24 Ways to Reuse Glass Jars Throughout the House

24 Ways to Reuse Glass Jars Throughout the House

Glass jars come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Rather than tossing them in the recycle bin, give them new life by trying some of these upcycle ideas for your empty glass jars.

Since starting our No Waste journey, one of the goals has been to cut single-use plastic from our kitchen. Doing this has left us buying a lot of items in glass jars. Since glass is reusable, we try to get the most out of them before sending them to the recycle bin. 

Glass jars are great to have around, but we have accumulated so many that we need to find new uses. I have a cabinet full of jars and a bin of the lids. It’s a little annoying to figure out which lid fits each jar when I need them, but I don’t like to store the jars with their lids in case they aren’t completely dry. 

There are so many groceries that can be bought in a glass jar, so I have jars of all sizes. When we don’t make things homemade, we will buy pasta sauce, jelly, queso, salsa, yeast, cooking wine, etc. and they all come in glass. 

With all these glass jars around, I’ve had to find a few creative ways to put them to good use throughout the house. Of course, they have great uses in the kitchen, but can be used for so much more, too!

Creative Ideas for Upcycled Jars

Before you fill your jars, there are some ways you can dress them up to make them look nicer in your home. Using a hot glue gun, you can adhere many different types of fabric and other textiles to your jars. You can also purchase pieces from the hardware store to add to the jars if you want a handle, an opening in the lid, or a way to attach them to your surfaces. 

Best Types of Jars

Really, almost any jar will work for upcycling. Some of my favorites are large jars to hold big things such as dry goods in the pantry. But I also like small mason jars and jam jars to hold small items such as craft supplies or bathroom items. 

  • Pickle Jars (usually big so lots of space)
  • Pasta Jars
  • ​Peanut Butter Jars
  • Baby Food Jars (great for small items)
  • Spice Jars (great for mixing new spices or your own fresh herbs)
  • Mason Jars
  • Canning Jars
  • ​Any glass containers that aren’t broken and can be resealed

Originally Published On: February 5, 2019

Last Updated On: July 23, 2023

Glass Jars in the Kitchen

Leftovers Storage

Rather than storing your food in plastic containers, use some of your jars for food storage. I know there are many things that wouldn’t fit in a jar, but if you have something like soup or chili you should be able to easily store it in jars or glass bottles. 

Utensil Storage

There are those kitchen utensils that you are always reaching for when cooking. Rather than having them tucked away in a drawer, use a large jar to hold them on the counter.

Farmhouse Kitchen Canister DIY
Farmhouse Kitchen Canister DIY
This Farmhouse Kitchen Canister is the perfect way to add some vintage charm to your kitchen without spending a lot of money.
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Freezer containers

We use our glass jars in the freezer often. Just make sure you give enough “head room” at the top of the jar so it doesn’t break (I’ve had that happen a few times). I have a few jars of the last green onions from our garden chopped up and stored in a jar, as well as extra bell peppers from a meal a couple of months ago.

Herb Garden

Use some of your larger jars to start an indoor herb garden. Since herbs don’t typically get very big or have a large root system, the jars should work for a long time for your kitchen herbs. Put some rocks at the bottom for drainage purposes, fill 3/4 of the way with potting soil, then plant starter herbs or their seeds. You can then store your fresh herbs in small jars, too. 


If you search online, you can find dozens of recipes for gifts in a jar. From brownies to cookies to oatmeal, store the necessary dry ingredients in a glass jar. Add a label with the instructions and decorate the jar. These are great as gifts for friends, neighbors, and teachers.

Sugar Free Strawberry Jam (Whole30, Paleo) - The Banana Diaries
Sugar Free Strawberry Jam (Whole30, Paleo) – The Banana Diaries
Incredibly simple sugar free strawberry jam that’s Paleo and Whole30 friendly! Only two ingredients and ready in just 15 minutes!
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Herbs & Spice Containers

Use small jars to store your herbs and spices. They are better than storing in plastic, and you can have a more uniform look if you have enough of the same jars. They’ll also usually stack nicer to take up less space.

Table Centerpiece

Fill a jar with decoration to match your kitchen/dining room and place it in the center of the table. Or, use the jar as a vase and bring in fresh flowers for the table.

