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A Jarring Array of Possibilities

What can you do with a Mason jar? More like, "What can't you do with a Mason jar?"

What can you do with a Mason jar, aside from filling it with peaches or pickles or pomegranate preserves? 

A staple in the home canner’s kitchen and the crafter’s workshop, it turns out the clear glass Mason jar’s uses and applications are many. An easier question might be, “What can’t you do with a Mason jar?”

You can find jars in many sizes, shapes and colors, new and vintage, at garage sales, online, even at the grocery store. 

They’re good for preserving your garden’s goodies for the winter, of course, and they make a handy and attractive vase for wildflowers. Mason jars can store leftovers for the freezer (just leave some room at the top so the contents don’t expand and crack the glass). They can be filled with dry goods for pantry storage, and labeled with these free printable Mason jar labels.

There are probably a million more great uses for the simple Mason jar, many of which I’ve featured in past House and Home columns, but here are some of my personal favorites you haven’t yet seen. 

Bathroom tools storage – This inexpensive project is easy enough for just about anyone who knows how to use a hammer. Choose a length of board and stain or paint it to match your room. Wrap pipe clamps around pint-sized jars, then hang them on the board using picture frame hangers. Then fill the jars with toothbrushes, cotton swabs, makeup tools or whatever’s currently cluttering your vanity counter. Another variation on this same project is the indoor herb garden. The process is basically the same, except for what you fill the jars with. And you should probably secure the jars to the board with something more substantial than a picture frame hanger.

Country soap pump – I love the way this would look at my kitchen sink! You could top your Mason jar with a zinc lid, but any old Mason jar lid will do. Poke a hole in the lid, and use needle-nose pliers to peel back the metal to make the hole large enough to fit your pump – which you can repurpose from any other pump bottle. The hole just has to be big enough for the pump, and it doesn’t have to be round or pretty, since you’re going to cover it up. Use hot glue on the inside of the lid to secure the pump to the lid. Trim the straw of the pump if you need to, to make it fit inside the jar. 

Glass jar/candle chandelier – Using a metal cooling rack, jars with wire handle and some twine, suspend jars at random lengths from the rack. Then fill the bottom of each jar with sand to anchor the candle, and use four lengths of twine to hang the chandelier. Another variation uses a spiral design. Make yours using whatever form you’ve got! 

Calm jar – You won’t need a time-out chair when you have one of these! You’ll need a jar, hot water, food coloring, glitter and glitter glue. Mix one tablespoon of glitter glue with a cup of hot water, then add food coloring and glitter. It’ll take about five minutes for all the glitter to settle, just enough time to cool down and gather your thoughts. Make a different colored jar for each of your children! 

Blender bullet – A jar with a standard-sized mouth (read: not wide-mouth) will fit onto the mixing mechanism of a blender. This is a great save in case you’ve broken or misplaced your blender jar, or if you want to blend something up and be able to put a lid on it and store it right where you mixed it.

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