Eight ways to reuse glass jars around your home

Written by contributor Emily McClements

After Stacy’s post last week about reusing and repurposing tin cans, I wanted to follow up with some ideas and inspiration for one of my favorite things to reuse around my home — glass jars.

The great thing about glass jars is that you can get them basically for free, if you keep all the jars your food comes in. Spaghetti sauce, salsa, pickles, and condiment jars can all be kept and repurposed for all kinds of different uses around your house.

I also love to find glass jars at garage sales and thrift shops. I have found brand new canning jars for as cheap as ten cents per jar, as well other great glass storage containers. I rarely pass up an opportunity to snag a glass jar or container for a good price, because I know I will be able to find a use for it somewhere around my house.

Here are eight of my favorite ways to repurpose and reuse glass jars:

1. Storing Bulk Foods

I buy a lot of food in bulk, and it doesn’t make sense to keep all those bulk packages in my kitchen, so I have lots of glass storage jars that I use to keep pantry staples in, and then refill as needed. I also love the way glass jars look lined up in my cupboard!

2. Organizing

Oh, what can’t you organize with glass jars? If you need a home for craft supplies, small toys, or even hardware, you can use glass jars to organize in every room of your house! For more inspiration, you can find so many ideas on Pinterest for organizing using glass jars.

3. Drinking glasses

Mason jars are so cute, and fun, to drink out of. A few summers ago I actually found the Mason jars that have a handle on the side at a garage sale, and they are my favorite mugs, especially in the summer for cold smoothies and iced coffee!

4. Storing leftovers in the fridge

If you’re trying to reduce the amount of plastic you use in your kitchen, then switching to glass jars for storing leftovers is definitely a great, and frugal, way to start. I have found that jars with wide rims work the best, both for putting leftovers into the jar without making too much of a mess, and for getting them out.

5. Single serving for a blender

I found this idea on Pinterest and think it is so smart. To make a single serving of a smoothie, or other drink, in your blender, without getting the whole blender dirty, you can attach a mason jar to the base of your blender and use it like a Magic Bullet. I do this when my kids can’t agree on a smoothie flavor, so I just make one for each of them, based on their preferences.

6. Storing homemade cleaners, or other homemade products

Glass jars are great for storing some kinds of homemade cleaners like powdered laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, homemade dryer sheets, and more. Basically anything that you don’t need a spray bottle for can be stored in glass jar, just make sure to label them well! I also store some homemade personal care products, and other things like homemade bubbles, in glass jars.

7. Decorating around the house

Just like with organizing, there are infinite ways you can decorate with glass jars all around your house. From a simple vase for fresh cut flowers, to these beautiful lace and twine votive holders, using glass jars is an easy and affordable way to add style and unique decorative touches to your home.

8. Storing Homemade Foods and Drinks

Like with bulk food storage, I also love to store homemade food and drinks in glass jars. Everything from homemade granola, to spice mixes, to sweet tea and iced coffee, get stored in glass jars at our house.

So, the next time you have an empty glass jar, instead of tossing it in the recycling bin, start building up your collection, and begin finding new uses for it all around your house!

Find even more ideas for using glass jars in your kitchen over at Keeper of the Home!

What is your favorite way to repurpose or reuse glass jars in  your home?

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  1. I love glass jars! I have quite the collection right now, and I keep saving them! A lot of my ball jars are now empty because we are about through all of our preserved foods from last summer, but I am hoping they will all hold new things soon, and then I can use all the jars from the grocery store to put my grains and beans in 🙂 And thanks for the tip on the smoothies! I hadn’t seen that!

  2. We mainly use them for drinks but now I have lots of other ideas. Thanks.

  3. Aside from it’s direct purpose for canning, I use jars for all of the above (except blender – it doesn’t fit on mine), plus for my gardening needs including growing sprouts.

  4. Yes, ok, but how do you clean jars for re-use? I’ve tried, but residue/smell always remains. Especially with spaghetti, pickles and peanut butter.

  5. Reused glass jars can really leave an impression. My husband and I were at a wedding and an old neighbor of his said, “I really remember those cool drinking glasses you had.” My husband replied, “You mean the chipped beef jars!” His dad had been in the military, they ate a lot of SOS as kids.

  6. You can also use glass jars to make terrariums! It is a great kids craft, too!

  7. I love glass jars! I’ve been keeping my eye out at garage sales and also raided my Mom’s stash (with her permission!) and now have a nice collection. I use them for everything! =) Love how versatile they are. My favorite uses are storing stuff in the pantry (it looks way nicer then all those packages and I know exactly how much of everything I have) and decorating with a candle (floating or not) and then a ribbon or twine or something like that depending on the season. Simple, easy, and looks great! =)

  8. I don’t even attempt to clean peanut butter jars. For spaghetti jars, I soak them and toss the lids. Then I use new or untainted canning jar lids.

  9. I’m overflowing with reused glass jars- love them!! And that blender trick is just brilliant! I totally repinned that. 🙂

  10. I love glass jars, but I have a really hard time finding them. Every single thrift store, consignment shop or antique shop I go into I look for them. Once place was selling them for $1.50 a piece! I also regularly search Craigslist. Any tips for finding cheap jars?

    • Hi just use jars that you have in your fridge like pickle jars and stuff that you already have you can also use old candle jars just boil some water in a pot and sit the candle in the pot . If you use those ideas you will have a ton in no time.

  11. I love glass jars, too. I use them in just about every way you have mentioned above except for the blender bullet idea. How cool! Thanks for the ideas.

  12. Love the blender idea as well!

    I don’t know why I haven’t thought of using them as drinking glasses. We seem to break glasses almost as soon as we buy them–I’ll bet a set of canning jars will not only look cuter but will last longer!

  13. Christie @ Path to the Half says:

    I like to use them to hold silverware and napkins when we have company over or for dinner parties!

  14. i love to reuse glass jars. we are out of drinking glasses and i don’t know why i always forget to just use jars to drink from! duh!!!

    my recent post: introducing…

  15. How timely is this — I actually ran across a lid on Pinterest yesterday that allows you to turn your mason jars into portable to-go cups! You can check them out at: http://www.cuppow.com and see what you think. Haven’t tried it just yet, but one is ordered and on its way!

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