Jars and bottles can be difficult to open. There are a variety of gadgets that can help. Many of the effective ones are bulky and either require batteries or an electrical outlet. Another option is the flat, siliconized or rubberized sheet-style jar opener. I don’t know how effective these are so I decided to make one. This is a Happiest Camper Jar Opener project review.
The link to the Happiest Camper Jar Opener Easy Sewing Project free tutorial is:
For the purposes of my review, I’m going to summarize the basic steps, tell you what I did differently (if anything) and share my general thoughts about sewing the project.
This jar opener is made from a piece of rubber shelf liner and two pieces of fabric. The shelf liner provides a grippy surface to that improves your traction when opening jars. In theory you could just a piece of shelf liner, but that wouldn’t be a sewing project. The addition of the fabric provides a little extra padding for your hands and dresses up the look of the shelf liner. Adding either a magnet or a piece of ribbon makes it easy to store your shelf liner on your fridge. It can also be rolled or folded for storage in a drawer.
Step 0 Gather Materials
Shelf liners are available in a variety of colors and textures. I had some pieces of rubberized shelf liner and a smoother, slippery shelf liner left over from moving. You will need rubberized shelf liner, as opposed to the smoother, slippery type. You will also need some 100% cotton fabric. Poplin is suggested, but I used a scrap of quilting weight cotton. If you’re using a magnetic, it needs to be strong enough to hold the weight of your jar opener. See the tutorial for some suggestions. You can also use a short length of ribbon to make a hanging loop. I didn’t have any magnets so I made a hanging loop out of a 5” long scrap of ¼” wide double fold bias tape.
The tutorial advises that you don’t use your sewing shears to cut the shelf liner as it will dull them. I have a pair of scissors that I use for cutting cardstock so I used them. You also shouldn’t use your iron to press the jar opener as the shelf liner may melt. I’d also advise you to air dry your jar opener to avoid melting the shelf liner in the dryer.
Step 1 Sewing
Pin your fabric pieces right side together with the shelf liner sandwiched between them. If you’re adding a ribbon hanging loop add it now. Sew along the perimeter, making sure to leave a turning gap. Turn your jar opener right side out. If you’re using a magnet, slide it inside now. Sew along the perimeter closing the turning gap. Lastly, see an “x” through all layers to prevent the layers from shifting when in use.
My sewing machine struggled to top stitch this project with the shelf liner on top an I had to pull this project through (as opposed to simply guiding the fabric and letting the feeddogs do the work).
The tutorial suggests sewing with a strip of paper or waxed paper between your sewing machine presser foot and the shelf liner. Other options include using a Teflon presser foot and putting a small piece of plastic tape on the bottom of your presser foot. I used a ¼” seam allowance and my turning gap wasn’t closed properly when I sewing along the perimeter. I added an additional 1/8” wide seam along the perimeter. This time I sewed with the fabric on top and didn’t have any issues with the fabric being feed through.
The tutorial didn’t say how large to make your “x”. I made mine 4” long. You could also sew a large “x” from corner to corner.
Here are some photos of my finished Easy Jar Opener:
Step 2 Using
To use this jar opener, place it rubber-side down on the lid of the jar or bottle you wish to open. Turn the lid as usual.
I was pleasantly surprised by how effective this jar opener is. I needed far less effort than usual to open a sealed jar of salsa. It also made it easier to open the small yeast jar and bottle of lemon juice that always seem to be stuck. It’s easy to store this jar opener by hanging it on your fridge or stuffing it into a drawer. This project is described as an easy sewing project and that is an accurate description. I’m looking forward to making some more Easy Jar Openers and giving them as gifts.
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