Mod Podge and Food Coloring Make Beautiful Reuse Music Together


I am loving the pastel colors of these spring time lanterns - a little reuse project I have been playing around with lately!

The secret to all these lovely colors!  Mod Podge colored with a bit of food coloring!

I had a couple little stamped jars on hand and I got to thinking, if I colored them, they would probably resemble some of the vintage glass pieces that belonged to my great grandmother. 

So pretty on a spring brunch table set with vintage glass dishes.

 I wasn't sure whether to use acrylic paint or food coloring so I tested both. I selected Outdoor Mod Podge because I wanted to be able to use the candles and lanterns outside on the patio but for inside use, regular Mod Podge will work just as well.

I tried out red acrylic paint first, adding just a tiny bit to a brush full (about 2 teaspoons) of Mod Podge.

Hummmmm...  not too crazy about the brush strokes.

Maybe a bit of bubble wrap would add a more even texture.

Y-U-C-K   Not at all what I was looking for! 

Now to test the food coloring.

The Outdoor Mod Podge seemed to be a little thicker than the regular Mod Podge, so I decided to add a bit of water to thin it out thinking it would go on a little more smoothly.

I followed the same procedure as I did with the red, brushing it on then using bubble wrap to create texture.

Oops!  That wasn't what I was after either! The watery Mod Podge gathered into little concentrated dots of green.

But - I liked the transparency so I mixed up some undiluted blue colored Mod Podge, brushed over a jar and then stippled it all over with the end of the brush.  I worked really hard at covering the surface as evenly as I stippled. Once dry, the result was a lovely, transparent almost smooth surface.

Noticing that the pattern on the green jar resembled my drinking glasses, and having just had good luck with the stippling on the blue jar, I mixed up some undiluted green colored Mod Podge, added another coat to the green jar and stippled evenly over the surface.  When dry, it looked perfect!  I really like the dot pattern that still shows under the second application.

Red and yellow make orange!  And I wanted an orange candle.  I used one drop of red and one drop of yellow in about a tablespoon of Mod Podge.

After brushing and stippling, I decided to try to create a little different texture pattern and swirled the brush tip in circles.

These two images of my orange jar really show how much change takes place when the jar dries. It looks opaque and not terribly pretty while wet.  It's a trip watching the colored Mod Podge change from opaque to transparent as it dries.

The problem with the Acrylic paint colored Mod Podge is that it remains opaque.

I was able to line these up in a shaft of sunlight so you could see them better!

A cluster of colorful candles is lovely inside too!

I washed off the "red acrylic" disaster and reapplied Mod Podge colored with red food color. 

And look at my lovely little lavender jar!  Two drops or blue and one red in a couple teaspoons of Mod Podge did the trick. 

A second, thicker application of lavender added to the bottom and blended up toward the middle while the Mod Podge was still wet created a pretty variation in color intensity.

Now I am headed over to Goodwill to find a couple flower vases to color!


And if you love playing with Mod Podge as much as I do - you might be inspired by checking out some of these crafty tutorials!

Mosaic Easter Eggs!

Turn old books into beautiful and handy wall storage

Make Mod Podge film leaves to decorate fall vases or candles

Mod Podge - hugely helpful while making Christmas angels

Turn a large gourd into a fall themed pinata

ADDED OCTOBER 2012:  Good news - Mod Podge is available world wide!  Here is a link to assist you in finding a store near you.

Plaid International Locator


Hi do you ever have a problem

Hi do you ever have a problem getting the mod podge to dry? I used mod podge to stick and coat some Autumn leaves to jars for tea light holders but some of the mod podge is remaining milky coloured three days later and not going clear. I have tried putting them on the radiator but it doesn't work.

Emma, the only time I

Emma, the only time I experienced this problem was once when I was in a hurry, applied thicker than usual coats and did not let them dry thoroughly between coats.  Best thing is to apply several thin coats letting them dry at least 8 hours between.  I finally tossed out my project - leaves Mod Podged to a dried gourd.  I t was beautiful, but the milky never went away - even after several years.


How do you get this to dry? I

How do you get this to dry?
I used normal mod podge & food colouring and painted it over 24 hours ago and it's still sticky. How do I get them to dry?

I use Elmers Glue and food

I use Elmers Glue and food coloring. Works great. Then spray with clear spray paint.

Lucille, I am sending you an

Lucille, I am sending you an e-mail, but in case others have this question:  slight tackyness is one thing I don't really like about using Mod Podge.  It is rare that this is not a problem so that is why I always suggest overspraying with an acrylic spray.  It removes the tacky feel and seals out moisture.  Without the overspray, Mod Podge will melt in the rain or other steamy environments.

Hello! One the glasses you

Hello! One the glasses you put outside using the Outdoor Mod Podge, have you noticed any color fading? Thank you!

Rachel, I replied by e-mail.

