I love Mason Jars. With all of the chemical infused plastics in food packaging and storage containers, I have really come to appreciate the safety, simplicity, and versatility of old school jars.
My husband used to laugh at me because I try to reuse just about everything. He doesn't make fun of me anymore about saving all of the Mason jars as they have proved to be very useful! There is a certain brand of organic pasta sauce, which my family loves, that comes in a large Bell Mason jar. We were using about a jar of sauce a week so I just started stockpiling these empty mason jars... and here are some of the things that I did with them.
- Drinking glasses: Whether you get them free as food packaging (like I did) or you buy a case of 12 for around $10, they make thick and sturdy drinking glasses. We replaced all of our expensive yet thin and flimsy drinking glasses with Mason jars, using the large pasta sauce jars as our big water glasses and the smaller jars from store bought jams as juice glasses. These are the perfect size and virtually indestructible for glass.
- Individual Baking Jars: Did you know that you can bake in Mason jars like you would in a large glass baking pan? And, since they are glass, you can also microwave in them (without their lids). There are a ton of wonderful recipes for baking Mason jar pancakes, Mason jar pies, puddings, cakes, etc. Pretty much anything that you can bake in glass bakeware can be altered to bake beautifully as individual portion sizes in Mason jars!
- Home Decor: Mason jars have a kind of country chic feel about them. You can dress them up or keep them simple. I use them around the house as vases and, depending on the flower arrangement, you can really make them look classy. Try putting dragon's tears, river rocks, or marbles inside to hold the stems. You can also use them to hold candles. Fill the jar up halfway with water and then stick in a floating candle.
- Food storage: Since Mason jars are glass you don't have to worry about chemicals leaching into the food. They also make fantastic storage containers since you can see the contents clearly. Try this great Mason jar salad recipe. Stack them in your cupboards with beans, rice, cereal, etc. Dried good stored in jars can even dress up your kitchen.
- Craft and Tool storage: Crayons, markers, nuts, bolts, paper clips, safety pins, cotton balls, glitter, bobby pins, makeup brushes... you name it. They hold it. If you want to dress them up a bit, you can spray the inside of the jar with paint.
- Planters: You can use them as starter planters or as pots for small plants. Just make sure not to overwater as there is no drainage.
- Soap Dispenser: Add a soap pump to the lid and you have a stylish soap dispenser
- Gifts: You can give lots of creative gifts to people in Mason jars. Make up your own granola, hot chocolate mix, the dry ingredients of pancakes, cake, muffins, cookies, etc. Add a bow and give it away. Then the recipient can reuse the jar too!