012/08/27/12-ways-to-upcycle-thrifted-furniture/">Crafty Decor: 12 Ways to Upcycle Thrifted Furniture</a>
Vertical gardening is a great technique to fill up a space. The displays add an earthy touch to what would have been an otherwise drab wall. So go on and check out our feature of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/07/diy-ideas-wall-planter_n_1326824.html" target="_blank">Not Just A Housewife's</a> tutorial, which shows us how to turn ordinary mason jars into chic wall planters.
To avoid unwanted personality hiccups, handling vibrant-colored spray paint takes a little fore-planning and a lot of vision. Chances are, a pop of mustard yellow in an otherwise rustic-feeling room would stand out in a bad way. Which is why tackling this mason jar project demands a little more attention. Check out <a href="http://www.joyshope.com/2011/04/ode-to-spray-paint.html" target="_blank">Joy's Hope</a> blog for more details.
For a touch of all-natural luxury that's perfect for the winter season, look no further than this invigorating Rosemary Spearmint body scrub from <a href="http://www.julieblanner.com/">Coordinately Yours</a> blogger Julie Blanner. Check out the Kansas City-based crafter's detailed <a href="http://www.julieblanner.com/2011/11/gifts-sugar-scrub.html">tutorial</a>, including a recipe for the scrub and free printable labels, to help you give the idea try for a loved one on your list. <em>Tip:</em> Blanner used glass canisters to package these pretty presents. But feel free to get creative and use whatever recycled Mason or food packaging jars you have on hand to reduce waste. <a href="http://earth911.com/news/2011/12/02/natural-treatments-for-dry-skin-hair-lips/">More DIY Bath Products for the Season: 5 Winter Woes Cured, Naturally</a>
Create the perfect gift for crafty friends and family members with these adorable Mason jar sewing kits from Austin, Texas-based blogger Leslie (aka <a href="http://www.seasonedhomemaker.com/">The Seasoned Homemaker</a>). Use Leslie's <a href="http://www.seasonedhomemaker.com/2012/11/mason-jar-pin-cushion-tutorial.html">photo tutorial</a> to attach a DIY pincushion to the lid of your Mason jar. Then, simply fill with buttons, thread and other craft goodies for an effortless, eclectic storage solution. <em>Tip: </em>You won't need much fabric for this project. So, skip the trip to the crafts store and use scraps left over from previous projects to cut back on waste. <a href="http://earth911.com/news/2012/10/01/eco-diy-craft-organizer/">Handmade Gifts for Crafters: Eco-Friendly DIY: Hanging Craft Organizer</a>
After bonding over a shared love of Pinterest, best friends Miranda and Jamie decided to complete one craft from the pinboard-style social site every day and share it on their blog, <a href="http://www.thepinterestproject.com/">The Pinterest Project</a>. For the holidays last year, the creative twosome gave these adorable mini soy candles a try, and the result would make a lovely stocking stuffer or small present for anyone on your list. "Make a bunch up ahead of time, and use them as those last minute grab-and-go gifts you always end up needing!" Miranda suggests. Check out this<a href="http://www.thepinterestproject.com/2011/11/light-candleand-simply-spray-giveaway.html"> step-by-step tutorial </a>at The Pinterest Project to give it a try this season. <em>Tip:</em> Miranda and Jamie used recycled baby food jars for their candle creations. But you can use mini Masons, small food packaging jars or whatever you have around the house to complete this project. <a href="http://earth911.com/news/2012/07/09/photos-stunning-mason-jar-crafts/">10 More Ideas: PHOTOS: Stunning Mason Jar Crafts</a>
Photographer <a href="http://arielleelise.com/">Arielle Royer</a> discovered a lovely set of Mason jar snow globes at one of her favorite stores, but she was a bit surprised by the hefty price tag. Not one to be dissuaded, the crafty mom decided to make her own using recycled glass bottles and Mason jars she already had on hand. And if you ask us, her DIY version looks even better than the original! To see the original photo that inspired Royer and give her simple 10-minute project a try for your holiday gifting, head to her blog, <a href="http://arielleeliseblog.com/">Arielle Elise</a>, for a <a href="http://arielleeliseblog.com/2011/11/anthropologie-snow-globe-diy/">step-by-step tutorial</a> that will show you how it's done. <em>Tip:</em> For a waste-saving wintry vignette, try <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Easiest-least-messy-way-to-remove-labels-from-gla/">removing the labels</a> from recycled jars of all sizes and incorporating them into your project. <a href="http://earth911.com/news/2012/01/24/5-low-waste-winter-centerpieces/">Decorate the Eco Way: 5 Low-Waste Winter Centerpieces</a>
Our last mason jar idea takes repurposing to a whole new level. Instead of altering the glass jars themselves, this craft uses them as molds to create gorgeous candles. Go on and check out our feature of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/18/craft-of-the-day-mason-jar-candle_n_1431123.html" target="_blank">Tick Tock Vintage's project</a> for the inside scoop.
Martha Stewart creates a mending kit using a mason jar covered with a handmade gingham pincushion and filled with sewing supplies.
Follow Brie Dyas on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BrieDyas