Rachel, I replied by e-mail.  But the short answer here is that I never designed these to be used in very bright or direct sunlight.  I made my originals three years ago, still have them and use them.  They have not faded because I  display or use them in the house (I live in a forest so it isn't particularly bright) or I use them on the covered patio.  If I do use them on garden tables, it is in the evening and I do not leave them out in the elements.

It is my understanding from bloggers who have used and displayed their collection in bright or direct sun there is some fading.

Homeade ModPodge: Elmers glue

Homeade ModPodge: Elmers glue and water.

I have alot of the original

I have alot of the original blue mason jars I bought in our travels/living in different places around the country. My hubby complains about all the "junk" we've hauled all over this country but I keep things anyway. I am going to do this project. I'm always saving jars and rescuing them out of the recycle bins to use. I had a great jar just the other day I wondered what special project could use it for, now I know. What a wonderful project to do and recycle glass jars too. thanks for great tutorial, very helpful. Just found your blog tonight, was referred for this tutorial. I joined as a follower and by email. Can hardly wait to see what's next.

Adding to previous

Adding to previous comment:
Outdoor Mod Podge can be replaced by Royal Coat (also from Plaid), which is available in Europe. (I ordered it in the Netherlands from a hobby site, I think

Q: What is the difference between Mod Podge® and Royal Coat® Decoupage Finish?
A: Both products are great for decoupaging, glue or sealing. They can be used as a glue to adhere your cutouts, then brush it on for a quick, two-coat build up. However, Royal Coat will provide a harder finish that has superior water resistance.

It doesn't compare outdoor specifically to royal coat though, but it looks like it comes near.

Thank you for this tutorial,

Thank you for this tutorial, I have tried it myself too a while after reading this. I still don't manage to get it right every time, but I got some lovely little babyfood jars now where I store my punched out figures.
I'm making a post (in Dutch) at this moment with my latest (not very succesfull) jars, and linking to here.

@Sacha in Sweden, or anyone else who wonders about Mod Podge:
Mod Podge is a Product/brand name. It is in fact a decoupage glue, if you search for that you are sure to find some. Royal Coat is also a Productname of Plaid.
Search for cchobby if you live in Europe, they have about 6 sites, I think this is the swedish one:
There is no modpodge on it, but there are other decoupage glues.

Brands/names you can search for: Mod Podge, Royal Coat, Decopatch, Alleene, ToDo, Kars
Add one or more of the search word(s) glue, finish, varnish in your own language.(In dutch: lak, vernis, of lijmvernis) to the brandnames to get better hits.

Thinking about the fading

Thinking about the fading question of the colors; would not a spraying of mat sealer set the color? and as well as the lasting durability of the surface? Just a thought.

I have not found that an

I have not found that an acrylic sealer affects the durability of the color.  The food coloring does seem to fade in very strong sunlight, but in my experience not too much to be a problem.  Jars that have remained indoors or on a shaded porch these past couple years are completely unchanged.

These are lovely. I always

These are lovely. I always have jars hanging around because I am an avid canner. I am definetly going to try this. I've seen these other places too and these ones are the prettiest I've seen. I'll try it and see how it goes. I love crafts too and I've started a blog. Can't wait to see it take off. I really enjoys yours. Thank you.

I DID THIS! I did it with my

I DID THIS! I did it with my preschool class and they are super cute! They aren't perfect because I let them do it themselves, so there are drips and it's not even, but they are super cute and they did it themselves and they had fun doing it. They are going to be Mother's Day gifts for our upcoming tea. I'm super excited and i really hope the parents like them.

This is great! Thank you for

This is great! Thank you for sharing your experiences and advice.

I love these! So pretty and

I love these! So pretty and SIMPLE! Thanks for the great idea, I am going to make some to hang all around my patio this year!

Great idea! Do you recommend

Great idea! Do you recommend painting the inside or the outside? If you are going to use them for a vase and putting water inside, would you recommend painting the outside?

I ran across something

I ran across something similar, but you have done it a little differently, I like the texture idea. These are beautiful!

I love this project! I

I love this project!

I recently modpodged a mini vase that I used as a candle holder and I also did a vase. I'm not sure if it's because I used regular [matte] mod podge or if it's because I used gel food coloring instead of the liquid kind but I accidentally left my candle holder in the sun and it lost all of it's color! Do you know how I can prevent this? Have you run into this problem as well?

Anyways, thanks so much for sharing this project idea! I can't wait to paint some jars :)

 I can't speak about the

 I can't speak about the results you would get with gel food coloring or with regular Mod Podge, but I can tell you that the little jar that I hung over my fountain has shown signs of fading during the summer.  It receives about three hours of intense sunlight in the afternoon and it has been out in an unusually wet year.  All in all it is holding up great, and I intend to refresh the color when it is needed. All of the other candles are kept inside the house or on the porch where they get no direct sunlight and I haven't noticed any fading at all.

The project was not really designed for items that would be left outside in the weather.  I used Outdoor Mod Podge because I felt it would be less suseptable to evening humidity during parties and evening gatherings. Whether or not it holds the color better, I do not know.

