Several months ago, pantry moths attacked my kitchen. I spent days cleaning out every nook and cranny and had to throw out half of the items in my pantry. Ouch. What a waste of money.
After that, I vowed to store my grains, seeds, and nuts in glass jars. Now I’ve got a great collection of recycled glass jars.
Here are 15 ideas for up-cycling glass jars.
Many of these ideas make great family and teacher presents.
- Make a memory jar. It’s like a scrapbook in a jar. Instead of buying expensive souvenirs, collect little mementos on your trip and then put them in a jar. Examples of things you could put in the jar: post card, shells, ticket stubs, pieces of a map, pebble, sand, or trinket. You can also make a memory jar with special memories written on slips of paper!
- Use the upside down jar like a picture frame. Cut the picture down to size to fit into the jar… but upside down. The curve of the jar will act like a magnifying glass.
- Terrarium inside a jar. Collect moss, cactus and small plants. Put a small amount of dirt on the bottom of the jar. Lightly mist. Put lid tightly on top. The water will evaporate and then “rain” back into the jar.
- Make a flower vase. Paint the inside of jars to make colorful flower vases.
- Twig covered pencil holder. Gather small and straight twigs. Cut down to a length just slightly taller than the jar. Hot glue twigs to outside of jar. Tie a colorful bow around the twigs. You can also use a recycled can to make this.
- Craft storage. Use the jars to sort and store craft materials like crayons, buttons, colored pencils, stickers, foam shapes, glue sticks, etc. Make a nice label for each jar.
- Garage work bench storage. Similar to No. 6 above, but this time you are storing nails, screws, string, etc.
- Candle holder. Small wide mouthed jars (like baby food jars) are great for small candles. Decorate the outside with bits of tissue paper (like the soda bottle lanterns) for a mock stained glass look.
- Make your own dill pickles. Pickled vegetables are normally a specialty item in the grocery store. Therefore, they are wildly overpriced. You can make quick pickled vegetables that don’t require lots of work or expense. The next time you eat all the pickles from the store bought jar, don’t throw out the brine. Just cut up your own veggies (cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes) and put into the left over liquid. Put back into the fridge. After a couple of days, you will have dilled vegetables. Another option is to find a recipe online!
- Catch fireflies. If you are lucky enough to live in an area that has fireflies on warm summer nights, you will need a glass jar with holes poked in the lid. Catch a bunch of fireflies and put them in the jar. So much fun for little kids to watch the glow. But, then… let the fireflies loose. I’ve never seen a firefly live very long in captivity, so, let them go before (or after) the kids go to sleep. This is a wonderful and free family activity.
- Store bathroom items. Instead of buying expensive matching bathroom storage containers, keep your q-tips, cotton balls, band aides, and hair ties in matching spray painted and frosted jars on the counter.
- Kitchen canisters. Glass jars are the best for storing flour, sugar, salt and coffee. Make sure that you thoroughly clean the jar and the lid with hot water and soap and dry completely. Keep your eye peeled for interesting jars at estate sales.
- Snow globes. Glue your globe center piece on the inside of the lid of the jar. Fill jar with glycerine and glitter. Seal lid onto the jar with hot glue. Shake jar and watch the glittery “snow.” Here are seven more easy family Christmas crafts I recommend.
- Collect fairy dust. Find a tiny little bottle and fill with glitter. Hang the bottle from a sparkly ribbon or chain. You never know when you will need a little magic.
- Store your pantry items to keep away the pests. Pantry moths like to breed in the corners of paper bags and cardboard boxes. Storing dry goods in glass jars is your best bet for keeping those nasty bugs away. Make sure you label the jars or it will be a pain to find what you are looking for. Take my word on this. I learned the hard way.