Easy Mason Jar Home Decor
Easy Mason Jar Home Decor
How I transformed a few old mason jars into easy mason jar home decor. I’ve also included some inspirational pictures of other repurposed mason jars.
View The Recipe

Kitchen Decor

Similar to the table centerpiece, use the jars as decor in the kitchen. We have a few jars on the tops of our cabinets. Our kitchen has a wine theme so I have a few empty jars on the cabinets. You could also use them for corks or find some vintage kitchen utensils to decorate with.

Drinking Glasses

Having a party? Rather than buying disposable cups, bring out your glass jars. You could use a variety of sizes and shapes, as long as it can easily drink from. This stops the waste from disposable and would have a unique look on a table.

Bulk Shopping

If you are lucky enough to have a bulk grocery store around that lets you use your own containers, bring them! You could store all types of dry or wet ingredients in glass jars.

Repurposed Large Glass Jar Canisters
Repurposed Large Glass Jar Canisters
Information on making repurposed large glass jars canisters for the kitchen. An easy way to make use of what you already have.
View The Recipe

Glass Jars in the Bathroom


Use glass jars as storage for things such as cotton balls, q-tips, makeup remover pads, hair ties, etc. You can paint and decorate the jars to fit the theme of your bathroom, or leave them clear to easily see the contents.

Homemade Products

For those who make their own homemade beauty and self-care products, glass jars work well for storage. For example, I make my own deodorant and store the bulk of it in a large glass jar then use a small one to keep handy for day-to-day use. You can use them to hold homemade lotions, moisturizers, scrubs, etc.

DIY Coconut Lime Mint Sugar Scrub with Free Printable Labels | MomsWhoSave.com
DIY Coconut Lime Mint Sugar Scrub with Free Printable Labels | MomsWhoSave.com
I like making my own bath and body products, and today I’m sharing one of my favorites. This coconut lime mint sugar scrub is a great exfoliator thanks to the sugar, but will leave your skin soft
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Open storage

Open storage is a perfect option for those jars that you may not have a lid for. Use these jars to store taller items or those you may not want to always be sealed tight. It’s a great way to store toothbrushes, makeup brushes, and other similar items.

Tissue Holder

Find a jar with a very thin lid and cut a small hole in the top. Make sure it is smooth, and fill the jar with tissues. Poke the top one through the hole and you have a glass tissue holder!

Other Uses for Glass Jars

Pen/Pencil Holders

Similar to the open storage containers in the bathroom, a glass jar without a matching lid is perfect for holding office supplies such as pens, pencils, markers, rulers, etc.

DIY LEGO Head Marker Holder - Drugstore Divas
DIY LEGO Head Marker Holder – Drugstore Divas
Making this DIY LEGO Head Marker Holder is a great way to celebrate the DVD/Blu-ray release of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.
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Candle Holder/Luminaries

When you need a bit of extra light in an area, use a glass jar to hold a tea light candle. You know the glass won’t catch fire, and the heat from a small candle should not be enough to melt the glass.

Small Storage

There are so many little things that are often stored in the office area of the home. Having some small jars with lids can help organize everything from paperclips to rubber bands to push pins to extra staples.

Fall Washi Tape Jars - Cute DIY Using Upcycled Yogurt Jars
Fall Washi Tape Jars – Cute DIY Using Upcycled Yogurt Jars
Make these cute Fall washi tape jars!
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DIY Candles

Instead of housing tea light candles, maybe you are someone who likes to make your own candles. Use old jars to make new candles.

Succulent Planters

It’s been proven that having some green life in an office makes for a better workspace. Use any small shallow jars as planters for a few succulents. They are perfect plants for an office, especially one not at the home since they don’t need to be watered every day.

DIY Succulent Planters - Repurpose Glass Yogurt Jars!
DIY Succulent Planters – Repurpose Glass Yogurt Jars!
DIY Suculent Planters are a great way to repurpose and also show off those gorgeous succulents!
View The Recipe

Bug Jar

Growing up, my sister was always trying to catch bugs. She had a few critter cages, but they were always plastic and didn’t hold up well. Use a glass jar and poke a few small holes in the lid to make your own bug jar for the kids.


