10 Ideas for Reusing Canning Jars by Shannon L. Buck

The top shelves of my pantry shelving unit. This unit is in the "box".
The top shelves of my pantry shelving unit. This unit is in the “box”.

(I love canning jars! Of all sizes. They come in handy for so many things. Look for them at yard sales for next to nothing. Plus they preserve food. Very frugal! Previously published on Y! Contributor Network.)

10 Ideas for Reusing Canning Jars

Canning jars and rings can be reused many times to process food items, as long as you purchase new lids. The old lids can be kept and reused later, when using the jars for other purposes. Eventually, metal rings and lids will rust so much that they need to be replaced. Until then, continue to reuse them. The jars themselves will last for years, even generations.

The possible uses for canning jars are numerous, and will not be covered entirely in this article. However, 10 uses have been chosen to be used as ideas to get you started in reusing these containers. A few ideas are food related, the rest are not.

1. Store foods that do not need processing, such as baking needs and pastas, in quart size canning jars. This is particularly helpful if ants and bugs are a problem, but is also decorative. The jars can be stacked easily.
2. Use them when making gifts in jars, such as dessert and soup mixes. Tie a square or circle of fabric to the ring with ribbon or twine, and add an ingredient list and instructions for preparing the dessert or meal.
3. Fill a couple of jars with candy, tie a bow around the lids, and place them on the counter during the holiday season. Put them on lace doily’s and place one to each side of a centerpiece.
4. Start filling one with buttons, like grandma used to do. Glue a ball of batting covered with fabric to the lid, and use that as your pin cushion. It is easily removed when you need a button.
5. Large jars can be used to store pet food. Cats, for instance, are creative in how they get into food bags and other containers.
6. Small jars can be used to store dried herbs. Place them in a dark cupboard or in the refrigerator for storing, depending on the herb.
7. Use wide-mouthed canning jars to store tea coffee bags, as well as creamers and sweeteners.
8. Canning jars are also great for storing scraps from a craft hobby, such as ribbon lengths, stickers and beads.
9. Small jars without lids can be placed in a desk store to organize items such as paper clips, rubber bands and staples. Lids and rings are not required for these. This method can also be used within a junk drawer.
10. The small jars might also be used to store things like screws, nuts and bolts out in the garage.

As you can see, there are many ways to reuse canning jars. Think about the items in your home that need to be organized. Can you use these jars to accomplish this?

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