If you haven’t already, you must rediscover the power and versatility of the glass mason jar.
Matt and I had toppling shelves full of mason jars when we began learning about canning and pickling. For most of the year they sat empty, collecting spiders and other creepy, dusty basement goodies.
Recently though, as we have moved away from plastics in our home, we have rediscovered the many uses of these glass jars.
Since glass is inert, it makes a great alternative to plastic, which may contain harmful chemicals (like BPA) that will leach into foods, drinks, and personal products. As long as you are gentle with your jars, they can last and be reused for years! Mason jars don’t stain, melt, scratch, hold odors, or warp like plastics can.
So dust off your mason jars and put them to use all over your home.
Mason Jars: Not Just For Canning
In the kitchen - We purchase many of our baking supplies in bulk, and I transfer ingredients from their large sacks into mason jars that fit in my cupboards. Glass jars were an answer to a budget issue when we began getting rid of plastic food containers. Instead of purchasing all new glass storage containers, I went shopping in my own basement for some empty jars. (Check out pictures of my refrigerator to see the evidence!) We even freeze many things in our mason jars, although this can be dangerous (broken/cracked glass in your freezer!), and wasteful if not done correctly. (Liquids generally need at least an inch of headspace for expansion when freezing in glass.)
In the pantry - Amidst the jars of granola, dried beans, and nuts in our pantry, you’ll also find many dried herbs and spice mixtures in mason jars. Did you know that the green lids from old grated parmesan cheese containers screw on perfectly to small mouth jars, making sprinkling so easy?!
In the bathroom – Besides an attractive display for cotton swabs or cotton balls, mason jars make the perfect container for homemade beauty products. Our homemade concoctions typically contain essential oils, which can react with plastic. I have several pint-sized jars holding products like mouthwash, moisturizer, and eye makeup remover.
In the laundry area – Are you making your own laundry detergent? Large jars are perfect for storing homemade detergent, stain removers, or other household cleaning products. (Use the shaker top trick for your homemade scrubbing powders.)
In the office – Organization is key in the office area. Mason jars allow you to see where your supplies are. Pens, pencils, paper clips, scissors, coins, and other things can be attractively organized.
In the craft area – Stash your buttons, sewing supplies, or string in glass jars. Store paint brushes upright, and stash beads or tiny scrapbooking supplies in small mason jars.
In the garage & workshop – Glass jars are perfect for storing small items in the garage and workshop like screws, nails, bolts, etc. We even have a half gallon jar of homemade insecticidal solution in the shed.
For gift giving - Mason jars make gift giving so simple. I have given things like homemade sugar scrubs, bath bomb fizzies, chocolate syrup, granola, and many other things that look attractive in glass. It’s a frugal alternative to gift wrap, and most of the recipients return my jars or put them to use in their own home!
In the living room – My favorite vase for flowers is a mason jar. I’m afraid I don’t know the last time I used one of my fancy vases to arrange a bouquet. Beautiful flowers just look so much more organic sitting in a quart jar.
The list goes on…
My mother, a woman of great resourcefulness, always used mason jars for decorating. Her gorgeous blue Ball jars were full of things like my uncle’s antique marbles, or sand and seashells from family vacations.
With the advent of Pinterest, there is no shortage of ideas floating around for the ever-popular mason jar. Chandeliers, soap dispensers, and floating candle centerpieces are among the many ideas I’ve seen.
Need a new set of drinking glasses? Pull out your pint jars and toast to your new repurposed kitchen ware!
What about you? We’d love to hear how you’ve been using these oh-so-functional jars! Chime in below and share your ideas!