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These Upcycled Festive Cookie Jars Are So Easy to Make

DIY cookie jars for Christmas
Courtney Ryall

The holiday season is all about spreading joy and warmth! What better way to get into the festive spirit than by creating your own DIY upcycled Christmas decorations? In this step-by-step guide, I’ll show you how to turn old canisters found at the thrift store into charming “Cookies for Santa” and “Reindeer Treats” containers. Let’s get started!


Step 1: Find the Perfect Canisters

Start your Christmas DIY adventure by visiting your local thrift store. Look for a pair of canisters with a vintage charm. Once you’ve found the ideal canisters, bring them home and give them a good wash with soap and water to ensure they’re clean and ready for a makeover.

Related: 5 DIY Christmas Centrepieces That Come Together for $20 or Less

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin the transformation, gather all the supplies you’ll need:

Festive Cookie Jars

Courtney Ryall

  • Thrifted canisters
  • Primer
  • White Spray Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Acrylic Paint (I’m using red)
  • Clear varnish or sealant
  • Red Permanent Vinyl
  • Transfer Tape
  • Die-Cutting Machine
  • Ribbon

Festive cookie jars

Step 3: Apply Primer

Apply a coat of spray-on primer to the canisters. The primer will help the paint adhere and create a smooth surface for your design. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Related: How to Make Your Own Grinch Christmas Tree for Under $10

DIY Christmas cookie jars

Step 4: Paint the Base

Now, it’s time to spray paint the base colours of your canisters. Stuff the insides of the canisters with tissue or newspaper to avoid getting paint inside. I’m painting both of my canisters white, but feel free to use any other Christmassy colours of your choice. Apply two to three light coats of spray paint to avoid any drips and let the paint dry between coats.

Step 5: Add Festive Details

Once the base coat is fully dry (allow at least 48 hours), use a contrasting colour of acrylic paint to add festive details. I’m painting the lid red for a simple touch of colour.

Related: How to Make a Disco Ball Wreath (It’s Easier Than You Think)


DIY Christmas cookie jars

Courtney Ryall

Step 6: Vinyl Decals

For an extra special touch, I’m using my die-cutting machine with some permanent vinyl to cut out the words “Cookies for Santa” and “Reindeer Treats”.  Using transfer tape, I carefully applied the decals in the centre of the front of my canisters. Alternatively, you can tape off and paint a section of the canisters with chalkboard paint and write your messages with chalk.

Step 7: Seal and Protect

To protect your handiwork and ensure it lasts for many Christmases to come, apply a clear varnish over the surfaces painted with acrylic paint. This will help keep the colours vibrant and make the canisters easy to clean.

DIY Christmas cookie jars

Courtney Ryall

Step 8: Ribbon

Nothing says “Christmas” like ribbons and bows, so I added a simple candy cane striped ribbon to my lid.

Step 9: Fill and Display!

Now that your “Cookies for Santa” and “Reindeer Treat’s” containers are complete, it’s time to fill them with holiday goodies.  I put cookies in the “Cookies for Santa” jar, and doggy treats in the “Reindeer Treats” jar!

DIY Christmas cookie jars

Courtney Ryall

And there you have it, a fun, affordable, and crafty way to spruce up your Christmas decor! Not only will these containers look adorable, but they are also a budget-friendly way to welcome Santa and his reindeer with style!


Images courtesy of Courtney Ryall

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