Upcycle Glass Jars Around the House

May 23, 2012 View all articles in Re-Use-It

You don't have to be into canning or jam-making to have a few spare glass jars sitting around the house. Anyone who buys foods like pitted olives or chunky peanut-butter knows how quickly the recycling bin out back can fill up with leftover glass bottles. Rather than getting rid of all that extra glass, try rinsing them out for a little clever repurposing around the house.

RE-USING GLASS JAR SUGGESTIONS

Cookies in a Jar: If you're on a budget and need a quick gift for a friend, consider recycling that glass jar and using to a quick and simple cookie recipe. Simply measure out the correct amount of flower, sugar, salt, and other dry goods into the jar one layer at a time. Screw on the lid and tape the complete recipe to the outside for quick reference. For a touch of pizazz, tie or glue a colorful ribbon or square of scrap cloth to the lid.

Toilet Dam: If you want to use less water each time you flush the toilet but don't want to hassle with a dual-flush system, fill that old jar with liquid, screw on the lid, and carefully drop the jar into the tank behind the toilet bowl. The filled jar will act as a space-filler (or dam) and cause the toilet to use less water each time it fills up (and empties) the tank.

Candle Jars: If you've got old candles sitting around the house gathering dust, consider melting down the leftovers and pouring them into a glass jar. You will need to carefully place a new wick in the center of the jar as your pour. If you want to add variety to your new candle jar, try pouring one kind of wax in the bottom, a second in the middle, and a third on the top. To hold the wick in place while you pour tie the wick to a pencil on the top of the jar and trim the wick once the candle wax is cooled.

Travel Cups: In a hurry and need a place to pour that soup, coffee, or tea? Try taking your food along with you in a “to-go” jar. Don't forget to securely screw the lid on!

Screw/Nail Holders: Household repairmen like this trick: nail or screw the lid of any glass jar, threaded-side down, to the underside of a shelf. Fill the jar with miscellaneous screws and nails or other small supplies and then screw the jar up and into the threaded lid. Create an entire row of hanging glass jar organizers and discover you can actually get that toolbox cleaned out once and for all!

Craft Storage: If the kids have more crayons, markers, and/or paintbrushes than they know what to do with, consider storing their drawing and craft supplies in an unused glass jar. Small jam jars make the best crayon holders, while larger fruit and veggie canning jars are great for holding color pencils and paintbrushes. Keep everything stored within easy reach for the little artists in your house and encourage them to pick up after themselves when they are done. Instant craft cupboard organization.

Pathway Lights: Late evening BBQs are lots of fun, and to keep your guests from stubbing their toes on your sidewalk while chowing down on your famous pork chops, place some glass jar lantern lights along the walkways to provide a little more visibility. Fill the bottom of a glass jar with about 2 inches of white sand and place a small candle or LED light on the top to create instant light and atmosphere.

Herb Garden: Glass jars make great little herb gardens. Fill up any medium-to-large sized glass jar with potting soil, plant your herb of choice, water when needed, and watch your indoor portable garden grow. Glass jar herb gardens make for great window decorations and look fantastic on the kitchen table too.

Soap Dispenser: A great DIY project involves upcycling any old glass jar with a lid into a handy bathroom soap dispenser. You will need to drill a hole in the lid, insert a soap pump (reclaimed from an empty soap dispenser) and glue the pump in place. Next you can decorate the jar any way you please and then fill it up with organic hand soap or hand sanitizer. Instantly you'll have a great little project worth showing off to your friends.

Kids Crafts: Kids love to draw, paint, and decorate projects around the house. If you've got a few extra glass jars around the house, let them cover the jars with paint and stickers. If you've got a hot glue gun and a little extra time, help them glue on sticks, plastic flowers, or other found objects to the outside of the jar. Your children will have a great time decorating their project plus they'll end up with something to give their teacher the next day. Bonus: fill the newly decorated craft jars with candy or gift cards the next time Teacher Appreciation day rolls around.

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