Cheap Crackled Halloween Mason Jar

I love to crackle stuff. What does that mean? You take new stuff and make it look like the paint has been on it forever and is cracking and flaking off. Sort of a faux old look. Typically I use different brands of crackle medium available at my local crafts store, depending on the price and my coupon stash. To see a before and after on a piece of furniture I redid for our family room, check this coffee table out.

Antiqued Crackled TableSo, the other morning I wanted to crackle a mason jar or two for Halloween, but when I went to grab the crackle medium, I didn’t have any left! Apparently I have been crackling up a lot, so the bottle(s) were empty : (

I had seen many “pins” on Pinterest about using regular glue to get the same effect as the more expensive crackle medium. In fact, I had I previously attempted said technique, but it was a fail. Painted on the glue, allowed to dry, painted on the paint and waited. And waited. And nothing happened. (Normally I would have pics of this, but I deleted the fail photos. No sense writing about nothing.) But, I’m nothing if not persistant in my awesome DIY attempts, so I tried for round two. Before I did, I rechecked the glue instructions and noted my one fatal flaw: I allowed the glue to dry completely (what you would normally do with the crackle medium), which was so wrong! You only wait for it to get tacky (about 15-20 minutes), then paint over it! So here is the new successful DIY crackle with dollar store glue tutorial.

Orange Crackled Mason Jar Fall Scene

1. Take a jar, a brush and a bottle of cheap school glue.

Crackled Mason Jar Dollar Store School Glue2. Paint the entire surface with the glue, wherever you would like the crackle to appear.

Mason Jar Painted in Glue

3. Allow to get tacky (not like that’s really cheap and gaudy, just sticky), but NOT DRY. This takes about 15-20 minutes depending on how thick you painted the glue on. The thicker the glue, the larger the cracks.

Mason Jar Painted Orange Streaks4. Paint the top coat whatever color you would like. I happened to use some orange chalk paint I mixed up for some other projects. But you don’t need to use chalk paint. Make sure when you are painting that you only go over each section once and in one direction. Trying to go back over a section you already painted results in messy clumps of glue and paint. Which also looks old, but not necessarily good.

Mason Jar Coated Orange Paint over Glue5. While you watch the paint dry, you check out the other mason jars that you had already painted and applied a watered-down matte glaze to and notice that those are involuntarily crackling as well!! Hmmm. Gonna experiment more on that later.

Candy Corn Mason Jar Crackled Finish6. Go to bed and wake up in the morning to run to the basement to check out the dried jar. (Kind of like Christmas morning when you are so excited to see what it under the tree. Except you have to go to the yucky basement. And there’s no tree.) BUT, there is a crackled jar!!

Orange Crackled Mason Jar Dried7. Decorate jar with a bit of raffia (also from the dollar store) and place it on your window shelf. Light the candle, but be careful, don’t want to set that raffia on fire and ruin your freshly crackled jar!

Lit Mason Jar Crackled HalloweenSo, there you have it. Crackling with cheap school glue really DOES work-the total cost? The mason jar- well you know about the mason jars, we have dozens. The raffia rope and glue, $1 each but I only used a tiny bit so we will say 20 cents. Hope your Thursday is all its cracked up to be! Susan


  1. It is so cute! I love your living room table too!


  2. kimatenjoytheview says:

    I’ve never used glue for crackling – I’ll have to give it a try!


  3. I’ve never tried it with glue – I’ll have to give it a try!


  4. So cool! I had no idea that you could do that with glue!


  5. that came out so cute I have to try it for sure. thanks for sharing!


  6. chris aka monkey says:

    i also had a fail with the glue,will have to try again thanks xx


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