I’ve become a mason jar-saver, and I have a small but growing collection of different shapes and sizes that have held jams, jellies, pickles, sauces, and other homemade foods that friends have given me. So I was glad to find a helpful guide at MidwestLiving.com on 15 Ways to Use Mason Jars. Then I found more ideas at a few other sites. These are all great ideas because they’re so simple!
Here are a few from Midwest Living that I plan on using…
Silverware holders–use each jar to hold a napkin and “silverware setting for one”–the jar can also be used by your guest as a drinking glass. Or organize spoons, forks, and knives in three different jars for a buffet-style arrangement.
Or you may just want to use the jars for serving your beverages in–they’re great for outdoor parties or picnics because they’re so sturdy!
Use as containers for forcing bulbs. I love this idea!
Make an easy centerpiece–just float a pretty blossom in a jar filled with water.
Other Midwest Living ideas include:
Using jars to store dry foods like oatmeal and other grains, rice, lentils, dried fruit, sugar, flour, salt, dried beans, pasta, etc. They come in handy if you buy bulk foods. Add your own homemade labels.
Keep your desk organized–use jars for holding pens, pencils, markers, paint brushes, and scissors.
I found more uses at a site called Care2. They list 50 uses for mason jars! These are the ideas from their list that I use or will use most:
- Storing cookies
- Storing homemade mixes
- Use for “recipe in a jar” gifts
- Storing saved seeds
- Use as containers for homemade soy candles
- Holding sour dough starters
- Storing homemade cleaners for the home (make sure they’re clearly labeled!)
- Storing cotton balls on the bathroom counter
- Storing bulk or homemade shampoo
- Storing bath salts
- Storing small office supplies
- Making sun tea
- Use as vases for fresh flowers
- Use as containers for homemade candy gifts
- Storing sewing notions-buttons and other small items
- Use as containers for loose change
These uses are from a site called Keeper of the Home. Here are some ideas I like from her list of 31 uses:
- Storing leftovers in the refrigerator–soups, stews, cooked rice, veggies–pretty much any kind of food that will fit in the jar (if you need extra lids, you can purchase some like these).
- Store leftover smoothies so you can drink later in the day or take to work.
- Keep track of how much water you’re drinking–if you drink from a quart-size jar, you can easily keep track of how much water you’re drinking each day.
- Sprouting seeds or grains (you can buy these special lids if you want).
- Storing homemade juice or iced tea in the refrigerator.
- Keeping herbs fresh in the refrigerator (like green onions, cilantro, etc.) by filling a jar 3/4 full of water, then placing your bunch of fresh herbs in it-the herbs stay fresh longer than if put in the produce drawer.
- Storing homemade spice mixes–use the 1/2 pint or smaller jars for this.
- Mixing and storing homemade salad dressings, marinades, and other sauces.
- Mixing and storing homemade syrups.
And then I found a few more ideas at Yahoo Voices:
- Start plant cuttings in jars filled with water (I do this a lot!)
- To be more eco-friendly, use mason jars instead of plastic containers for your lunch–they’re a great container for soups and salads.
So all together, that’s 33 different ways to use mason jars–plus all the other ideas at those sites that I didn’t mention!
Do you have a collection of mason jars? What different ways do you like to use them?