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Kentucky Derby Party DIY: Race Horse Mason Jars

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Kentucky Derby Centerpiece - Painted Mason Jars

Hello from LOUISVILLE! It’s so fun to be amidst all the excitement surrounding the Kentucky Derby® already… I arrived here last night to work on some pre-event media with 14 Hands Wine, (proud sponsor of the Kentucky Derby® for the 3rd year in a row), and can already say that there really IS something to be said about “southern charm & hospitality”. In fact, I’m pretty sure our waitress at breakfast this morning was the very definition of both, which was especially appreciated after our 3:30am wake up call! ;)

Anyways, speaking of charming things, I have a DIY project to share with you today that I hope you’ll find charming too. It’s the Race Horse Mason Jar Centerpiece from my recent Derby Style Inspired Party for 14 Hands. This project is super flexible, so you can easily scale it to best fit your needs… just make 1 jar, make 3 jars, or really Run for the Roses and make 10 of ’em to display all the way down your table like I did here:

Race Horse Mason Jar Centerpiece

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mason Jars (in various sizes)
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Gold Spray Paint
  • Gold Number Stickers
  • Fabric Scraps
  • Small Horse Figurines (like these)
  • Scissors
  • Paper Plate
  • Spray Adhesive or Hot Glue

DIY Project Materials

1. Start by painting the inside of your mason jars. You can use spray paint OR the craft paint method like I used here.

FYI – I tried spray painting the inside of these first since it seemed faster & easier, but ended up with way too many drips, so I switched to craft paint. It’s hard to get the paint coverage even in the curved area below the rim of the jar. Spray paint also comes out lighter/brighter on glass, so I couldn’t get the deep navy shade I was looking for with the blue jars.

To coat the inside of the jars with craft paint, pour a bunch of it into the jar, then roll the jar around until nearly the entire inside is coated. It’s fine if the rim isn’t fully covered, because the next thing you’re going to do is place the jar upside down on a paper plate. The rest of the paint will drip down and finish off that rim for you!

DIY Mason Jars 1

2. Help the jars dry. Place them upside down for about 15 minutes to allow the extra paint to drip down & onto the plate, then pick them up and repeat this process on a 2nd paper plate.

See that big puddle of craft paint that appears when you pick up a jar the first time? You can salvage most of it! Just bend the plate and “funnel” it back into the original container… OR dump it into another jar that your planning to paint. After another 15 minutes or so, flip the jar right side up again and let it dry for several hours (or preferably overnight if you’re not pressed for time).

DIY Mason Jars 1

3. And now for the embellishments!
I wanted this centerpiece to match the rest of my Derby Style Party, so I added little circles of preppy fabric to the bottom of the jars (which is actually the “top” of them in regards to the centerpiece design since the jars are displayed upside down). You could also embellish the jars with paper circles instead of fabric.

Race Horse Mason Jars - Black Gold

For the finishing touches on the jar, spray paint the rims gold + add gold number stickers as a nod to the racehorse numbers.

I found these large gold glitter stickers at Michaels (and have also seen them at JoAnn). The brand name is Sticko.

4. Top your jars with gold horses. (I spray-painted these toy horses to turn them gold.)

DIY Race Horse Mason Jar

That’s it! The sky’s the limit in regards to how far you want to go with these. You can just make a few jars to create a small “Win, Place, Show” centerpiece trio with a 1, 2, & 3. OR, you can make several of them like I did here, and line them up “table runner” style for a bold look:

Kentucky Derby Centerpiece Idea - DIY

I made a total of 10 jars for the centerpiece pictured above. It took some effort, but the great thing is that these jars can be saved & re-purposed in different ways for future parties (or even utilized as everyday decor!).

Derby Style Party Printables

Planning a Kentucky Derby party? Check out my Derby Style printables! They make it so EASY to add pro designer style and personalization to your event. It’s like branding for your party! 🙌 Click here to shop now.

Derby Style Party Printables


  1. @NotJustAMommy April 29, 2015 at 2:09 pm
  2. @14handswine April 29, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Your party will be best in show with these race horse mason jars! @HWTM_Jenn has the full tutorial: http://t.co/EZcL5sLQ4I #14HandsDerby

  3. @JSGEvents April 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Kentucky Derby Party DIY: Race Horse Mason Jars http://t.co/ZwyosYbNmb

  4. @horse_factory April 29, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    「Kentucky Derby Party DIY: Race Horse Mason Jars https://www.hwtm.com/2015/04/kentucky-derby-party-diy-race-horse-mason-jars/ @hwtm_jennさんから

  5. @AllAboutNuptial April 30, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Kentucky Derby Party DIY: Race Horse Mason Jars http://t.co/KOoTknJV8a

  6. Kentucky Derby Party Ideas: Drinking Games, Recipes To Celebrate Saturday’s … | Homediy Pro May 1, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    […] “trophies” for your guest to take home. These celebration favors double as decor. Hostess with a Mostess Blog recommends portrayal a bulb of mason jars with splendid colors, afterwards capping with bullion lids. Once […]

  7. […] saw this really cool idea for painting mason jars over at Hostess with the Mostess. It kept the glass nice and shiny and looked great on the table. We hade some left over pink melted […]

  8. Clo March 14, 2016 at 2:29 am

    J’adore cette idée!!
    Je testerai ce DIY dès que l’occasion se présentera :)

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