8 Ways to Reuse Mason Jars (Other Than For Canning!)

by Merissa on July 31, 2013

in Repurposing

Post image for 8 Ways to Reuse Mason Jars (Other Than For Canning!)

It is rare not to find a box or stash of Kerr, Ball, and Mason jars when you are out shopping at the local thrift store or rummage sale. I always have plenty on hand being a canner. My goal price is to pay no more than $0.35 per jar when I see them at a sale. If you watch for them all the time you are sure to find them and be able to stock up! And even if you aren't a canner, Mason or Ball Jars have so many uses they are worth snatching!

These dependable and versatile storage jars will add a rustic look to your home, and help the environment by recycling. Here are seven great ways that you can reuse Mason jars. Once you get them home, try some of these suggestions out, or use your imagination and restyle them to suit your purpose. These are also some great ideas for what to do with those old jars that might have air bubbles or a small chip and can't be used for canning.

1. Notion or Hardware Storage

These vintage jars are excellent for storing small buttons, craft supplies, beads, as well as nails, screws, washers, and other small hardware accessories. You can also save on cupboard space as well as leave your work area well organized if you screw the tops of the Mason jars to the underside of your cabinet shelves. If your workshop happens to be unfinished, the lids to the jars can be screwed to the rafters as well. This way your supplies are easily identifiable and all you have to do is unscrew the jar from the lid and take it to your work area.

Mason Jars - Little House Living

2. Bathroom Storage

Mason jars make lovely storage containers for your bathroom. They can be used to hold bath salts, cotton balls, swabs, assorted band-aids, decorative hand soaps, bath beads, and a whole lot more. These Mason jars will keep your bathroom sundries nearby and organized. You will be able to see when it is time to replenish your stock as well. They will look beautiful, lined up on your vanity. Jars are also a great way to store all your homemade bath and beauty products.

3. Spice Storage Gift Giving Storage Jars

Mason jars can also help to keep your pantry organized. Spices as well as sugar, baking soda, cornstarch, and any other pantry items that you have purchased in a plastic bottle or loose in a bag, can be stored in a Mason jar. Spices will stay fresher in a glass jar rather than plastic if they are not used within a short period. You can add a decorative touch to your Mason jars by adding your own personal labels.

Mason Jars - Little House Living

4. Gift Giving Storage Jars

Mason jars are an excellent choice for using as a gift-giving jar. Store some handmade candy in it and tie some curly ribbon around the neck of the jar. Add a handmade gift tag and present the candy to someone special in your life. Recipe idea - Caramel Corn in a Jar.

5. Game Board Pieces

Another great way to repurpose those Mason jars is to use them to hold small game pieces from board games. These miniscule pieces often get lost when left in the game box. Marbles and other miniature toy pieces can also be stored in the jars.

6. Stationery Items

Mason jars make great storage containers for stationery items. Paper clips, rubber bands, small erasers, and stickpins can be safely stored in Mason jars. The lids of the Mason jars can also be decorated with small buttons, flowers, or even shelving paper to suit your decor.

Mason Jars - Little House Living

7. Dried Fruits and Veggies

I love storing food in my jars. (Particularly Buttered Granola in my case!) Jars are also a great way to hold your dried summer bounty or even homemade loose teas!

8. Make Candles

You can put Soy Candles, Beeswax Candles, or even Olive Oil Candles in old jars!

What do you use mason jars for besides canning and preserving?


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 liz July 31, 2013 at 10:01 am

We pock holes in lid to catch bugs to watch for a while then let them go. Thank you for ideas.


2 Rhonda White July 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I love mason jars! I have a tall one with a lid like in your #1 photo…that holds our popcorn for popping. 🙂


3 Catherine @ Happily Ever Crafter July 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I store a variety of dried foods and baking ingredients in jars. I save all glass spaghetti jars and fill them with everything from yeast, to non fat dried milk to beans and rice! It just makes so much sense to me!


4 Dee August 1, 2013 at 8:24 am

Wow, you are lucky finding them at a good price. All the resale shops around here want $1 each. I keep searching though. Thanks for your post.


5 Cendee August 1, 2013 at 11:41 am

I store everything in glass jars. Everytime i go grocery shopping a spend a few minutes taking the dry goods (coffee, sugar, granola) out of the plastic it comes in and storing in mason jars. I use them as glasses (they are hard to break) I also cut up all my fresh produce for the week and put in jars some with water some without so they are easy to access throughout the day for a salad or steamed veggies. So basically my name is Cendee and I am a mason jar hoarder! :0)


6 Mike the Gardener August 2, 2013 at 7:26 am

I have a wide mouth pint jar sitting on my work bench filled with nothing but rubber bands … I have been collecting them over time as I receive them. The jar is nearly filled. I haven’t bought a rubber band in nearly 20 years


7 Wendy P August 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm

FYI – here is a site that helps you identify the age of old Ball jars by the appearance of the logo: http://home.earthlink.net/~raclay/DatingBalljars.HTML


8 Merissa August 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Thanks Wendy!


9 Micheline August 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm

We also use them to drink out of 🙂


10 Charlotte Payette December 29, 2013 at 11:27 am

Today I used one to store a small delicate beaded Christmas Tree. Another for my Camera Charger, and marked the lid so I do not have to try and find one that fits.


11 Meli September 16, 2014 at 11:51 am

I’m with Cendee I’m also a Mason jar hoarder.
I use the half gallon size to store all of my beans, flours, salts, & any dry goods that I have in my pantry. I only buy in large bulk. I make all of my own mixes ahead of time & store them all in various size jars in my pantry. I use a label maker to label the lids & list the additional wet ingredients & cook times.
Tip: food sealer makes a cap to go on the top (regular & wide mouth) & you can suck the air out of the jars & seal them.
I put leftover food in them & store them in the fridge.
I put various foods in them & freeze them.

I store all my spices in them.
They make cute little pots to grow herbs in.
I store fish food in them.
Also our vitamins in them.
They make nice little piggy banks.
I store paint & stain in them (I’m an artist).
I store paint brushes in them.
Also all kinds of little pieces for my artwork.
Run a hook through the lid & you can hang jewelry in them.
I store homemade laundry detergent in them.
Storage for homemade dishwasher tablets.
I use them for my Kombucha & Kefir Milk
We drink out of them
I make tea & pour it in multiple glasses & then you can just grab a glass out of the fridge to drink.
Storage for berries & such
I pretty much use them for everything.
& of course, I use them for canning.


12 Saundra December 5, 2014 at 10:38 am

If you happen to come across the old gallon glass jars that pickles came in, at yard sales, they are great for storing your flour and sugar in. I have some I have used for years. It is the best way to avoid weevils in your flour and the flour lasts longer. I also keep all of my pastas in Mason jars for the same reason.


13 Liz February 6, 2015 at 10:28 pm

I use them as a coffee mug to take to work, no spills. Also have used like you would Tupperware to bring lunches to work. Also made single serve strawberry shortcake for coworkers, a big hit! Pintrest has a whole category on cooking in mason jars


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