Aug14
Posted in: Home Decorating

Top 20 Awesome Things To Do with a Mason Jar

It’s nearly impossible to resist the cuteness, versatility, and practicality of repurposing Mason jars from canning projects, farmers market finds, or homemade treats. Sure they make charming glasses for a casual backyard gathering or the easiest vase ever…but don’t stop there! Mason jars lend an adorably retro look and come in handy for a ton of home décor and organization ideas. Here are our top 20 ideas:

  1. Organize that desk. Stack a few jars on their sides and glue them together to your liking — insert pens, pencils, scissors, crayons, markers, sticky notes, and glue sticks for instant organization.
  2. Make an easy shaker. Just drill holes in the top of the jar’s lid and use it to sprinkle on confectioner’s sugar, Parmesan cheese, cocoa powder, or even craft glitter.
  3. Create gorgeous glass. It’s simple to create a sea-glass look — just spray-paint or coat the inside of a jar with acrylic paint.
  4. Offer cocktails for a crowd.   For your next party, make a variety of cocktails and portion them into jars. Seal and tuck them in a large bin of ice — guests can choose, open, add ice, shake, and enjoy!
  5. Pack a picnic. Make individual layered salads to take along. Pour dressing on the bottom, layer the ingredients (chopped is best), seal, and tuck in the cooler. Shake before eating to spread dressing.
  6. Grab breakfast to go. Make a batch of pretty layered yogurt, fruit, and granola parfaits and store sealed in your fridge for an easy breakfast on the run.
  7. Get twine under control. Drill a single hole in the top of a jar lid. Tuck in a roll of twine or ribbon and thread through for easy tangle-free access.
  8. Mount under-shelf storage. Drill through a shelf to mount a jar lid underneath. When you screw in the jar you’ve got easy-find access to small craft items (buttons, safety pins, scrapbooking gear) or vanity staples like cotton swabs, cotton balls, makeup brushes, and eyeliners.
  9. Create the coolest collage ever. Just tuck a photo into a jar for a funky frame feel. Try them grouped together for an eclectic display.
  10. Pull together practical place settings. Wrap up silverware in a napkin and tuck it into a jar. Guests can grab one from the buffet and then use to self-serve drinks from pitchers on the table.
  11. Get personal. Apply chalk decals or chalk paint to jars and label with guests’ names for individual floral place settings, party favors filled with candy, or to keep track of drinks.
  12. Wrap ‘em up for a fun look. Apply clear craft glue to the outside and wrap with colored yarn, rope for a nautical look, or funky patterned stockings. You can also go mod and wrap your jars with brightly patterned duct tape.
  13. Create the easiest candleholder ever. Fill jars with a layer of sand or small pebbles and use to tuck in a candle. You can also pop in a battery powered candle for fire-safe lanterns to line a walk or patio.
  14. Or float a candle! Fill your jars with water and a light a floating candle — they look especially beautiful in a row or scattered on a buffet or bar.
  15. Send a message. Use puffy paint or a glue gun to write fun phrases, personalize, or label your jars. Then paint over the entire surface for a cool 3-D writing effect.
  16. Strike a match. Tuck tall, loose matches inside a jar and glue sandpaper to the lid for an easy light anytime.
  17. Make an impromptu pourer. Cut off the top of a cardboard table-salt container and trim to fit the jar top. Decorate if you like and attach the rim to make a pretty pourer for salt, sugar, sprinkles, or glitter.
  18. Pack the pantry. Simply use your jars to store dried beans, small pasta, cereals, or snacks. It’s easy to ID what’s inside and contents will have an airtight, spill-proof seal.
  19. Plant an herb garden. Plant a different herb in each jar and cluster together on a sunny windowsill or table — practical and pretty!
  20. Bake individual mini dishes. This works best with small jars — use them to bake anything from s’mores to pizzas to mini pies to cakes. Follow your favorite recipe and place jars in a water bath in the oven so they won’t break. Promise, your guests will swoon!

What’s your favorite way to re-use an empty Mason jar?

Julie Hartigan

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is a recovering engineer turned chef. She develops recipes and writes about cooking, entertaining, and health for Bed Bath & Beyond, WeightWatchers, FitPregnancy, and others, looking for the spot "where Healthy meets Happy." Julie shares a small urban condo with her 2 little girls, 2 chubby guinea pigs, and 1 very patient husband. You can find her on Twitter @cookingwjulie.

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