A Second Life at Home - Tutorial

A second life is our up-cycling creative project which takes old materials or products and gives them a new lease of life. Previously we have made a bench for our rooftop garden out of old wooden pallets, organised Christmas decoration making from old jars and bottles and made pencil cases from old vinyl banners.


We have had a think about the things we can during lock down and around the house. Becky had some old food jars and empty candles, keep reading to see how she jazzed them up and gave them a new lease of life.

What I used:

  • Black acrylic paint and cream chalk paint (what I could get from aldi)
  • Some old paint brushes and makeup brushes
  • Cotton buds
  • Nail varnish remover
  • Sticky tape
  • Glass jar
  • Pencil


I grabbed an old pesto sauce jar and an old yankee candle that has come to the end of its life.

To get the remainder of the wax out the jar I boiled the kettle and filled the jar with boiling water. The wax bubbled to the top and when the water was completely cool (leave for a few hours, don’t touch it until the water is cold) the wax hardened at the top and could be popped out.

Soak the pesto jar in warm soapy water and scrub off all labels.

I covered the small jar using the sponge brush with cream paint, I dabbed it on to add some texture, this required 3-4 coats to make sure it was fully covered.  

The larger jar I wanted to make stripes, I made stripes with sticky tape and painted the rest of the jar using cream paint – this also took 3-4 coats. Make sure the paint is dry in-between each layer.


Once fully dry, I peeled off the tape and cleaned the edges using a cotton bud and nail varnish remover.

I then used a small precise brush to paint the stripe which were once covered in tape with the black paint. This also took 3 coats, making sure dry in-between each.


On the small jar I wanted a cow print, I googled cow print and free hand sketched this on the jar, not worrying about it being too neat. Then using the precise makeup brush I painted this with black.


Once the stripy jar was dry, I wanted to add a little more (my too much gene took over) I added some dots using a cotton bud and contrasting colour.


Let it dry fully and filled with pencils.



If you recreate this or do something similar at home, take a pic and tag us on insta @nusugovolunteer

If you have any at home up-cycling you would like to share and for us to feature on social media email Becky on volunteerpw4.union@ncl.ac.uk


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A Second Life at Home - Tutorial

Fancy getting crafty and up-cycling some old food or candle jars? Check out this simple tutorial and see how one of our Go Volunteer staff members, Becky, got on.