Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!! The turkey is roasting in the oven, the colourful leaves are slowly falling, and the geese are (loudly) flying overhead. The air smells of cinnamon and apples and fun afternoon craft projects! I hope you’ve been enjoying some autumn fun and good weather lately (or summer fun, if you’re in the southern hemisphere!). It’s been delightfully warm this week for this time of year, and I’ve had a lot of fun putting together a little something to share with you: jam jar bonnets!!
I’ve been seeing the cutest ones all over Instagram, and since we’ve been making loads of jelly this season, I thought I really needed to make a few to decorate our jars! Of course, what better opportunity for a little embroidery? In today’s post, I’m going to share how I made my jar bonnets, featuring some cute apples and grapes 😊. Keep in mind there are probably hundreds of different ways you can make jar bonnets, so feel free to use different materials and experiment a bit!
And, as a thank-you in honour of Thanksgiving, I’m throwing in a bonus freebie: the Apple Jelly embroidery pattern! I turned it into a downloadable PDF file, ready to print if you wish, with step-by-step instructions and photos of how to stitch it. I hope you like it! It was absolutely delightful to create and stitch up, and fits perfectly atop a jar of apple jelly. So if you’re looking to decorate your jar bonnets, I’ve got just the pattern for you!
If you want to turn it into a jar bonnet like I made, what I suggest is that you first stitch up the Apple Jelly pattern, and then come back to this tutorial! I’ll even save you a piece of pumpkin pie and you can have some leftover turkey. 😉
Jar Bonnet Tutorial With Embroidered Appliqué
I will be using a similar method for the appliqué part to what I did in my Winnie the Pooh Pillow project. I’m using a standard mason jar with ring lid, measuring 2 3/4″ in diameter (outer ring).
Materials You Will Need:
- Your Apple Jelly embroidery
- Scrap fabric with which to make the bonnet. I used cotton scraps from an old curtain. Cotton or linen will work very well for this. You can even use the same fabric as your embroidery and skip the appliqué if you want! Just make sure that you cut out a piece big enough before you start stitching.
- A piece of twine cord approx. 21 1/2″ long, or any ribbon, lace, etc. which you would like to wrap around your bonnet.
- Pinking shears for finishing the edges. (You can also use a serger or an overcast stitch on your sewing machine if you have those).
- Sewing shears for cutting out fabric.
- Jar with a lid
- A bit of Fray Check glue or other fabric glue for the ends of the twine cord.
- A small tailor’s awl for piercing the fabric. (I also used a knitting bodkin to make my holes slightly larger.)
- A ruler and marking tool will also be very useful (I used a water-soluble pen).
- Pins for holding the appliqué in place.
- Matching sewing thread for sewing the appliqué
- Black embroidery floss
- Sewing needle and embroidery needle
If you want to make the gathered ruffle variation (detailed at the end of this post), you will also need: a sewing machine, and thread to match the ruffle fabric.
- To begin, un-hoop the embroidery and give it a gentle press with the iron. Always press good-side down, and try to avoid going over the stitches. Ideally you just want to remove the hoop marks.
2. Once that’s done, take the ring that goes around your jam jar (or whatever lid it has), and trace the inner circle around your embroidery, on the wrong side of the fabric. We will be appliquéing it onto another piece of fabric. I didn’t add seam allowance because I know I want my appliqué slightly smaller than the ring’s inner circle size (so I’ve already included it). If you want your appliqué to be bigger or smaller (or prefer to work with a larger seam allowance), adjust your markings accordingly and add seam allowance if desired.
3. Clip into the seam allowance a few times with your embroidery scissors, no more than 2 or 3 mm deep (about an 1/8 inch). This helps to fold the SA down smoothly. Fold down about ¼” all around to the wrong side, and press in place. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look too even and a bit jagged. I find it easier to fix as I’m sewing it down than fiddling with the iron.
You can also choose to leave the edge raw and sew in place with a blanket-stitch.
4. With your pinking shears, cut out a circle of your decorative fabric the size you would like your finished jar bonnet to be. Mine was 5 1/4” in diameter.
