12 Creative, Fun Things to Do with Mason Jars

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see or hear of Mason Jars? Caning right? Well, that’s exactly what I think of. For years, women have meticulously maintained their gardens in the summer, in order to put up tomatoes and other vegetables from the garden. I am always in awe of how much work it takes to weed, harvest, and then can all those tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers. It truly is a labor of love. 

Mason jar home canned food

Over 160 Years Strong

The Mason Jar has been around since November 30, 1858 and thousands of jars are embossed with that date. Over the years the Mason Jar has been a sturdy practical part of homes across America and still can be found today at flea markets, antique stores and yard sales. You can even find brand new Mason Jars in stores that are plastic instead of glass. Some stores even carry Mason Jars that have lids with straws…Genius!

Not Just For Canning Anymore

But fortunately for the decorator in all of us they are no longer used just for canning purposes.  Today, Mason Jars have exploded into the world of home décor. Whether you are organizing, decorating or even preparing gifts, there are so many different ways to use mason jars. Take a look at our list of great ideas.

12 Ways to Get Creative and Have Fun with Your Mason Jars

1. Unique Lighting

A few years ago when my husband and I were redoing the kitchen in our 1890’s home, we wanted a unique light fixture above the sink. Mason jars were the answer! We found an old fence stretcher to use as the base and hung the lights on wrought iron hooks. I just love how it adds an antique flare to our kitchen.

Mason jar lighting for the kitchen

You can also fil the jars with fairy lights. These could be used as luminaries for a walkway or to use as ambient lighting in any room of your home.

mason jars filled with fairy lights

2. A Match Holder

Take the top of the lid off and replace it with sandpaper. One way to do this is to use the canning ring with the flat lid. Using the flat lid as a template, cut a round piece of sandpaper the same size as lid. You could also glue the sand paper to the lid to make it sturdier. Then just fill the jar with matches and you are ready to go!

3. Bathroom Necessities Storage

I love to keep things close at hand in the family bathroom. These blue mason jars with zinc lids make it super handy to grab Q-tips, cotton balls and band-aids.

Mason Jar bathroom storage

4. Children’s Crafts Storage

Store children’s craft items in the jars. You could include things like, glue sticks, crayons, stickers, beads and ribbons. Glue plastic animals to the lids and have fun painting them. You could also choose to nail the lids to the bottom of a shelf and then just screw the jar on and off when you need to use them.

Paint brushes in mason jar

5. Yarn or Ribbon Dispensers

Do you love to knit or crochet but hate the mess of tangled yarn? Drill a hole in the lid of the jar. Drop your ball of yarn in the jar and pull the end through the hole in the lid. This will help your yarn to stay tangle free and look great sitting on the end table as well.

6. Store Your Spices

Spice cupboards can be one of those “oh-you-don’t-want-to-open-THAT” places in your kitchen. Mini mason jars are perfect for organizing and storing all your favorite cooking and baking spices.

Spices in mason jars

7. Single Serving Salads

Get your salad ready the night before. In the morning before work, just grab and go!

Salad in a mason jar

8. Organize Your Pantry

My youngest daughter has often had to remind me to not just use special things for special occasions. She loves to bring out fancy glasses, set a beautiful table or light the candles just for fun. A couple of months ago she was when she was out of town for a few days, I go the idea to use my special antique blue mason jars for items I use on a daily basis. I always keep nuts and trail mixes around for snacking. Tons of these blue jars were in storage in the basement and I started thinking “Why are these jars that I LOVE just sitting in a box?!” I truly found so much joy in clearing out all the snack bags from my pantry to make room for my blue mason jar snacking shelf! It was a fun surprise to show her when she came back.

mason jar snack storage

9. Button Storage

Buttons have definitely stood the test of time. Even with the invention of more modern fabric fasteners, the common button continues to be the most popular. I have inherited several button collections over the years and I just love to sift through them to see all the variety in shape and size from decades past.

mason jar button storage

10. Painted Vases

There are many ways to paint glass jars. You can fill the jars with some acrylic paint and leave the paint to dry out. You could spray paint the insides for vibrant candy-colored vases. You can also paint the outside of the jar with translucent paint for a classier look.

painted mason jar vase

11. Wedding Centerpieces

Fill jars with pebbles or sand to help keep candles in place. You may even like to float tea lights in water in the jars.  A note of caution on this idea. When helping with a friends’ wedding, we had several antique blue jars break when we were cleaning up the reception. The floating candles had heated the glass. Once we blew out the candles, we didn’t allow the jar to cool down before we dumped out the water and that quick change in temperature caused the rim of the jars to crack and break. This picture below is one taken at my oldest daughters wedding. We used lots of ball jars as table top decor. 

wedding mason jar centerpiece

12. Make a Soap Dispenser

A pump from a regular soap dispenser can be placed through a hole in the lid to make your own out of a mason jar. If you would rather not go to the work of making your own we sell soap dispensers here.

In fact, for those of you who don’t possess a creative streak and wouldn’t consider yourself a “DIYer”, no worries. Here at Primitive Star Quilt Shop we have done the work for you and we offer several mason jar items.  We have adorable mason Jar salt and pepper shakers and an itty bitty tooth pick holder and long with our mason jar soap dispensers, we also have centerpieces, a Mason Jar Candle lamp as well as a mason jar lamp with a punched metal shade.

mason jar home decor items

One thing for sure about Mason Jars, whether it is an antique dug out of your Grandma’s basement or one that has been recently purchased right from the store, they definitely have a charming quality about them and are always fun to use around your home.

With this much versatility, what's not to love about mason jars? Let us know how you like to use mason jars in your home. What’s your favorite thing to store in them? What room of your home do you have the most? Tell us in the comments.

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