Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Upcycling Household Glass Jars

Mason jars are a hot commodity these days for their vintage appeal but also because they can be used for all types of storage as well as craft ideas.  However there are many jars that we casually throw into the recycle bin (hopefully) every day that have just as many uses.  Upcycling your glass jars is very easy.  Start saving your glass jars.  They can be any type from pickle jars to eye cream.  I find it fun to pick items because they have an ornate glass bottle that I can reuse when I am done with the product.

Wash out your jars once you are finished with the contents and put them aside.  Once you have enough fill your sink full of hot soapy water and let the jars with caps off sit in the hot water overnight.  

The next morning most labels will come right off.  See the labels in the water.  Those peeled right off with ease.  For those that have more glue (or if you are too impatient to wait overnight) take a serrated knife and scrape off the label.  I find it easiest to have just enough water so that you can work on the jar while it is submerged.  Just enough to cover it.  No more as you want to be able to see what you're doing.  Make sure to scrape away from yourself.  You might end up with something like this.

Take a scrubby sponge (one for pots and pans) and use the abrasive side.  Put more soap on your sponge and scrub. The soap helps to loosen any residual adhesive.  Again I find it easiest to scrub with the jar submerged.  This also helps to rinse off the adhesive as you work so you can better see what is left.  Once I am done I run my fingers over the jar to see if I feel anything left and hold it up to the light.  Scrub any residual bits and rinse.

Then set them out to dry. Here are some of mine. These are mostly pickle jars from Sprouts, along with some salsa jars.  I love sweet and sour pickles.  The others are water bottles.  Since plastic water bottles are terrible for so many reasons I fill up these Acqua Panna bottles with water.

The uses are endless.  Here are a few of mine:

Simple storage:

On occasion I like to make bath and body products.  These are also great for travel.

I used these to organize my sink area.

And this gorgeous green bottle was filled with oil.  It is now home to baby bamboo.  Ooh looks like they need more water!

So think twice before tossing these beauties!  Stay tuned for more fun and simple ways to reuse your jars.


  1. I always soak our spaghetti sauce jars to get the labels off! I love using them as vases around the house!

  2. We do this also:) Great reminders though.

  3. Huh, I never get rid of these! We, former USSR people, used to make lots of fruit and vegetable preserves each autumn, and mason jars were considered valuable. Even now, when I prefer to freeze or buy fresh, I keep these cans, for instance to keep cereals there.

    And the green bottle is so pretty - I would like to own one like this )


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