Pasta, oh pasta. How I love you so — Okay, let’s get real. I can’t cook. My boyfriend is the total chef of the relationship. Even then, we wouldn’t dare attempt to make our own pasta sauces or pesto sauce (I think I speak for both of us when I say that we value easy over homemade). And because of my obsession with little glass jars, we probably never will.
Have any of you ever realized that the pasta aisle is like a gold mine of mason jars in all different shapes and sizes? Free mason jars with dinner, people! This also applies to salsa jars, some jelly jars, etc.
Basically, if it doesn’t have the name of the food brand on it, I keep it. I also keep old candle containers from Bath & Body Works and Yankee Candle, because let’s be real… It’s the same. I’m a complete freak and will actually take the jar out of the trash if my boyfriend accidentally throws one away.
These jars are so easy to clean. Run them under hot water and all of the stuck on food inside will come right out. If it’s an old candle jar, stick it in the freezer for a day. When you remove it, you’ll be able to pop the leftover frozen wax right out into the trashcan.
When it comes to the labels on the outside, all you need is a rough dish sponge (or ideally one of the bristled dish scrubbers) and some dish soap. Put those muscles to work! The actual label on sauce or condiment jars will start to rub right off (candle jar labels can be pulled off easily), leaving the sticky glue layer underneath. Put a little more elbow grease and dish soap into it, and that glue will come right off too.
I have had one or two jars require a little razor blade to scrape some extra glue off. But I promise you it’s worth putting in a little love! UNTIL you get a nice pile of jars going… then just toss that sh*t if it gives you too much trouble. But it’s worth getting a decent amount of different shapes and sizes because I find SO many uses for them.
Recently, my mom even sent me a text saying “I’ve started saving mason jars from pasta sauces!” I quickly responded by sending her a photo of my own collection so that I could brag about how ahead of the game I am. Of course, this was after I got a good giggle about how the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…
Here are 12 ways that I use these free jars around my home:
1. Flower vases
SERIOUSLY does it get any prettier? When I get flowers, I tend to separate them up into at least 3 different jars so that I can scatter them around my home. I like to enjoy my flowers from more than one room. Plus, flowers are so much easier to place throughout my home when they are in small bunches instead of big bouquets.
2. Kitchen storage
Mason jars can be used in the kitchen to hold cooking tools, spice mixtures, snacks, candy, coffee, flour, sugar, etc. The list can go on. This also leaves you room to get creative and label your jars. My favorite way to label them is to use chalkboard spray paint on the lids. This way lets you change the label easily when you want to put something new in the jar, and it’s just a fun DIY.
3. Bathroom storage
In my bathroom, I use two mini jars from old candles that I keep sitting on next to our sink — one holds q-tips and the other holds cotton balls for my witch hazel toner (which is amazing + cheaper here than anywhere else).
These mini jars are the PERFECT size to fit into a medicine cabinet, on top of the counter, etc. They work well for me because I don’t have a lot of counter space. If you have a larger space then you might consider using a larger jar that actually gives off a more decorative statement, and holds more for storage.
4. Sewing essentials kit
I used a mason jar with a lid to create a mini sewing kit that just includes all of the basic essentials one might need for slight alterations or minor fixes. I keep it in my hall closet so that it’s easy to grab if I need to mend something. Although, it’s SO cute I would absolutely love to just use it for decoration on my dresser).
5. Writing utensil holder
I use an old salsa jar to hold my pens and pencils, just because the height is perfect. If the jar is too tall, you won’t be able to get your pens or pencils out easily.
6. Tea light holders
THAT GLOW. I love putting tea lights into smaller jars because it’s so pretty and so convenient. It’s something simple that I can arrange quickly, and yet it looks like it could be a set that you would buy from the store.
7. Holiday decor
I use these jars for all holiday decor. Mainly because I’m so simplistic when it comes to decorating for the holidays. I use them to hold fall flowers or Halloween candies during October and November. When December rolls around, I fill just about every spare jar I own with tree trimmings and scatter them throughout the house. I also use them to hold candy canes. You can even paint these jars to fit in with fall or winter decor. But, I digress (more on that later this year when you will actually care about holiday decorations).
8. Storage for collectables
Currently, I have jars throughout my home holding shells that my boyfriend and I have gathered from the beach, and one holding dried roses that he got me on the night that we started dating (barf, I know).
9. Spare change containers
My boyfriend and I both put all of our change into mason jars. Once they’re full, we take them in and get it all counted for cash. It’s an easy way to save for a goal because you can see your progress with filling it up, and it’s a cute way to do it too.
If you’re looking for a simple and pretty way to dress up your table setting in your everyday dining room or at your latest party, then you can use these jars for centerpieces. I like to use three of them of all different sizes on our dining table. I usually put a few simple flowers or candles in them. It’s amazing how quickly they can dress up a space.
11. Mini gift jars
Whether it be beauty essentials, bath scrubs, brownie mix in a jar, a cocktail kit, or candy… You can put just about all of this is a mason jar, tie it with a cute string, add a gift tag, and call it a day.
I use the jars to dress up some iced coffee or a cocktail or some simple iced tea and lemonade. It’s just a little touch that you can include for a guest, or for a photo to post on your instagram, blog, or Pinterest.
There you have it! SO MANY USES for these FREE jars that most of you already have in your pantry or refrigerator. Repurpose, people! Always repurpose — especially when there are this many ways to do it. I’ve given you 12 ideas. Do you have any more creative ideas to share?
Follow me on Pinterest for more repurposing ideas like this one! You’ll also find pins related to ALL of the ideas that I have in this post.
Decor is great. But check out this post on how and why to keep it minimalistic!