For the Love of Glass Jars

mason jars

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Post by Contributing Writer, Katie

I love glass jars! There is such a simplistic beauty about them. They aren’t just for canning and preserving food. There are so many uses for them.

I start jumping up and down inside when I am given homemade goodness inside a little canning jar; I instantly start envisioning what I will do with it. They are like gold! I also save jars from peanut butter and the like.

When you live in an area where recycling isn’t an option, it is even more important to find new ways to use jars. Here are some of my favorite ways to re-purpose glass jars.

Flower Vases

Glass jars make perfect flower vases. One of my favorite vases an is old bottle of juice I bought while I was in Israel. It is the perfect shape and holds a special memory.

Candle in a Jar

You can make a simple beeswax candle by hot gluing a wick with a wick tab to the bottom of a jar, pouring in beeswax pellets, adding a few drops of essential oil and melting in the oven for 200 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

Salve, Cream and Lotion Containers

You can buy pretty little jars from online companies, but reusing little 1/2 pint jars that you have around the house is a perfect idea as well; it’s cheaper too!

Drinking Glasses

I like to use canning jars for my water, chocolate milk, iced tea and smoothies. They are inexpenisve, sturdy and beautiful.

Homemade Bubbles

Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking had a wonderful idea. She uses an empty thread spool, castile soap, water and a little mason jar for her kids to play with bubbles. It makes for fun, simple and safe time!

Soap Dispenser

I’ve seen mason jars convereted into soap dispensers popping up all over the internet the past few weeks. I made one using an old foaming pump and a 1/2 quart jar.

Storing Cultured Foods

I use glass jars for all my yogurts, kombucha, lacto-ferments, sourdough starter, and kefirs. It’s important for them to be stored in glass and not plastic so that the harmful chemicals in plastic don’t leach into your cultures.

Make Tinctures and Extracts

Jars are a must for making tinctures and extracts. For some recipes to get you started, check out Stacy’s Echinacea Tincture, Michele’s e-book, Herbal Nurturing, or my Plantain Astringent Tincture.

Storing Leftovers

Glass jars are an easy way to store leftovers in your fridge. I don’t use plastc to store my food because of the chemicals that leach into the food, and I never seem to have enough Pyrex containers to save food in, so glass jars are my go-to containers.

Pin Cushion/Button/Sewing Kit Jar

This has to be one of my favorite new ideas I’ve seen recently for using glass jars. Here’s a great tutorial with pictures to learn how to make your own.

How do you like to reuse glass jars?

Katie is a dorm “mama” to 12 amazing girls ages 8 to 18 at a home and school for the Deaf in Baja California, Mexico. She and her “hijas” can be frequently found in the kitchen, the garden or making friends with their new chickens. She loves to read, hike the hills near her home and spend time with her girls. In her spare time Katie blogs at Mexican Wildflower about nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living, raising her girls and encouraging other women in their walk with Christ.

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4 comments to For the Love of Glass Jars

  • I love glass jars as well! I have kept any emptied out jars and old canning jars from my mother in law to use mostly for food storage in our pantry and refrigerator. We also use them for vases and larger drinking glasses as well.

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    @Grace, Glass jars are pretty handy to have! :)

    [Reply]

  • Janknitz

    My blender base fits standard canning jars (some fit wide mouth jars, I hear). This is great for making smoothies (which I drink right out of the jar) or grinding spices in a smaller container than the big blender jar–then store them right in the jar. And all you have to clean is the blade assembly.

    I LOVE jars!

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    @Janknitz, Oh, great tip! I’m going to have to see if mine fit my blender.

    [Reply]

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