My first memory of a glass mason jar was my mom preparing and canning apricot jam from the apricots that grew on our backyard tree. I vividly remember her boiling the small mason  jars and lids, preparing the apricot jam, then glueing labels on the jars to give to friends and family. She would purchase the mason jars in cases of 24. That memory sticks with me because it was an annual event that revolved around our apricot tree.

Within the last year or so, my husband and I have become very eco-conscious. We reuse as many items as we can, recycle, and compost our kitchen scraps. Within this awareness that has evolved over time, we noticed that some of our spaghetti sauce jars are Atlas Mason jars, the 24 oz size. Once the label is peeled off and the jar is cleaned, we discovered a ton of uses for these nifty, clear, glass jars. Here are some creative ways to reuse them:

  • Drinking glasses. Years ago, at a BBQ restaurant, I remember being served iced tea in a glass mason jar. I really liked the concept then, and I use my mason jars for drinking glasses now. My husband also mentioned that a bar he used to visit served Bloody Mary’s in mason jars because it will hold a lot of ice and the tall celery stick!
  • Gift jars. Since we are practicing frugal gift giving this year, way beyond what we have practiced in the past. So, I am creating mason jar gifts from recipes I have found online.
  • Pencil holder. The weight of the larger mason jars is perfect for large quantities of pens and pencils, it won’t tip over.
  • Spool of twine or ribbon holder. I had to purchase mason jar Ball lids to complete my gift ideas. If you puncture a hole in the top of the thin, aluminum lid, you can push thread through the hole and use it to dispense twine or ribbon.
  • Spare coin bank. I dump the contents of my purse out about every two weeks, and lo and behold there is, on average, a ton of change at the bottom that rolls out. Mason jars make a great piggy bank for loose coins.
  • Fish Bowl (the large mason jars only). Most fish need an actual aquarium with a pump, but there are some fish that can live in simple fish bowls, like the Beta. These are the colorful fish you find at pet stores in small cups. Our third beta, Gil, recently passed away, he was almost 4 years old. He lived a happy life in a simple fish bowl.
  • Building material. I’ve posted about this before, but there are some up and coming architects, like Phoenix Commotion, that use old glass jars and bottles to create alternatives for windows and walls. Just think, if the bottom of the mason jar was facing the outside of the structure, you could use the inside area as containers to hold things like your mail!
  • Container for just about anything.

I’m sure there are thousands of other uses for mason jars, but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment. Do you have any creative ways you’ve used mason jars?

P.S. I found this article that lists a lot more ideas for Mason Jars, and they are a 125 year-old item! click here.

1 Comment

  1. @George – you can buy a 12-pack of lids at most grocery stores, they’re very inexpensive, usually under $2.00. Then, you can use them for your soup again! Thanks for the comment.

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