Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Glass Jars

I am undeniably Southern. I like to think this is illustrated by three simple factors: my adorable twangy country accent, my abusive use of ranch dressing (I could seriously put that stuff on everything) and my love affair with Mason jars. I mean, maybe I'm wrong, but I've always equated Mason jars with the south. I just can't imagine anything more quintessential Southern than drinking sweet tea or lemonade from a Mason jar on a front porch swing on summer afternoons, can you?

Recently, however, my love of glass jars has gone past just "Mason" jars and I have started washing out every glass bottle that originally contained something else bought from the grocery store. Spaghetti sauce, jelly, coffee, doesn't matter. If it's glass, for some reason I can't bear to throw it away or put it in the recycling bin. I think it's because I am aware of how many different ways you can use just a simple little glass jar over and over again. And if you've already paid for it once at the grocery store, why not save Mother Earth and your pocket book, and put those jars to work in your life and home everyday?

Here are just a few ways to use these handy little containers.

As visible storage around the home. I personally like to use mine for storage in the bathroom.

On display around the house. I think glass jars are so pretty even without anything in them. I have these on display in my kitchen.

For organization around the home. Photo taken from Blogger Lindsey clearly loves Mason jars as much as I do.

As mentioned above...for drinking cups around the house. Especially outside on a swing or porch/patio. This jar contains my new favorite summer beverage: the housemade strawberry lemonade from Urban Cookhouse. Yum.

Or as cups at events, like wedding receptions, engagement parties and showers. Photo taken from

As vases around the home.

Or as vases for events, like wedding receptions, engagement parties and showers. There are apparently many ways to use these.

Hanging on the chairs at the ceremony. Photo taken from Tutorial to make this vase can be found here.

Hanging from a tree at the ceremony or reception. Photo taken from

Or simply as a centerpiece on the reception tables. Photo taken from You can find the tutorial of how to paint the jars that pretty blue color here.

As lanterns for special occasions. I love, love, love the rustic look of this one that I found on Calli gives a great tutorial on how to make these gorgeous creations here. (Her website alone is a wealth of DIY info, you should check it out!)

But I think my favorite thing I have used jars for so far is my homemade gifts to my friends this past Christmas. To my runner girls, I gave a foot scrub that was contained by a glass jar (I was inspired by my friend Emily at Redesign That who had given me the same gift previously).

Then to my closest friends, I made a memory jar. Basically, a memory jar is like the pensieve in the Harry Potter books, only the non-bewitching kind :) I took 30 of my fondest memories I had with each girl and wrote them on separate pieces of paper and fill a jar with them. Then I decorated the jar and presented it as Christmas gift that they could (hopefully) cherish forever. They're supposed to open a memory every day for one month, hence why I chose the number 30.

Photo: Amy D. at Todo! by Amy

These are just the tip of the iceberg for ideas on how to reuse glass jars. If you have any other ideas, I'd love to hear them. I have a cupboard full of glass jars that need to be used :)

Pin It!

No comments: