kids gift idea: mason jar “loot bags”

We’re all about the good, bad, and the ugly around here… so guys, here is my latest pinterest fail. It’s definitely not all perfect buntings and room makeovers around here. This past Christmas I was trying to come up with a gift idea for all the nieces and nephews in our life – and between my family and Dan’s, there are close to 20 of them. Not a small number, so it had to be something relatively easy to make and budget-friendly. I had seen mason jars with little animals on the lids that were super cute – like these and these. Well, I thought it would be fun (and easy?) to make each kid a special jar like that, and then fill it with little goodies. Ha. Famous last words.

I bought a pack of plastic dinosaurs from the dollar store, got out my hot glue gun, and got to work. I glued each dinosaur on, held them down for 30 seconds, and then let them dry for a few days. You can see them on the table here, while I had all my craft stuff out…


Then I gave them a few coats of light blue and green spray paint. And can you guess what happened? Those damn little dino’s started popping off one by one. Ugh. I tried to re-do them using super glue, again to no avail. I ended up with one big ol’ mess, and a pile of dinos ready for the dump.


I still don’t know why exactly it didn’t work – maybe I should’ve roughed up the tops of the mason jars with sandpaper first? Who knows. In any case, time was running short and I needed to get these gifts done. I had already bought all of the “littles” to put in the jars, so I wasn’t ready to give up on the jar idea.


Speaking of the goodies for inside the jar, I bought some big packages of foam stickers that were different animals. Can anyone tell me what this brown thing is supposed to be? My girlfriend and I had quite a laugh trying to decipher this guy…DSC_0858

Anyway, I filled each one with little pressies – kinda making these like mason jar “loot bags”, which I figured was fun. I then hunted through my fabric stash to find some good fabric to use as lids. I couldn’t do the usual scrap of fabric under the lid and screw the round part on like you can with mason jars, because all of the lids were toast from my dino-fail, so I had to just tie string around the fabric. A little finicky, but not a huge deal.

Throw a nametag on each, and I ended up with a table full of these…


Cute, right? The little kiddos had stickers, bouncy balls, bubbles, etc, while the older ones had craft supplies, necklace pendants, funny erasers, beads. etc. The excitement of all the little goodies inside is the best. I found that buying bulk packages of things at the dollar store and then breaking them up so each jar got a few was the most economical way to go. I spent about a total of $40 on everything, so the price per jar was only like $2. Win!

DIY mason jar loot bags for only $2 each - via the sweetest digs

So there you have it – a salvaged pinterest fail. Have any of your own pinterest fails lately? Please tell me I’m not alone. If you have made those cute animal-topped jars… what’s the secret? 

  • Karen

    My money is on the brown blob being Noah!

    • gemma

      Oh my goodness, Karen – I think you might be right!! This must’ve been a “Noah’s Ark” themed set of stickers or something. Explains all of the animals… :) Thank you!!


  • Farrar

    The jars were a great success:) and I’m pretty sure that foam is a little figure of Noah, all of the animals being his companions on the ark – the ark being another one of the foam shapes. !!!

    • Farrar

      Karen beat me to it!

  • Tara

    Oh, they turned out SO cute!

    And oh man… don’t you hate those Pinterest fails? I wonder why they didn’t stay on. Maybe the glue had a reaction to the spray paint?

    But would that happen? So weird….

    • gemma

      I know, right? It was a head-scratch’er for me… couldn’t figure it out!