But you are right, the food coloring does seem to be unstable in prolonged, direct sunlight. I would suggest applying another coat and enjoy your candle out of the sunshine!

I tried this technique on

I tried this technique on rose bowls with Modge Podge and gel food coloring. Initially they were BEAUTIFUL! However, they did fade over 1 week of being outside in the sun. Boo! So, I'm trying it again, but this time I bought a UV protectant (spray paint) that will hopefully stop from fading so much.. Keep fingers crossed!

Hello! Did you find that the

Hello! Did you find that the UV protectant helped keep the color lasting longer? I just made some jars and noticed today that one of them faded. :( I'm looking for solutions to keeping the color lasting longer. Thank you!

Such a simple idea, that

Such a simple idea, that maked the jars look so neet. Anyone having a garden patio would add such attmosphere with these jar lamps. Great idea. Babbs




LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!! My daughter and I did 4 jars in just a few minutes!! They turned out fab! I foresee some Christmas gifts out of these. Thanks for the WONDERFUL idea. Oh yeah and not sure if this will make you shreek, but we live over seas and didn't have modge-podge so we used some craft glue we just received last week in a box and a little water. Worked wonderfully, and I can't wait to do more!

Thanks again!

I made some of these today

I made some of these today and used Neon food coloring and they turned out so pretty and vibrant! Also, for those who have access to a Michael's Art & Crafts store, I was able to find Outdoor Mod Podge there! Happy crafting!!! :)

Hi There! I love this project

Hi There! I love this project and have been saving jars all summer to do it! I am having a heck of a time finding the outdoor mod podge though! No where around here sells it.

I linked back on my blog. It's a great project!

I haven't modge podged for

I haven't modge podged for years, but these would make a perfect birthday gift for a friend of mine this weekend. Going to have to try my hand at a couple tomorrow night... just have to run down some outdoor M/P. Hoping our Michaels has it. :o)

What a brillant idea gotta

What a brillant idea gotta try this.
Your blog so good love coming here.

What a great idea!!! Thank

What a great idea!!! Thank you so much for the tutorial "along the way". I'm goin to try this on... glass knobs maybe??!! I'll let you know.
Terrific. Thanks again.

Thank you SO very much for

Thank you SO very much for this wonderful tutorial! I linked to it in my most recent project -- thanks again! WONDERFUL JOB!!

Great idea! I'm going to try

Great idea! I'm going to try this! Thanks!

Awesome! Can't wait to try

Awesome! Can't wait to try it this weekend!! LOVE IT!!

i love this idea. I am giong

i love this idea. I am giong to color some flower vases for centerpieces at my son's Bar Mitzvah.

thank you!

I clicked on a link from

I clicked on a link from another site and it's your project! I just love it! Would you drop by my blog linkiing party again and link to this? And I'm going to send this to my friend Amy over at to get you some more press if she hasn't seen it already! all the best, and hope to see you on Sunday!

Oh my gosh, how clever! I am

Oh my gosh, how clever! I am always wondering..."what could I do with this jar"....Thank you for sharing your project and great instructions.

I love this, I've mod podged

I love this, I've mod podged a jar this morning, I'm going to blog it and link back to you.....thanks for the tut.

Found you through the Mod

Found you through the Mod Podge Rocks site and so glad I did. What a wonderful way to 'dress up' the plain vases that you get from florists. Thanks for the tutorial and it helps that we don't have to go through all the work you did to find the 'right' way to do this.

I've only just recently

I've only just recently started collecting jars for no apparent reason. Now I have a reason... Thanks. The jars are so pretty. And your before and after with experimenting really helps the viewer know what to try and what not to try. Great tutorial. (Amy from Mod Podge Rocks blogged about you with a link.)

My bottles won't be bare

My bottles won't be bare anymore! Thanks for such a great idea to dress up all the glasses, votives and jars I collect to do SOMETHING with.

A friend of mine sent me over

A friend of mine sent me over here to see these...they are WAY cute!!! I love them! I know I will be back soon!

I am definitely doing

I am definitely doing this...I love it and have just the jars! Thanks!

I love these jars, so pretty

I love these jars, so pretty and simple! They will look lovely in my garden on a summer evening.

You inspired

You inspired me!

(these are the same ones as on the flickr group).

This is really innovative and

This is really innovative and creative!

I enjoyed following your

I enjoyed following your adventure to color the jars, Pam! I will file this one away for future use, since they turned out so beautifully.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Thanks so much for sharing! Can't wait to try this!

Beautiful!!! Now I won't be

Beautiful!!! Now I won't be throwing those spaghetti sauce jars in the recycling bin! lol Thank you so much for showing your 'oops' pictures! That really is a big help to us in that it shows us what not to do and why! Loved the earlier mention of glitter Mod Podge too!

Ohhh, these turned out great,

Ohhh, these turned out great, I'm so glad I had a chance to see them! I may give it a go myself!