If you’re looking for more ways to reduce waste or to go zero waste, look to ways you can reuse glass jars after you have used their contents. From pickle jars, wine bottles, and jam jars, glass jars are not only great for canning fruits and vegetables, but you can also reuse them in many different ways. By upcycling glass jars, you can help reduce the amount of waste that is produced each year. There are tons of ways to upcycle glass jars. From making a simple vase to turning them into candle holders and storage, the possibilities are endless. Check out these creative ideas and get started on upcycling your glass jars today. Read until the end to find a free download for glass jar labels that you can print at home.

Before we dive into the ways you can reuse them, consider the many benefits to reusing glass jars including:

  • They’re non-porous, so they won’t hold food smells
  • For food safety (won’t leach harmful material into your food like plastics)
  • They reduce landfill waste
  • You’ll save money
  • They’re easy to clean

Thanks to the benefits of using glass jars, there are so many ways to upcycle glass jars! They can be reused for all sorts of purposes, from storage containers to home decor. Here are some of our favorite ways to reuse glass jars:

Food 

When we think of reusing jars, food storage may be the first thing that comes to mind. Glass jars are perfect for this as they are airtight and resealable. Keeping your food fresh does not have to be expensive. Here are some ways to use glass jars for food preservation:

  • Store your leftovers in or freeze homemade soups and sauces
  • Use an empty glass jar to make your own salad dressing. Once all ingredients are in the jar, simply seal the jar and shake for easy mixing
  • Glass jars can be used for fermenting foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, or kombucha
  • Use glass jars for pickling fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, plums, and mushrooms. Canning jars are perfect for this but other glass containers can be used for a quick pickling recipe
  • If you buy food at the bulk food store, take your clean glass jars with you to fill with dried bulk items like spices, baking flour, nuts, seeds, or candy. Glass jars are perfect for putting these items nicely on display in your pantry or kitchen
  • Glass jars can also be used for heating up food in the microwave

Storage

Glass jars are a sustainable storage option for a variety of items. Not only do they keep food fresh, but they can also be used to store non-food items. By reusing glass jars, you can reduce your environmental impact and help preserve resources. Here are some ways you can use glass jars for storage:

  • Glass jars are perfect for keeping your sewing kit items sorted and organized. Place items like buttons, pins, needles, ribbons, and  fabric scraps in their own glass jar
  • Craft supplies can be stored in tall glass jars. Place similar items together and put them on display in your craft room or supply closets like coloured pencils, pens, markers, paintbrushes, stamps, and more
  • Home maintenance supplies that are typically stored in a garage can sometimes get out of control. That’s why it’s best to upcycle glass jars to store nails, screws, nuts, and bolts 
  • The bathroom is another great place to upcycle a jar and store similar items together. Place items like cotton swabs, make-up brushes, or hair accessories in your empty glass containers

Gifting

Looking for a unique and sustainable way to give gifts this year? Why not reuse glass jars? You can fill them with all sorts of goodies, from cookies and candy to homemade jams and jellies. Not only will your guests appreciate the thoughtful gesture, but they’ll also love being able to reuse the jar once they’ve finished the contents. So grab some jars, get creative, and start spreading some joy. Here are some gift ideas that can be placed in a glass jar:

  • Upcycle your glass jar and place a candle inside. Tie a ribbon around the top or create your own candle label for the outside. Better yet, you can use the glass jar to pour your own homemade candle. They make a perfect candle holder
  • A terrarium is a great way to display your plants and add some life to your home or office. You can create a simple terrarium in a glass jar, using just a few supplies from the hardware store or garden centre
  • If it’s the holiday season, use a glass jar to create a snowglobe for gifting. Secure a small ornament to the inside of the lid. Add glue, warm water, and glitter to the jar and place the lid on. In a few simple steps, you’ll have a winter wonderland for someone special
  • Glass jars are always perfect for freshly picked flowers. Use a the jar as a perfect vase to create your own bouquet for a special occasion
  • Use a jar to create your own cookie mix. Layer a favourite recipe’s ingredients inside a jar and give this gift to someone who loves baking
  • A DIY spa kit is perfect for a glass jar gift. Place nail polish, a face mask, nail files, and essential oils inside a jar with a card to show you care

The next time you finish up something delicious in your fridge, clean out your glass jars thoroughly with warm water and soap. Remove the label and use one of these many ways to reuse your glass jars. From food storage and baking to craft organization and gift giving, who knew there were so many ways to reuse a glass jar? Are you ready to upcycle your jars? Download our FREE glass jar labels. Print these at home on recycled or labeled paper and stick them to your glass jars for easy organization.

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Download our FREE glass jar labels