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Ways to Use and Decorate With Mason Jars in the Kitchen: Fun Easy Ideas and Tutorials
Mason jars are all the rage these days. From food storage to herb containers to soap dispensers, there are a wide range of decorative and functional ways to use mason jars in your kitchen without breaking the bank. Whether you have a massive collection of Ball jars or you're just starting to explore décor or storage options for your kitchen, mason jar projects are a great option.
I used this set of blue Ball jars for my floral display.
Where can I find mason jars?
If you don't have mason jars on hand and are interested in using them in your kitchen, check one or more of the following places.
- Big box stores. Most big box stores have canning jars in their kitchen sections. During spring and summer, you may also find them in a seasonal canning display.
- Big box craft stores. As mason jars are so popular right now, it's not hard to find them at major craft stores. Look in the glass section where you find vases and other jars.
- Thrift / secondhand stores. If you're in the market for mason jars and you go to thrift or secondhand stores on a regular basis, check the kitchen section for jars.
- Amazon and eBay. Both Amazon and eBay have single jars and sets of jars available. If you're interested in a specific type of jar, such as wide mouth jars or blue jars, shopping one of these sites may be your best bet.
- Garage sales / Craigslist. Garage sales and Craigslist are very hit or miss for specific items like Ball jars. However, if you keep your eyes open, you may be able to find some for next to nothing.
Flower Arranging - Simple Mason Jar Centerpiece
Vases for fake or real flowers
Recently I made my own kitchen display with assorted clear and blue glassware, including mason jars, and fake flowers. I featured it in the first five photos above. If you want to make a display of this nature, you can decide which types of glassware you'd like to use and whether you want to display real or fake flowers. I opted for fake because I'm not much of a gardener, and I'm always paranoid that my cats are going to eat indoor plants and get sick. The possibilities for this type of display are endless because there are so many kinds of glassware and fake flowers. It isn't hard to match your display to your existing kitchen scheme.
Storage ideas for your FOOD STORAGE - part 2 Great for PREPPERS!
Storage / dispensers
- Food / spices. You can use mason jars for storing virtually anything from staple ingredients to snack mixes to pre-made lunches for work. Many people also like to use them as spice storage. Self Reliant School has some great information about food storage. There lots of options for labeling your mason jars including chalkboard labels or chalkboard paint and decal transfers.
- Utensils. Do you like to keep frequently used utensils out on the counter? Being able to grab them as needed can make food prep go more smoothly. A mason jar provides an elegant and compact yet practical storage solution. If you're looking for utensil storage inspiration, check out homedit.
- Soap. A mason jar soap dispenser is a fun way to add a rustic / country touch to a kitchen. As long as you have the right components, this project comes together in mere minutes. Liz of Love Grows Wild shares two different tutorials for soap dispensers.
- Salt shaker. There are two ways to make a mason jar salt shaker. The first is to poke holes in the top of a lid. See an example at The 36th Avenue. The second is to fit the lid with the spout from an old salt shaker. Check it out at Listotic. You can apply this shaker concept to other spices as well.
- Matches. A mason jar with a striker on the top is such a simple idea. If you cook outdoors on a regular basis and/or like to light candles around the house, it's so great to be able to take the matches and the striker with you in one durable container. Some people use the matchbox itself for the striker (see A Foothill Home Companion) while other people use sandpaper (see 17 Apart).
How To Make A Mason Jar Planter : Budget Savvy Diva
More kitchen mason jar options
- Growing herbs / small plants. For many people, growing herbs in the kitchen is convenient. They can pick the herbs that they need when they need them, and they don't have to worry about transferring them indoors and outdoors for different seasons. If you're sold on the idea of growing herbs or other small plants indoors year round, you may want to think about installing mounted planters to save on counter space. The biggest key for growing herbs successfully is following the directions on the seed packages. Pick up a few additional tips from Amber of Averie Lane and get mounting instructions from Stacy of Not Just a Housewife.
- Backsplash mosaic. Using broken mason jars to make a mosaic for your kitchen is time consuming but produces a beautiful, one of a kind aesthetic that you'll enjoy for years to come. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 for the backsplash tutorial from Sawdust & Embryos. She installed her backsplash in a bathroom, but the process is exactly the same for a kitchen.
- Lighting. People use mason jars for lighting with regular sized incandescent bulbs as well as smaller light bulbs and candles. It's up to you to determine which type of lighting will best fit your existing space. If you'd like to make Geneva Vanderzeil's hanging lights with rope embellishment as pictured above, check out her step by step photos on A Pair & A Spare. Kathy at Decorating Your Small Space also has a great round up of mason jar lighting ideas.
- Travel mug. The Original Cuppow is the product of choice for turning a mason jar into a travel mug these days. If you simply want a top with a straw opening, tops with holes are also available for purchase (search "mason jar straw lid") or you can alter an existing top. Charlene of My Frugal Adventures has a tutorial for the lids while Tasha of A Little Sweetness shares a simple, temporary covering idea for parties.
Mason jar accessories and other décor
If you're going with a mason jar theme for your kitchen, you may want to think about adding other accessories and décor that don't necessarily feature actual mason jars. For example, a photo series of vintage Ball jars above the sink or a set of mason jar measuring spoons can be a great addition to the room.
- Etsy. There are hundreds of mason jar wall art pieces available on Etsy including photographs, graphic illustrations, watercolors, oil paintings, and more. Many of the prints are offered as downloads, which means that you can purchase and print them at home, often for $10 or less.
- World Market. Currently World Market sells mason jar cookie jars, small and large vases, measuring spoons, measuring cups, utensil crocks, and spoon rests. [Note: Stock last checked February 2015. Availability is subject to change at any time without notice.]
- Towels. Debbie of Confessions of a Plate Addict has a simple tutorial for mason jar tea towels using iron-on transfer paper and flour sack kitchen towels. You can also purchase mason jar towels from The Coin Laundry via Scout Mob.
Shelves vs. mounting
You may have noticed in the above examples of mason jars in the kitchen that some people use shelving to display their jars while other people use mounting (i.e. wall mounting for flower containers, ceiling or wall mounting for lighting). It's up to you to determine what makes the most sense for your particular project and your kitchen layout. For example, if you don't have a lot of available wall space for mounting, it may be better to purchase a small set of shelves that can sit on the floor.
More mason jar articles from the author.
- Practical Uses and Ideas for Mason Jars
There are so many possibilities for mason jars beyond making pretty decorations! Use them for storage, lighting, party favors, planting, gifts, and much more.
- Valentine's Day Gift Ideas: Mason Jar Craft Projects and Food Presents
This year think about giving homemade mason jar gifts to significant others, classmates, teachers, friends, and extended family. Give candy, homemade snacks or desserts, flowers, candles, and more!
© 2015 Rose Clearfield