We all know that mason jars are super hip in home decor right now, but what about jars in general? Because jars come in all shapes an sizes, not just the classic mason style, and chances are that if you buy peanut butter, spices, jams, and much more, you have some old glass jars floating around. Sure, you could put them in the recycling, but that's not really how we roll here at Networx, where the "reuse" part of "reduce, reuse, recycle" is taken extremely seriously.
Without further ado, 11 uses for jars:
1. Food preservation
Mason jars aren't the only ones that can be used for home canning. A word of caution, though: your jars need to be airtight for food safety. If they aren't, harmful bacteria could colonise your food, and that might make someone very sick.
2. Wind-Safe Votive Holders
If you want to light candles outside, do it in a jar. Make sure you use a heat-tested glass that can handle the warmth (candles get surprisingly hot!) and place it in a stable location (or hang it from a sturdy chain). The glass will prevent a blowout, and it will also reduce the risk of fire.
3. Planters and terrariums
For this one, you're going to need to be able to drill through the bottom of the jar to create drainage. If you're not comfortable working with glass, contact a handyman and ask for help. Jars make great planters for those of us who like to watch roots grow, and want to have something a little funky and offbeat to display plants in!
You can also use jars to make a terrarium, if you love creating encapsulated little worlds!
4. Sewing kit
This is a brilliant project from a PopSugar member: keep sewing supplies in the jar, and turn the lid into a pincushion! It's super cute, and it's also easy to keep track of what you have inside thanks to the transparent glass.
5. Baking and cooking kits
If you can't give the gift of homemade food, consider a recipe in a jar. Give away little jars filled with spice mixes as wedding favors, make a scone mix in a jar, and more. They're great presents for friends, and they provide an excellent new lease on life for old jars.
6. Storage for spices and bulk items
An obvious use for old jars, but one that bears another look! You can use chalkboard paint to cover the lids of old jars so you don't have to look at a jumble of factory-etched labels, and you'll have a spice drawer that's easier to manage and organize. While old jars may not have the convenience of spice jars in matching sizes and shapes, you can use that to your advantage in a rustic spice rack or display.
Need I say more? Not a pie fan? How about cheesecake?
8. Natural room scents
Want fresh, sweet, interesting smells in the house without artificial scents or harsh chemicals? These natural room scents reuse jars in a creative way!
9. Seed Storage
Want to keep track of your seeds and make sure they don't wander away? Use jars for seed storage -- but keep them in a cool dry place so they don't accidentally cook or get any wayward ideas about sprouting!
Speaking of which, jars are perfect for sprouting so you can have fresh sprouts to use on salads and sandwiches and in stir fries. Want some tips on sprouting at home?
11. Craft, hardware, and other small object organizing
Recycled jars are a lifesaver in your DIY carpentry workshop and craft room, where they can tame sloppy messes of random items. Use jars to separate different kinds of screws and nails, keep yarn and twine coiled (punch a small hole in the life to create a yarn dispenser!), and more.
Katie Marks writes for Networx.com.