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.

Since starting our No Waste journey, one of the goals has been to cut 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 use them throughout the house. Of course, they have great uses in the kitchen, but can be used for so much more, too!

Originally Published On: February 5, 2019

Last Updated On: July 2, 2020

Glass Jars in the Kitchen

Leftovers Storage

Rather than storing your food in plastic containers, use some of your jars for leftovers. 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 a jar.

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.

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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.

Gifts

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.

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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.

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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
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Glass Jars in the Bathroom

Storage

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Vase

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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36 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!

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