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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.

Glass Mason Jars

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?!

Glass Mason Jars

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.

Glass Mason Jar

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.

Glass Mason Jars

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!

You can find a large variety of mason jars HERE.

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!


About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebookand Twitter.

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  1. Audra Coldiron says

    We do a ton of canning and use the tattler lids. I love that they are reusable. We also have the plastic screw-on lids and with a few of them we drilled small holes in the top and use them as shakers.

  2. Carol says

    I use the quart & half gallon jars for ‘dry heat sealing’. I shop for beans & grain products on sale/clearance. Place product in open jar and heat in a 250 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. I usually place multiple jars on a cookie sheet to make handling easier. Cap immediately for an airtight seal that will keep food for years. Perfect for long term food storage! I live on the Texas coast and like to be prepared. Only drawback I have heard of in storing food in glass is in earthquake prone areas.

    • Cher Lynn says

      Wooden storage crates with wooden slats between the jars could probably help with earthquake country + mason jars, just a thought. Lived in Seattle for more than half my life, slept through all the quakes we had there. But if the glass jars can’t touch, if they’re in a container heavy enough (plenty of full jars) to not rock off the shelf, that should help a lot with breakage. Hopefully! As I stated before, all quakes I’ve lived through were small enough I slept through them. Think the strongest was a 4-something. Nothing ever fell off my walls.

  3. beetree says

    Love your website! We use mason jars (when we empty them of homemade jam!) for our every day drinking glasses, and for bulk items in our pantry. Also for crafty-type items like buttons and old wooden spools of thread. So many uses- even as biscuit and cookie cutters! Love seeing everybody’s ideas…off to follow a few links (and look for your homemade toothpaste recipe!). 🙂

  4. Peggy B. says

    Hi, I’ve been using Mason jars for a while now and put EVERYTHING in them. Wanted to let people know that Walmart sells BPA-free plastic wide-mouth lids for them. I had so many of the two pieces metal lids that it drove me nuts. Now I use the plastic ones for my food. I keep them in a handled, plastic basket in my pantry. Got that from Walmart too for a couple of bucks. Just FYI 🙂