I mentioned this previously when talking about table centerpieces, but glass jars are good options for holding flowers. We have some knockout rose bushes outside and the boys will often bring a few in that we place in our glass jars around the house.

Repurposed Yogurt Jar Flower Vase - Glitter On A Dime
Repurposed Yogurt Jar Flower Vase – Glitter On A Dime
Don’t you love the satisfaction of being able to repurpose a jar or container? The little Oui Yogurt Jars are a crafters dream come true! There are so many possibilities that it is hard to choose what to try first. I finally decided to try making this Repurposed Yogurt Jar Flower Vase. The Rules: Up…
View The Recipe

Change Jar

Instead of a plastic piggy bank, use a glass jar to hold your spare change. You would be amazed at how much you can accumulate in a jar when you put all of your change in there!

Craft Storage

If you, or your kids, like to do crafts, then glass jars are great for storage. Since they are usually clear, you can see exactly what you have inside. Think about extra jars for storage of beads, ribbons, buttons, etc.

Canning Jar Pincushion
Canning Jar Pincushion
This free craft project shows you how to turn a canning jar (new or recycled) into a practical pincushion.
View The Recipe

Memory Jars

Ever go on vacation and have a few things that aren’t flat enough for the scrapbook, but you still want to hold onto it? Use a glass jar to make a vacation memory jar. Fill it with a few momentos from the trip and a photo and place it on a shelf.

Beach Photo Display Jar – Sustain My Craft Habit
Beach Photo Display Jar – Sustain My Craft Habit
A cute alternative to a traditional photo frame, create your own beach photo display jar to hold your precious Summer vacation memories.
View The Recipe

Your Turn

  • Do you save all of your jars after using them?
  • What other uses have you found for glass jars?
  • Have you tried any of these before with success?
  • Which idea are you most looking forward to trying?

More No Waste Kitchen Ideas

41 thoughts on “24 Ways to Reuse Glass Jars Throughout the House”

  1. Haha, I USED to save almost all of our glass jars, but my husband made me get rid of some (to recycling) because we just had too many! I admit, I still store many of the things you mentioned in plastic, but I do have large glass canisters for things I buy in bulk, and the plastic is often (e.g. our smaller bulk things) plastic containers that I’ve saved from things we’ve bought, since we can’t recycle them anymore here.

    1. Ours are slowly taking over one of my cabinets. I need to work on a few gift ideas with them so I can give the jars away!

  2. This past holiday, one of my friends had a party and we used glass jars to make centerpieces and they came up so beautiful. Now I am learning other ways to use glass jars. That is awesome.

  3. I too love glass jars! Detest plastic and we’re trying to eliminate it as much as possible -an easy way is using jars for leftovers. love these suggestions, -especially the tissue jar! Totally going to make one!

    1. We were similar at first! My husband wasn’t sure about saving all of the jars, but now he gets upset when we don’t have a good sized jar for something and have to resort to our old plastic leftover containers.

  4. These are great suggestions for reusing glass jars… I like the idea of using them as planters, I’m definitely going to do that. We currently either reuse them for storing food or we recycle them.

    1. All of my herbs are in old spaghetti jars and sitting in the window. I wrapped them with some burlap to match my living room.

  5. This is really well ogrnazied and I like the idea of reusing because we dont have to buy over and over and waste money.

    1. There are so many ways to use them. And I know there are more than I listed, but those were the best ones I could think of!

    1. Thank you! There are so many things to do with a glass jar and get a lot of use from them before sending to be recycled.

    1. Some of the jars are so pretty! Even the ones that we get jelly in have some designs to them. It’s amazing how many ways you can use something before considering it “trash.”

  6. I use glass jars a lot for salads, overnight oats, and seasonal decor! I have also used them for flowers! They are such a great thing to have on hand!

  7. Love the post and the new ideas to use glass jars! I’m sure my husband would appreciate my stash getting used. I also put my coffee beans/grounds in them! Painted the lid with chalk paint so I could label which was which (husband drinks decaf) and leave them on the counter by our coffee maker! Love the way it looks!

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