Painting jar lids transforms these otherwise uninteresting discs into bold toppers for jars or colorful supplies for upcycled art projects. Avoid painting the underside of any lid you plan to reuse on a jar to store food or beverages, as the paint should not come into contact with edible substances.
Priming and Painting Basics
Place clean, dry lids on a sheet of newspaper or the inside of a cardboard box in a well-ventilated area, ideally outdoors. Apply a spray primer over the outside of each lid to cover up any writing and to help the paint adhere better. If you are using plastic jar lids, use a spray primer designed for plastic. In either case, hold the primer can 12 to 18 inches away and begin each burst before the primer comes in contact with the lid, ending the burst beyond the lid -- this helps prevent blobs of primer. Once the primer dries, apply spray paint in the desired color using the same technique. It may take more than one coat of paint for optimal coverage.
Transform lids from spice jars, baby food containers, condiments and mason jars into miniature chalkboard space for identifying each jar's contents. Prime the outside of each lid with a spray primer, then paint with a spray-on chalkboard paint. Once the paint dries, rub chalk over it to make the paint more receptive to chalk, then wipe the chalk off with a rag. Use small condiment or baby food jars as storage for screws, nails, bolts and tacks in the garage, marking the lids with the size of the screws or bolts inside. Transform an unneeded spice rack with spice jars into a wall-mounted or desktop storage space for beads, pins and buttons in a craft room. Turn large jars into counter-top canisters for tea bags, rice or straws, marking the contents on the jar lids with chalk.
Turn jar lids into a craft project even young children will enjoy -- ornaments for a Christmas tree, a sign to hang around a bedroom doorknob, or a lid garland for Halloween. Prime and spray paint the outsides of the lids ahead of time. Punch or drill a hole through each metal lid to tie strings through them. Allow children to craft their own ornaments using acrylic paints, painting on designs such as a snowman, Christmas tree, Santa or a holiday greeting. Encourage children to make their own doorknob signs, writing their names on their respective lids, or using the words "keep out" for a sign with a message. Make a loop from a 8-inch piece of yarn or twine, then push the ends through the hole in the front of the ornament or doorknob hanger, tying a knot in back. Add a piece of tape over the knot to secure it. Make a garland of lids painted like pumpkins, ghosts or bats for Halloween using two holes near the top of each lid, running a piece of twine or fishing line through each hole so the lids face forward at all times.
Transform lids of all the same size into works of wall art, individually or collectively. Create miniature artwork based on a theme, such as one cute monster or baby animal per lid, for a collective collage for a child's room. Paint each lid a solid color, using one lid to equal one pixel for a large-scale pixel art design of a guitar, video game character or flower, for instance. Attach lids to the wall in straight lines or columns, using several layers of removable foam poster tape or globs of hot glue under each lid to make it stick to the wall.