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So Many Ways to Repurpose and Reuse Glass Jars

Updated on August 22, 2020
Patty Poet Lajoie profile image

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

A Day Gone By

Reusing glass containers is fun! Growing up in the sixties, lots of things we bought, came in glass mason jars. There was very little plastic at that time. 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.

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.

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 forth an era of the past.

Vintage Blue Glass Decor

In recent years, glass jars have made it onto many DIY lists. From lighting fixtures, flower vases and centerpieces, the simple glass jar has become a thing of beauty and supports minimalist thinking because it is sturdy and reusable.


Much of what we used to buy in glass is sold in plastic today, actually almost all of it. 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.

Mason Jar Drinks

I prefer a thick glass mason jar to drink from. Pint or quart size, repurposed Mason jars are resistant to chips and cracks. Add a reusable straw and you have a container that is both attractive and eco-friendly.

Bring out the Beauty

There are so many uses for repurposed jars. Lighting fixtures can create a soft, warm glow that is both attractive and unique.

A simple glass jar has become a thing of beauty.
A simple glass jar has become a thing of beauty. | Source

Need a vase?

Glass jars make simple, "at your hand" flower vases. Pick out a jar, add a handful of Black-eyed Susans and there you go! Instant beauty!


Kitchen Storage

Anytime I open a plastic bag from the grocery store, like the ones marshmallows or nuts come in, I empty the remaining contents into a glass jar for clear and organized storage.

Dry Goods
Instant Mixes
Spaghetti Sauce
Pancake Mix
Dried Fruit
Bread Crumbs
Tea Bags
Cold Drinks
Dried Beans
Fruits and Vegetables

Bathroom Chic

Recycled jars give the small bathroom some extra storage space. You can use them as a toothbrush holder, to store cotton balls, q-tips, make-up and lots more.

I found this in my daughter's bathroom. Like mother, like daughter!
I found this in my daughter's bathroom. Like mother, like daughter!
Hair Care
Bath Bombs
Cotton Balls
Nail Polishes
Sugar Scrubs
Lipsticks and Glosses
Clips and Ties
Disposable Razors
Cotton Swabs

Simple Crafting


Craft Storage

I like glass because I can look at a glass jar and instantly know what is stored. No need for labels.

Store your craft items

Supplies and Tools
This and That
Leftover Bits
Paint Brushes
Sea Shells
Fabric Scraps
Silk Flowers
Molding Clay
Safety Pins
Sewing Threads
Essential Oils
Screws and Nails

Do you reuse old glass containers?

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    • Patty Poet Lajoie profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Poet 

      11 months ago from Suffolk, VA

      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.

    • lizmalay profile image


      12 months ago from USA

      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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