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Fun and Practical Ways to Repurpose and Reuse Glass Jars

Crafter, gardener, freelance writer. Experiences include browsing thrift shops, DIY, gardening, cooking, reading, and creating.


A Day Gone By

Reusing glass jars used to be a way of life. Because a lot of dry goods came packaged in glass mason jars, in the 1950's and 60's, glass jars were easy to find and could be reused for storage, canning, freezing and decoration. Plastic storage was just beginning to circulate and was not yet recognized as a problem for our environment. From the mayonnaise in the refrigerator to the milk bottles sitting outside the front door, glass was the packaging product of that era. Coffee, peanut butter, juice and pickles all sold off the store shelves in glass jars. Milk came delivered in glass, jugs were washed and returned to the dairy to be reused over and over again.

My grandmothers and my mother all canned their own vegetables and fruits and sometimes meats too in clean glass jars.These jars, a mixture of repurposed mayonnaise, pickle and apple butter jars sat in the basement in boxes, waiting for the next harvest and their chance to be reused for the family food supply. I remember my mom inspecting the rims of the glass jars each year, checking for chips and nicks that would make the jar unworthy and unsafe to use to "put up" our winter food supply. The size of the jar mouth had to be just right to fit the seals and rings she used to seal the jars.If the fit was right, the jar was a keeper.

Some packagers still sell their tomato sauce in glass jars. Farmer's markets and gift shops frequently sell a label of home canned goods that are packaged in glass jars. I wash and reuse these amazing containers to store my dry goods, Things like nuts, ground coffee, sugar and flour stay fresh for longer periods of time when stored in something other than their original containers. I use glass jars in the kitchen, the bathroom, garage and in my office to store loose items that otherwise would fill a drawer or counter top. Clear glass containers help to get rid of the clutter that takes over many household surfaces. When I empty a gallon of paint, the last few ounces get scraped into a glass jar. I tighten the lid and it takes just a peek to know what color I have for touch up later on.

But they are a beautiful throw back to a vintage style that brings forward an era of the past.



Much of what we used to buy in glass is sold in plastic today. It has become somewhat of a hobby for me to find those vintage items of the past and reuse them today in lots of different ways. I scrutinize every piece of glass before it is sent to the recycling center and consider all the possibilities for a new life for these exceptional containers.

A simple glass jar has become a thing of beauty.

A simple glass jar has become a thing of beauty.

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Dry GoodsHomemade Treats





Instant Mixes



Spaghetti Sauce



Pancake Mix

Dried Fruit


Bread Crumbs


Tea Bags


Cold Drinks

Dried Beans

Fruits and Vegetables



Hair CareBathBeauty


Bath Bombs

Cotton Balls



Nail Polishes


Sugar Scrubs

Lipsticks and Glosses

Clips and Ties

Disposable Razors

Cotton Swabs

Simple Crafting


Store your craft items

Supplies and ToolsThis and ThatLeftover Bits

Paint Brushes

Sea Shells

Fabric Scraps






Silk Flowers

Molding Clay

Safety Pins


Sewing Threads





Essential Oils


Screws and Nails


Great Finds!

Today, I love to rummage through thrift stores and yard sales for these precious treasures of the past. There are lots of remakes on the shelves at Hobby Lobby and Walmart but the old and dusty ones sitting in a box at a garage sale are the real prize.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Patty Poet


Patty Poet (author) from Suffolk, VA on August 15, 2020:

I scrutinize every glass jar before placing in recycling. Can I find a purpose for it? Most of the time, the answer is yes! I love the clarity clear glass gives to my cupboards and storage shelves.

Liza from USA on July 11, 2020:

I think one of the ideas that I've used for repurposing jars is to keep the spices and small craft items. It's easy to see what's inside the glass jar. During summer, I repurpose the mason jars to keep the salsa that I've made. Voted, thanks for sharing these great ideas on how to repurpose the glass jars.

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