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Apr 27, 2018

14 Uses for Thrifted Mason Jars

Mason jars are one item that you can almost always find at Deseret Industries. Whether you’re the simple type or the craftiest among us, mason jars and other types of glassware have myriad uses around the home. Without further ado, here are 14 things you can do with thrifted mason jars.

1. Vases

Fill a mason jar with water, and use it to hold a freshly cut bouquet. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, spray-paint or embellish the vase before adding flowers.

Find a tutorial on decorating mason jar vases with chalk paint at U Create.

2. Cups

Motivate yourself to stay hydrated by using mason jars as cups. Drink lemonade, smoothies, or even just plain old water!

Lemonade in mason jars

3. Tip Jars or Piggy Banks

Buy a mason jar to use for collecting tips or as a place to store all the spare change rattling around your home. Embellish the jar as little or as much as you want.

4. Flower Pots

Fill a mason jar with soil and seeds, and watch your plants grow. Display your mason jar garden in the kitchen, on a window sill, or on the front porch.

5. Homemade Snow Globes

Make your own snow globe out of a mason jar. Start this DIY project by hot-gluing miniature trees and figurines to the inside of a mason jar lid. Not sure where to find miniatures and knickknacks? DI is a great place to look!

Fill the mason jar with water. Then add a little bit of glycerin and as much glitter as you want. The glycerin gives the water in the globe a more gel-like texture. Glue the mason jar lid and rim onto the jar, and voilà—your own unique snow globe!

Homemade snow globe

6. Candleholders

Update your decor by using mason jars to hold small candles or battery-powered tea lights. Use these candleholders as a centerpiece, or sit them next to some greenery to make a floral arrangement like the example below.

7. Homemade Candles

In addition to using mason jars as candleholders, you can also make a candle inside the mason jar itself. To do this, you’ll need a mason jar, a wick, candle wax, old crayons or wax dye, scented oils, glue, and a pencil.

Start by selecting a wick that is taller than the jar’s rim. Center the wick in the middle of the mason jar, and hot-glue one end of it to the bottom of the inside of the jar. Tie the top of the wick to the pencil, and lay the pencil across the top of the jar to keep the wick in place.

Melt the candle wax in a double boiler. Once the wax is melted, add old crayons or wax dye for color. If you want your candle to be scented, add scented oils.

Pour the melted wax into the mason jar. Give the wax several hours to cool. Then untie the pencil from the wick, and trim the wick. The wick should be one-eighth of an inch above the candle’s surface.

8. Food Containers

When you’re on the run and need to pack a lunch, take food in mason jars. The tightly sealed lid keeps food fresh and prevents leaks. Most mason jars are microwave safe as well—just remember to remove the metal lid and rim beforehand.

9. Storage

Use mason jars to store or display items such as buttons, pens and pencils, toothbrushes, beads, cooking utensils, and silverware. Mason jars are also great additions to the pantry, storing nuts, chocolate chips, pasta, candy, and more.

10. Shakers

Punch holes into a mason jar lid using a hammer and a nail. Then fill the jar with salt, pepper, powdered sugar, or another spice. Pick a nail size that suits the size of holes you would like to make. If it’s something you’d like to shake out quickly, use a larger nail.

See more tips and tricks for making shakers at Landeelu.

11. Bathroom Organizers

Dust off your hammer, pull out your drill, and make a bathroom organizer out of mason jars.

See a full how-to from Lolly Jane.

12. Holiday Decor

Craft holiday decor using mason jars. The sky is the limit on this one, but here a few ideas for inspiration.

Make a Halloween jack-o’-lantern out of a mason jar using orange and black paint. Place a candle or battery-powered tea light inside.

For Valentine’s Day make a candleholder decorated with hearts. Place heart-shaped stickers all over the jar, and then paint the jar. Once the paint has dried, remove the stickers to reveal the unpainted heart shapes.

13. Cookies in a Jar

Looking for an easy gift to give a friend or neighbor? Fill a mason jar with the dry ingredients for cookies, putting the ingredients in one at a time to make layers. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar with an index card listing the baking instructions and additional ingredients needed.

14. Solar Light Mason Jars

Light up your porch or deck by making lanterns out of mason jars and dollar store solar lights. See a full tutorial at U Create.

What can you make with mason jars? Head over to your local Deseret Industries to stock up on jars. Email us your creations at blog@deseretindustries.org, or share using #DeseretIndustries.