5. Cut a length of twine cord, long enough to wrap once around your jar and tie in a little bow, about 21 1/2″ long. Apply Fray Check to the ends to prevent them from fraying and make them easier to thread later.
6. Center the prepared embroidery work over the fabric and pin in place.
7. Sew the appliqué with an invisible stitch. I used a small whipstitch, coming up through the main fabric, then through the fold of the appliqué, and back down into the main fabric. (Maybe someday I’ll put out some hand-sewing tutorials as well!)
7. If you want to add a border around the appliqué, pop the jar bonnet back into the embroidery hoop and embroider the outline stitch of your choice. I used the stem stitch, but it looks like one continuous line!
8. Flip the bonnet to the wrong side and place the ring or lid over it to measure where you’d like the twine to be woven into the fabric to tie it. To do this, I traced the outer ring circle onto the fabric, then measured 2cm (3/4″) down. I used a water-soluble pen to mark dots along this measurement, 1 cm apart around the bonnet. Leave a 4cm ((1 1/2″) gap at the front of the bonnet to be able to tie the string in a bow.
9. Using a tailor’s awl, poke holes in the spots where you made your markings. My awl made the holes too small, so I used a plastic knitting bodkin to make them slightly bigger.
10. Once the glue has dried on the ends of the twine cord, weave it through the holes you just created. Start at the front on one end, going down from the good side and back up through the next hole. Thread it all around, and your jar bonnet is all done and ready to be tied onto your jar!
Note that this isn’t a very tight or secure bonnet, it’s really just a decoration. The bonnet just rests atop the lid, and the twine bow prevents it from sliding.
Gathered Ruffle Variation
As I mentioned earlier, there are so many different ways to make jar bonnets, and it’s an excellent project for just using what you already have in your stash and display pretty fabric scraps. I made a second embroidery piece for an apple & grape jelly jar, and tried another way to make the bonnet.
To make a gathered ruffle with twine cord, here’s what you can do:
- Cut a length of the fabric of your choice about 2 ¼” x 16”. You can make it longer if you want more gathers, and wider if you want it to drape lower over your jar. I will be attaching this gathered ruffle to a second piece of decorative embroidery, so I cut my fabric length a few inches longer than the circumference of that piece, to be able to gather the fabric around it. Pink the edges of the two short ends with your pinking shears.
2. On the wrong side of the fabric, turn one of the long edges ¼” in, and press down. Turn it ¼” again to hide the raw edge, and press in place.
3. Sew along this fold with your sewing machine to create the hem, sewing close to the fold.
4. Fold the shorter, pinked ends ¼” to the wrong side of the fabric, and stitch in place.
5. Now we will make a channel for the twine cord, which is what will create the gathering effect. On the wrong side of the fabric, fold the remaining raw edge down ¼” (press if you need), and down again about 3/8”. You want it to be large enough to create an opening to thread your cord through.
6. At your sewing machine, sew down the fold, as close to the edge as you can. This what you should have so far:
7. Using a safety pin or elastic threader, thread the twine through the channel. Pull on the cord to gather the ruffle to fit around your piece of embroidery (or other piece of decorative fabric or whatever you choose to attach it to).
8. Sew the ruffle by hand around the embroidery or other piece of fabric with an invisible stitch (a slipstitch would work really well). I used a scant ¼” seam allowance for the embroidery piece, and pinked and clipped along the edge. You can also use another seam finish if you prefer.
And that’s it, your jar bonnet is finished!
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that it inspires you to decorate your jars with sweet little bonnets. It doesn’t take that long to make depending on how detailed your embroidery is, and the bonnets go together very easily. A really fun, easy project for a cozy autumn weekend! They’re perfect to give as gifts, or keep to yourself to add a little beauty to your jam shelf.
If you make this project and use my Apple Jelly pattern, I would absolutely love to see your creations! You can tag me on Instagram @northerbellediary. Also if you have any questions or feedback about the pattern/tutorial, please don’t hesitate to let me know 😊
Happy Thanksgiving, and happy jar bonnet-making!