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19 Surprising Ways to Reuse a Mason Jar

Solve your kitchen conundrums and household needs with these Mason jar hacks. 

Whether you made jam as to give away to friends or bought pickles at a farmer’s market, you’ve probably got unused Mason jars filling up your kitchen cabinets. Glass Mason jars, especially those with a large mouth, wide rim, and tight-sealing, screw-on lid, can be handy helpers around the house. Read on to learn the creative, space-saving, and beautiful ways Mason jars can save the day. 

1. Transport food with ease

Mason jars have a tight lid, making it easy to pack soups, salads, and desserts to-go without fear of spilling. Upgrade lunch from a microwaved disposable cup of noodles to homemade miso soup that’s ready to eat just by stirring in hot water. Save glass jars for grown-ups — unbreakable jars are still best for kids

2. Give the gift of good taste

For an inexpensive but unforgettable gift, layer ingredients for the recipient’s favorite baked good inside a Mason jar and attach a hand-written recipe. For beer-lovers, you can’t go wrong with garlic-ranch beer bread jars and a few bottles of their favorite brew

3. Light the night and help set the mood

Fill a clean, empty Mason jar with a string of LED lights for a warm glow and easy ambiance at your next dinner party. This is especially effective if you’re eating al fresco. Switch up the colors to the lights for holidays or special occasions.

4. Upgrade your soap dispenser

Cut a hole in the center of the metal lid and insert the pump from a regular bottle of hand soap. Glue the pump securely in place, then fill the jar with your favorite liquid soap. If desired, paint the jar white and use sandpaper to gently wear away the paint in a few spots for a vintage look. 

5. Shake up holiday fun with a DIY snow globe

Kids can help make their own customized snow globe with a handful of supplies and the help of a grownup. Use waterproof glue or epoxy to attach a small figurine or toy to the bottom of the lid. Once dry, fill the jar with water, glitter, and a few drops of glycerin (which suspends the glitter in the liquid). Glue together both pieces of the lid, then glue the lid to the jar and allow it to dry completely. 

6. Create a customized candle holder

Decorate the outside of your Mason jar with paint, ribbon, or colored paper, or leave plain for a simpler look, and place a small candle inside for an eye-catching candle holder that won’t leave any messy wax on the table. Safety tip: Never put the lid on the jar while the candle is burning and always extinguish if you’re leaving it unattended.

7. Add a decorative matchstick holder to go with your candles

Fill a small Mason jar with wooden matches, then cut and glue the striker from the box onto the lid for a practical and ornamental addition to the mantle. 

8. Wake up to a nutritious, whole grain breakfast

A Mason jar is the perfect vessel for a single serving of overnight oats. Simply combine all the ingredients, and let the fridge do most of the work for a dose of deliciousness you can grab and go. 

9. Grow a plant, even if you don’t have a green thumb

Glass jars are perfect for creating a mess-free terrarium. Start with a potted plant that’s small enough to fit completely inside the jar. Dampen the soil, then remove the entire plant, including the roots, from its original container (make sure there is still a layer of soil attached). Press the roots and soil firmly onto the bottom of the jar’s lid, then carefully cover with the jar and seal tightly (the jar will be upside down, with the lid and plant on the bottom). The soil should stay moist enough to keep the plant healthy for weeks without watering.

10. Store without stress

Tightly sealing Mason jars keep foods like pasta, beans, and grains fresher longer without the risk of spilling from a torn package (this works best with larger jars). They’re also handy for keeping nails, screws, and other small hardware neatly contained and easy to find. Up your storage game further by attaching magnetic strips or Mason jar racks to the underside of cabinets or shelves to save space while keeping things accessible.

11. Enjoy freshly squeezed juice

If fresh OJ is your favorite way to start the day, consider adding a Mason jar juicer to your morning routine. A detachable juicer that screws onto the jar (available in home goods stores and online) makes quick work of juicing citrus without the need to transfer it to a separate container. 

13. Decorate your table with style

The possibilities are endless for incorporating Mason jars into a thoughtful tablescape for parties or just a special dinner with your family. Label individual jars with guests’ names and set them at each place to assign seating with a reusable souvenir they can take home. If you’ve got kids on your guest list (or anyone with a sweet tooth), Mason jars filled with candy are a whimsical way to serve dessert that doubles as a thank-you-for-coming gift.

14. Beautify your bathroom

Corral clutter on bathroom countertops and shelves by storing items in Mason jars. This works for small items, such as cotton balls or bath beads, and larger items like toothbrushes, combs, and cosmetic brushes.

15. Bake up a miniature pie

Switch things up at the bake sale by whipping up a batch of individually portioned pies. Use the Mason jar lid to cut out mini circles of pie crust. Then, spray Mason jar lids with nonstick baking spray and fill with your pie filling. Top them off with your mini crust and bake! 

16. Chill out with a cup of cold brew coffee

Skip the line at the pricy coffee shop with this hack for making cold brew at home. Place coffee grounds and cold water in a Mason jar, then cover the opening with cheesecloth and secure it tightly with a rubber band. Seal the lid over the cheesecloth and allow it to steep for 12 hours for perfectly concentrated coffee. When ready, pour the coffee through the cheesecloth to strain out the coffee grinds. 

17. Shake up a cocktail

If it’s time to party, but you find yourself without a cocktail shaker, fear not. A glass Mason jar works just as well as a fancy shaker; simply pour in your ingredients, add ice, and mix up some magic.

18. Put pencils in their place

Mason jars are a no-brainer for maintaining a tidy workspace. Use them to keep pencils, markers, and other school or office supplies neat and easily accessible. Mason jars also make great containers for art supplies, like paint brushes and rubber stamps, and their wide mouths make it easy for little hands to help put things away.

19. Organize sewing and knitting supplies

Glass jars are ideal for keeping needles, buttons, and other small sewing supplies separated and neatly organized. If you have yards of yarn in need of organization, start with a clean Mason jar and poke a hole in the lid. Place individual yarn balls inside each jar and pull the end through the hole for an easy yarn dispenser that won’t leave you in a tangled mess.

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