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By the author of the FREE online course Growing Self-Sufficiency: The Whole Picture
Over the years, I’ve grown to know and love the Frugalite community. I know that many of you save money by canning from your own gardens, nature’s garden (wildcrafting greens), and extra produce bought at rock-bottom prices at harvest time. So, I know that you all have an extra mason jar or two laying around.
I thought it would be fun to collect all of the uses I make of them, along with some Frugalite research, and share all of these with you. I hope you find at least one use that you haven’t thought of before!
1. Mason jar candle holders
The heat resistant quality of mason jars really shines with this use. If you are a candle maker, you could pour your hot wax into the jar around a centered wick. Or, if you have a power outage and find yourself without light, you could put a tea light into a wide mouth jar for a draft proof emergency candle.
2. Organizing hardware
Extra jars can be used to hold extras of every type of screw and nail imaginable for all of your projects. If you are more organized than me, you will sort them and label them. Good for you!
3. Tincturing herbal medicines
Add herbs and vodka. Rinse and repeat. Every summer, I make enough St. John’s Wort tincture for the year in four-pint jars. Once I filter it, I also store it in clean ones.
4. Storing dried roots
Once they are thoroughly dried, I like to store my dried medicinal roots (e.g., dandelion, yellow dock) in mason jars. My roasted dandelion root and chicory root are also stored in smaller jars, just waiting to be ground and brewed. Yum yum!
5. Pest-proof storage of bulk food
Ya, if you live out in the country like I do, you know that mice can get into virtually everything. Except for a mason jar! All my beans, grains, etc. etc. all go into these jars.
6. Soap dispenser
If you have a soap dispenser that breaks, you can convert a mason jar into one. I’m not sure how I feel about that glass in my own bathroom, but it’s up to you!
7. Start plant cuttings
Pour in some water and stick the cutting in. What could be easier? Wait… don’t forget to keep an eye on that water level!
8. Large drinking cup
I found some nice screw on caps for both wide-mouth and small mouth mason jars that even included a straw. Instead of a jar, now you have a handy drinking cup.
9. Water infuser
With another screw on plastic implement, you can put sliced veggies and fruit into the infuser, screw on and voila! you have healthy flavoured water.
10. Salt and pepper shakers
Not too long ago, I found some handy screw on tops for small mason jars that would turn the jars into salt and pepper shakers. If there are no stores after the Apocalypse, you could just MacGyver something up.
11. Use it as a Vase
Not dissimilar from starting cuttings (see above) except you don’t expect your cut flowers to grow
12. Gift wrap for just add water soup
Here are a few recipes for healthy dried soups you can give as gifts. The layering effect makes these look extra cool. Here are no less than 30 recipes. Go soup crazy!
13. Gift wrap for “instant” cookie mix
You could always give the recipients of your soup jar above some dessert! Here are no less than 52 cookie mix in mason jar recipes. I could not even imagine that there could be so many of these. Enjoy!
14. Stylish kitchen utensil holder
Just stick your spatulas in there and rock this countertop beauty!
15. Bake quick breads
Well, I have more of these than I do muffin tins, so why not? Check out this link to see some recipes.
16. Kefir production and storage containers
I use a 3/4 quart jar for my homemade kefir to culture at room temperature (or a bit cooler in the summer!) [LINK: https://thefrugalite.com/homemade-kefir/] and another one to store the completed kefir in my fridge.
17. Mix and pour homemade salad dressing
This always works in a pinch. What I like about using mason jars for all of these different things is that it reduces all of the other “gadgets” that I need to own in my small eco-cabin.
18. Mason jar sewing kit
This would make a thoughtful gift for a seamstress in your life.
19. Sprouting in a mason jar
Many years ago, I had a series of plastic screw on lids for sprouting in mason jars. One had smaller mesh and another had larger mesh. I no longer sprout, as I am concerned about bacteria, but I know many people are happy and healthy doing it.
20. Fermenting fermented salsa
The moment my purple heirloom roma tomatoes are ripe, I’ll be whipping up a batch of this fantastic recipe. Soooooo delicious!
21. A Mason jar herb garden
Putting rocks in the bottom will help with drainage, but do that carefully and gently! This site has a tutorial.
22. DIY bird feeder
The secret to this one is to find the chicken feeder/waterer that will screw on to your mason jar.
23. Turn one into a lamp
What is fun about this project is that you can put decorative items in the jar to showcase them. If I were to wire anything, I would treat it like a candle and never leave it unattended. To make a safer lamp, you could also just stick a battery operated led string light into the jar. Done!
24. Make a funky hanging chandelier
This is a larger project, but the look is absolutely fantastic!
25. Post-apocalyptic oil lamp
This got me really excited! I need to pick up a bunch of 1/8 inch nipples, couplings and washers to make it happen.
26. Make a canning jar match box
The way these are presented, the sand paper could get wet and then it won’t work. If you keep the sand paper inside the jar, then this is a waterproof set up! Check it out here.
27. Terrarium in a Mason jar
Everyone seems to like those succulent plants now, so you could throw a couple of those in and you have a nice holiday gift.
28. Travel time capsule
I thought that this was one of the most creative uses of mason jars, and the items to be put in could be selected by children, too.
29. Snow globe
For a funny gift, you could add something in the homemade snow globe that is a personal joke or represents the person you are gifting it to. Here’s a tutorial.
30. Tiki torches
Not unlike the post-apocalyptic lamps above, except these also repel mosquitos (likely best for outdoor use!) We have a guide here.
31. Mason jar dish scrubber
This is a unique use where you make holes in the metal lid of a small mason jar and then hot glue a scrubby to that lid. You can put dish soap in the jar and it will dispense as you scrub. Cool! This is #2 on their list [LINK: https://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/tips/uses-for-mason-jars/ ]
A-Mason uses for your extra mason jar!
Your extra Mason jars might come in handy one day. Could you see yourself trying any of the many uses offered here? Do you have one you can share with us? How do you reuse Mason jars?
Please tell us in the comments section.
Colette is passionate about sharing her knowledge of thrifty living and self-sufficiency. She has developed her skills in self-reliance living in the suburbs, the city, and more recently, on her own Half-Acre Homestead. Colette lived five years completely off-grid and without running water in an eight by 24 foot tiny home while designing and building her own 18 by 24-foot eco-cabin. Her website, Half Acre Homestead is attracting followers from around the world who want to become more self-sufficient. Colette invites you to stop by the Homestead and check out all of the great resources including the practical How To Guides, A Tiny Home Resource Center and her organic gardening stories on her blog. She shares her wholistic model (body/mind/spirit) for achieving self-sufficiency in her Free Course, “Growing Self-Sufficiency: The Whole Picture.” Stop by the Homestead today to register free of charge!