Best Reusable Item: Jar

If I had to choose my most valued reusable item, it would have to be jars. Think about all the jars you use: for jam, jelly, pickles, mustard. What to do with them? Here are a few tips:

First, it’s important to learn how to prepare the jars before you use them. Obviously, if you want to keep the label on the jar, that’s fine and you don’t have to do anything. But if you do want the label off so you can design it on your own, you 1) have to  scrub the jar with soapy water and the rough side of a sponge (or something similar) to try and chip off the label by hand. After that, there will most likely still be some label left, so you must 2) put it in the dishwasher. Even after all of that work, there may still be some label left (*NOTE: jar labels vary. Some will be very strong, some come off just after a hand washing. Each jar is different, and it’s good to keep that in mind while cleaning your jar.*) in which case you just repeat the scrub-then-dishwasher process until it comes off. If you don’t want to repeat it, you can just buy one of these:

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(easy to find at Michaels, Staples, or your local craft store)

You can use these to cover up the leftover label parts or sticky residue. Now that you have a (probably) clean jar, here are some things you can do with them:

 


1) Cute Pencil Holder

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These are really fun and adorable pencil holders that are super easy to make. You can also get creative with them! I just put a chalkboard sticker on mine (above), but you can also leave it blank, put on duct tape, draw on it using Sharpies or chalkboard markers, add stickers, and much more.

2) Organize Your Kitchen

You might have seen pantries with Ball jars, or jars filled with salt on a counter. I organized my kitchen using jars, and it not only did it make my kitchen look organized, clean, and cool, it literally saved my life – these jars removed the stress of things spilling on the counter, or all of that plastic being wasted. If you think you might use jars to help organize your kitchen, I would recommend putting chalkboard labels on the jars you use in your kitchen, so you can always change what’s inside them without having to peel off the old label and get a new one. Plus, they look really neat and it gives off a cool-and-collected vibe. Here’s how I used them:

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I typically use them for grains and nuts, but you can also use them as a good old cookie jar, to hold chopped or pickled vegetables, spices, to hold kitchen utensils – the possibilities are endless! Since jars come in tons of different shapes and sizes, don’t have the mindset that one size fits all. Try to use a shape/size that is best for what you are putting into it; say, if you plan on having a cookie jar, you should probably have a jar with a wide mouth so that it is easy to take the cookies in and out of the jar. If you plan on doing this for your kitchen, get creative – there’s a ton you can do with these jars in the kitchen!

3) Plants Meet Cute

I am so disappointed that I didn’t find out about this trend until this week – this is a super useful way to use a jar if you love to garden, cook, or just like plants as decor. You can grow small plants, such as herbs, flowers, make it a flower vase, or use it to store dried herbs (see Jar Use #2). I find that they are awesome for growing herbs (not only useful, but they can really add a pop of green to the room – great to put on the windowsill!) If don’t know much to anything about gardening, visit this AWESOME blog to learn how to grow your plants in your jars. Some images (just to show you how awesome they look!):

 

If you like the idea of the jars on the wall (as displayed in the second image), visit these two blogs to learn how. There are a ton of websites out there that have details on planting with jars, so don’t limit yourself to the links in this post – feel free to do some research to find the best method for you!

4) Drinking Cups

These are a really awesome way to reuse jars. For this, you can either buy it at a store (either one that’s like a mug or one like this). When I did this, I bought both of mine at Michaels, but I am confident that they sell it in other craft stores as well. If you don’t feel like buying or are not aiming for something with a lid, then all you have to do is drink straight out of the jar. No fuss, no need to purchase anything extra, no instructions needed. However, if you do feel that you would like to spruce up your new jar glasses a little bit, you may want to take a look here for tips on how to decorate. You don’t have to limit yourself to what is shown in the video – have fun with paint, spray paint, labels, ribbon, twine, string, stickers, chalk paint markers, and more! This use for a jar is not only easy and useful, but can be fun for the kids to decorate!

5) Recipe In A Jar

This makes an adorable gift for the food lover you know, and is also super convenient if you need to whip up something quickly. It is recommended that your recipe is one for a kind of baked good, because you’re supposed to pour in dry ingredients and attach the recipe on the outside. Here are some ideas:

Pancakes! Or how about…

Tea? Maybe some…

Cocoa? The possibilities are endless! These are awesome for sending to a friend during the holidays, or to just enjoy after a busy day. All in all, recipes in a jar are lifesavers AND look super cute.

Want more? Click here for more uses. Have an idea that’s not on the list? Comment down below and share your ideas with everyone so that people can try it out for themselves. Thank you, and remember to stay creative!

 


Bibliography:

Title Image (Jars): http://b-i.forbesimg.com/sap/files/2013/12/blue-ball-jars.jpg

Instructions For Growing Plants: http://www.gennamarie.com/do-it-yourself-mason-jar-container-gardens/

Jar Garden Image 1: http://www.gennamarie.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Container-Garden-Blog-11.jpg

Jar Garden Image 2: https://thesimplelifewebblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/2b854-lagompink.jpg

Jar Garden Image 3: http://hr0ah34zbrtz43ik40i9ko1c.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/garden5s.jpg

Instructions for Wall Gardens 1: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10325/diy-build-a-mason-jar-herb-garden.html

Instructions for Wall Gardens 2: http://www.notjustahousewife.net/2011/08/mason-jar-wall-planter.html

Jar Glasses Image 1: http://www.michaels.com/ashland-mason-jar-mug-with-lid/10389641.html#start=20

Jar Glasses Image 2: http://putitinajar.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/many_mason_jar_drinking_glasses_with_straws.jpg

Jar Glasses Decorating Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrSBW9T0kWo

Recipe In A Jar (Pancakes): http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/holiday—celebration-recipes/christmas-recipes/recipes-for-gifts-in-a-jar#1

Recipe In A Jar (Chai Tea): http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/holiday—celebration-recipes/christmas-recipes/recipes-for-gifts-in-a-jar#3

Recipe In A Jar (Cocoa): http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/holiday—celebration-recipes/christmas-recipes/recipes-for-gifts-in-a-jar#28

More Uses: http://www.spendwithpennies.com/clever-new-uses-for-mason-jars/

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