Our garage shelves have slowly been filling up with empty food jars from Paul’s pickle addiction, spaghetti sauces, and my own indulgence: roasted sweet peppers. Many of the jars are filled with random nuts, screws, and bolts but the others are just sitting there, full of potential. Adding to this empty jar collection are several jar candles hanging around the house with soot-coated rims and an annoyingly small amount of wax stuck to the bottoms. It seems like such a waste to just recycle them, but I haven’t given much thought to what else we could do until a bad cold over the last few days gave me the time to indulge my crafty side. In between lying on the couch, going to the Laundromat (you read that right—the control board on our new washing machine died) and washing dishes (did I mention that our dishwasher died as well?), I took the time to research lots of ideas for used jars and also to recreate a few in our home (photos below).
Note: Though some people seem to not make a distinction, I would recommend not using old candle jars for food-related repurposing.
- Make some trendy desserts-in-a-Jar including Salted Jar Mason Cheesecakes, Martha’s mini-cheesecake jars, tiramisu in a jar, and worms in dirt
- Create a Piggy Bank with a specific purpose, or to keep in the laundry room to collect loose change
- Use for a sand art project with kids
- Make a dish or hand soap holder
- Use to make glass jar pumpkin decorations and glass ghouls for Halloween
- Use to hold collected restaurant matchbooks
- Fill a mason jar with writer prompts and create a Writer’s Block Jar
- Q-tip/cotton ball holder for your bathroom
- Fill with homemade body scrub (for yourself, a guest bath, or as gifts!)
- Create money Jars for budgeting
- Use for making your own jar candles
- Fill with candy
- Fill with marbles or stones for decoration
- Make hanging jar candle holders for your backyard (this gives a second life to wire hangers as well!); here’s another way to make the hanging jar candle holders (by the way, the Pottery Barn is currently selling these for $7.50 each)
Have you found uses for your old food and candle jars? I’d love to hear more!