Mason Jar Madness
Repurposing and Upcycling Ideas
Mason jars have been around for over 100 years, and they were originally used for canning and preserving food. Over the past few decades, however, the uses for these versatile jars have taken a creative spin. From gift containers to wedding decorations, Mason jars are on thousands of Pinterest boards for one reason or another. I have compiled a list of common and creative uses for these versatile jars and have broken these down into four categories: recipes, gardens, gifts, and crafts. I have also included some DIYs you can try each of them out!
Recipes in a Jar
Let’s start with recipes. Because Mason jars were originally designed to preserve food, it makes them the perfect lunch container. You can use Mason jars to package your favorite salads and yogurt cups. This makes them easy to transport to work, and they stay fresh in the office refrigerator. You can also use them for other foods, like cookie ingredients, to give as gifts or individual desserts and truffles to serve at parties. Try one of these three fun recipes.
Chopped Chicken Salad
Dressing of choice
Diced red onion
Chopped grilled chicken
lettuce or other greens
Instructions: Layer the ingredients in your Mason jar in the order listed, with the dressing on the bottom and the greens on top.
Notes: Make any salad you want! The key is to keep the dressing and wet ingredients on the bottom. The salad will stay fresh in the Mason jar for three or four days.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions: Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Place this mixture as the bottom layer in your quart-sized Mason jar, followed by the brown sugar, sugar, and chocolate chips. Seal the top and add a tag with the baking instructions. The instructions should include the following details: combine the ingredients with 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1.5 sticks of butter; bake at 375°F for 9–11 minutes.
Notes: Layer the dry ingredients from your favorite cookie recipe. On your gift tag, be sure to note which wet ingredients are needed and include the baking instructions. Tie it with a ribbon to fit the occasion. These make great gifts for teachers, neighbors, and friends.
Yogurt and Fruit Cups
Large container of vanilla yogurt or Greek yogurt
Instructions: Layer the ingredients in 4-ounce Mason jars.
Notes: You can store these in the refrigerator for a convenient breakfast or an after-school snack that the kids can easily grab.
Mason Jar Gardens
Mason jar gardens are both beautiful and stylish. You can make terrariums or grow succulents and fresh tabletop herbs. To make your own Mason jar herb gardens, use a large Mason jar. If possible, plant herbs in an early stage so they have room to grow two to three times bigger. Plant them with organic potting soil. Herbs such as rosemary, sage, and dill like direct sun, do not need a lot of watering, and prefer to be deep watered when a bit dry. Herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley like to be kept moist, but they don’t like overwatering or direct sun.
Mason jar succulents are great for your patio or as gifts. To plant succulents, mix potting soil and gravel with your hands. In the jar, put down a layer of the soil and gravel, place the plant in the soil mixture, and then cover the top of the dirt with more gravel or pebbles. Succulents are low-maintenance, and they thrive in Mason jars with little care.
Mason Jar Gifts
Mason jars are the perfect gift-wrapping container for so many things. Gifts in a jar can include spa kits, teacher survival kits, candies, body scrubs, movie tickets, and much more. Pick a theme to fit your recipient. For example, to make a spa gift kit, you can include nail polish, cuticle pusher, cuticle nippers, a nail file, nail clippers, tweezers, cotton balls, travel-sized lotions and body wash, and lip balm. You can also turn a jar into a candy Mason jar. To do this, drill a hole in the center of the Mason jar lid and insert a decorative drawer knob. Fill the jar with candy.
Mason Jar Crafts
Mason jar crafts are limitless. You can paint Mason jars, stencil them, and drill into them. You can turn them into lanterns and lights or even wine glasses and soap dispensers. For the holidays, you can paint them a patriotic red, white, and blue or white, yellow, and orange to turn them into candy corn for Halloween. Here are three of my favorite projects that you can do in a jiffy.
Make a Gold Glittered Vase
Mason jars, metallic spray paint
Glitter spray paint
Instructions: Place Mason jars upside down on newspaper in a well-ventilated
area and spray paint them gold. Once they are dry, use painter’s tape and newspaper
to tape off the area you want to be glittered. Spray paint the jars with glitter
spray paint. Allow the jars to dry, and place fresh flowers inside.
Mason Jar Soap Dispenser
Instructions: Drill a hole in the center of the Mason jar lid large enough to
fit your soap dispenser and insert the dispenser. Fill your jar with your favorite
liquid soap or dishwashing soap, and screw the lid on tightly.
DIY Mason Jar Chandelier
Using twine, hang the stick horizontally in the desired area. Cut three pieces of twine.
Wrap one around under the lip of the jar and use double up the other two and tie them to
the stick. Fill each jar with pebbles, and place a tea light on top.
As you can see, the repurposing and upcycling possibilities for Mason jars are exciting and numerous! I hope these ideas inspire you to put your own creative spin on the timeless canning jar.