Chalkboard mason jars.

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Between the last post and this one, dear friends, something momentous happened at the Punchbowl… we moved! Yes, again. No, we're still in LA. But we moved into our very own apartment. As much fun as living with four, sometimes 5, guys and 2 dogs was, I'm VERY HAPPY to be living on our own again. 

No matter how organized you were before the move, things never fit the same way in the new home. The kitchen in the new place is particularly… quaint. It has a fair amount of cabinet space, but the two biggest cabinets are fairly inaccessible. They're deep, but you can't reach the back without sticking your upper body in there, which involves lying on the floor. To be honest, I still haven't seen the back corner of the cabinets yet. I suspect it might be another portal to Narnia.

This means that anything we might actually use needs to be kept in the smaller, more accessible cabinets, whose volumetric limits were reached sometime about 30 cans ago. We'll find ourselves sitting on the couch, having a leisurely evening, when suddenly the tortilla chips throw themselves out of the cabinet. Also, when things are that crowded, you end up buying food you already have because you can't see what's in there; then you find yourself wondering WHAT ON EARTH YOU'RE GOING TO DO WITH THREE BOXES OF SUGAR CUBES. That's a lot of champagne cocktails, my friends. I am but one person.

In order to tackle overcrowding and make our food more visually accessible, I've started storing goods in Mason jars. I know Mason jars have been overly  Their uniform size and wallet-friendly price tag make them organizational heaven (have you been there? Organizational heaven? I'm not really allowed, but I think it might be nice.). To spiffy them up a bit, I stenciled chalkboard labels on the sides. Trust me, although you think you can tell baking soda and cornstarch apart just by looking, you really don't want to mix those two up. 

Here's what you need:

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Tools: {1} cutting mat. {2} contact paper and stencil. {3} chalkboard paint. {4} a jar (duh). {5} a cutting utensil. I used an Olfa knife, but an Xacto will work just as well. {6} a pen to trace your stencil onto contact paper. {7} a brush (confession… I actually used a foam brush. I thought it worked a little better).

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Cut out your stencil and adhere contact paper to jar, being sure to smooth down edges so the paint doesn't seep under. Let the first coat dry, then add a second. Once that's dry, remove the stencil very carefully; because the paint has dried around the edge of the paper, it will want to take your label with it when you peel it up. You can lightly trace around the edge of the design with an Xacto blade before you pull off the stencil to help the paint with its separation anxiety.

Let cure for 24 hours before washing (hand wash only!). 

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