You don’t have to be a canner to love mason jars. Here are some creative ways to reuse mason jars around your home that anyone can enjoy.
Ways to Use Mason Jars (Besides 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 several great ways that you can recycle Mason jars. Once you get them home, try some of these suggestions out, or use your imagination and restyle them to suit your purpose.
Ways to Reuse Mason Jars in the Home
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.
—Want to label your supplies? Grab these Free Printable Canning Jar Labels so that you know exactly what’s in each jar.
Mason jars make lovely storage containers for your bathroom. They can be used to hold toothbrushes, 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.
Storing Board Game Pieces
Another great way to repurpose those Mason jars is to use them to hold small game pieces from board games. These minuscule pieces often get lost when left in the game box. Marbles and other miniature toy pieces can also be stored in the jars.
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.
—Add some color to your office or workspace by making these Tinted Mason Jar Craft.
Use them to Decorate
Old Mason Jars make beautiful decorations for your home. Fill them with some fresh flowers, wrap them in burlap, tint them or hang a candle in them to use as a centerpiece or on a bookshelf.
Ways to Reuse Mason Jars in the Kitchen
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.
—Get more ideas on Organizing The Farmhouse Pantry
Store 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! One of the ways I save money on groceries is to purchase items in bulk. To keep these foods safe from pests and fresher longer, I like to store them in large-sized mason jars.
—Never heard of bulk shopping? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Buying in Bulk.
Bake in Them
Serve up something sweet baked right in a jar like these yummy Pumpkin Pies in a Jar. Or mix up a yummy trifle in them and refrigerate for a beautiful, single-serving dessert. You can even use mason jar lids to make small pies or tarts in.
You can reuse mason jars to help prep your meals. They are a great way to store cut up vegetables that you have prepared in advance to make meal times quicker or you can make and store lunches in them. Layer some lettuce, quinoa, rice or grains, fresh veggies, and your favorite dressing to have an easy salad ready to grab and go.
—Here are 5 Amazingly Simple Homemade Salad Dressings Worth Trying, just mix them up in a jar and place the lid on them to easily shake them up.
Mason jars are a great way to store all of your homemade mixes.
—Ready to get started making your mixes from scratch? Here are 10 Homemade Mixes That Need to Be in Your Pantry
Other Ways to Reuse Mason Jars
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. One of my favorite snacks to give is this Caramel Corn in a Jar.
—If you don’t want to give food, there are lots of other gifts that can be given in jars too! Check out these Non-Food Gift Ideas in a Jar.
Make Bird Feeders
Old mason jars can be used to make cute bird feeders for your yard and garden. Learn how to make one with this easy tutorial – Mason Jar Bird Feeder
—Looking for more simple outdoor projects to make? Check out these Simple DIY Garden Projects
You can put Soy Candles, Beeswax Candles, or even Olive Oil Candles in old jars! These are especially cute in old jam jars with intricate and unique designs cut into them and would make great gifts to give others.
Make Plant Markers
You can use old mason jar lids to mark the plants you have growing in your vegetable garden.
As you can see, there are so many ways to repurpose mason jars and mason jar lids other than canning and preserving. 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.
What do you use mason jars and mason jar lids for?
This post on How to Reuse Mason Jars was originally published on Little House Living in July 2013. It has been updated as of May 2020.