Jar crafts: How to reuse your old jam jars

Read on for mason jar crafts and jar decoration ideas to upcycle old jars for your home and gifts.

Updated 8 July 2019

Mason jar crafts and containers sitting on a shelf with dried foods

Key steps

  • Always clean old jars before upcycling them.
  • Turn old jars into gifts such as layered cakes and drink mixes.
  • Use old jars around the house to organise pencils, pens, make-up brushes and more.
  • Turn an old jar into a hanging planter.
  • Use jars to organise your herb and spice collection.

Looking for uses for your used jam jars? Before throwing them in the recycling, why not try out some jar crafts, gifts in a jar or other creative ideas for glass jars around the house! Here you can find some out our top mason jar crafts and jar decoration ideas to have you upcycling old jars like a pro.

Before you start on your mason jar crafts and gift ideas, it is important to thoroughly clean it out using good quality products such as Persil washing-up liquid.

Top three gifts in a glass jar ideas

From the perfect mason jar décor to filling glass jars with all kinds of sweet treats, these five gift ideas are a great way to upcycle your old glassware to create ideal gifts in a jar.

1. Ready to bake mix

One of the best glass jar ideas to give as a gift is to add layers of ingredients to create a baking mix. Whether it is for a mug cake, a batch of cookies or more, layer each ingredient into the jar (for example, flour, cocoa powder, sugar etc.) to create a gift that looks great and will taste great when done. Simply add a pretty bow and a tag explaining the basic instructions for baking (for example oven temperature, baking time and more.)

2. Ready to eat cake in a jar

If you don’t fancy giving them the ingredients to bake up their own treat, why not bake it first and layer the ingredients into the jar to make a jar cake. It’s the perfect alternative to the naked cake as you will be able to see each layer through the side of the jar.

3. Warm drink mix with a tipple

If you’re looking for a gift ideal for colder days, this is the one to choose! Fill up the jar with a mix of ingredients to great the perfect warming drink. For example, why not layer up drinking chocolate powder, sugar, marshmallows and/or chocolate chips. Add a pretty ribbon to the side and tie on a miniature bottle of the recipient’s favourite tipple to add a little something extra to the gift (and the drink they make!)

Mason jar décor and uses around the house

Making gifts for friends and family is not the only way to reuse your old jars. With these glass jar ideas you can make a variety of different useful products for around the home. You will need:

  • Old jam or mason jars (thoroughly cleaned)
  • PVA glue and papier mache paper
  • Paint
  • Ribbon
  • Coloured or patterned material
  • String or twine

Try using the above supplies to make one of the following upcycled products:

1. A hanging planter

After carefully drilling a hole in either side of your jar and attaching twine or string, you can add soil and small plants to create a cute hanging planter. To add a little something extra, decorate the jar with coloured material, ribbons and more. Alternatively, leave it bare and allow the roots and soil to be seen through the transparent glass.

2. A pencil pot or make-up brush holder

Whether you’re after a unique addition to your office to keep things organised, or want a pretty place to store your make-up brushes on your dressing table; a decorated mason or jam jar is just the thing you need. Jar decoration ideas could range from painted patterns to pretty crêpe paper, to stamp your own personal touch to your jar and match the room décor.

3. Herb and spice collection

If you are keen on using herbs and spices in your cooking, it is often cheaper to buy in bulk. Keep your herbs and spices organised in old jam or mason jars, decorated and labelled for each.

With these creative ideas for glass jars you can now upcycle your old jars in quick and easy ways. So next time you have any empty jar, don’t recycle it; upcycle it!

Originally published 3 July 2019