DIY Jar Crafts at Home

Jars have been used for more than a hundred years to preserve food and hold jelly, but they can do so much more than that! If you have an empty jar sitting around your home, you don't have to throw it out: You can find plenty of fun things to do with jars on your own or with your family. You can paint them, turn them into candles, put ingredients into a jar to make nice gifts, and even do science experiments! You'll never run out of uses for them, and that means that you'll always have fun new activities to try whenever an empty one becomes available.

A Brief History of Mason Jars

The Mason jar was created by New Jersey native John Landis Mason, who took an earlier idea of "heat-based canning" and popularized it by using a can with a ribbed neck and screw-on cap to create an airtight seal. Before that, a French cook had tried to use wine bottles secured with a mixture of soft cheese and lime. The Mason jar's screw-on cap made a better seal so that the food inside wouldn't spoil, and it was easier to use. Mason jars became particularly popular with farmers, who could now preserve extra produce for the lean winter months. During World War II, when the U.S. government instituted food rationing and more people began planting gardens, Mason jars became more popular. This trend died out after the war, but Mason jars returned to popularity during the 1960s and '70s, when more people were trying to achieve a more natural lifestyle. Today, Mason jars are popular yet again and are being used for everything from canning to holding drinks to crafts.

Repurposing Mason Jars for Crafts

While you could go out and buy Mason jars, people can also reuse jars that they already have. You probably have jars in your house that come from the grocery store and contain things like pickles or pasta sauce. When those are empty, what do you do with them? You could toss them into the recycle bin, but you could also reuse or repurpose them. Empty jars make a great base for all sorts of crafts, from pretty painted jars you can use to decorate around the house to terrariums to snow globes. It's easy to give a glass jar a new life with a bit of creativity!

Cleaning and Preparing Mason Jars

Before you make something using an empty jar, you'll want to make sure that it's ready to craft with. First, wash the jar to make sure that the inside is totally clean. Then, if you're re-using a jar that has a paper label on it, you'll need to take the label off. Rip off as much of the label as you can, and then soak a cotton ball in vegetable oil and rub it on the remains to remove the adhesive from the glass. Anything that remains can be scraped off with a scraper or scrubbing pad. If your glass jar has letters and numbers printed on it that didn't come off already, use another cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover to scrub off the rest. Once it's clean, scrub the jar well, and then, it will be the perfect starting point for all of your crafting adventures!

Mason Jar Craft Ideas

There are plenty of crafts you can do with a glass jar that will turn something plain into something beautiful and unique that you can show off to all your friends and family. Empty jars can hold your school supplies, your favorite snacks, pretty lights for your bedroom, or cut flowers, or you could turn a jar into something else, like a snow globe. If you want, you could leave your jars clear so you can see everything you put inside them, or you could paint them with your favorite colors. In the end, your masterpiece will look very different from how it looked when it came from the store. The possibilities are endless!