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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Glass Jars Have More Than Just One Shelf Life

Written in collaboration with Misty Baker
There is something about glass jars being used other than their intending purpose that makes a smile creep across my face.  My grandmother, a child that lived during the Great Depression, never threw out jars or plastic containers.  She believed they had other useful purposes.  Perhaps that is why I like seeing re-purposed glass jars.  It is because the jar has been given a second chance at being useful. 
Because of the durability of glass, if kept in a safe place they can last a lifetime, as well as serve a multitude of purposes.  Yet, many of us (including myself) toss out our used glass jars without giving it a second thought.  But those days of being overly frivolous are over.  The list below details some highly effective uses for re-purposing glass jars:
  • Use the jars to store leftovers and you will no longer have to worry about plastic chemicals seeping into the food.
  • An old spaghetti glass jar could be used to store homemade dry bean soup mixes, sugar, flour, etc.
  • Use them as drinking glasses.
  • For an attractive garden border, turn them upside down and bury them in a row.
  • They can also be made into unique lanterns with a regular candle or a citronella candles placed inside to keep the mosquitoes away during the summer months.
  • Glass jars are a wonderful tool to get plant cuttings started. Just take the cutting, dip it in Rootone, and plant it in a good potting medium. Water it well, and place it in your glass jar in a sunlit area.
  • Use them in your garage to store nails, screws, tacks, bolts, etc.
  • Use them in your craft room to store ribbon, brads, eyelets, stickers, buttons, markers, etc.
  • Glass jars make wonderful gift containers. You can fill them with the ingredients to make cookies, brownies, pancakes, hot cocoa, tea, etc. After you place the lid onto the jar, decorate it with a piece of fabric.
  • Make them into unique picture frames. Insert your picture, place the lid on the jar, and turn it upside down. It is a wonderful way to decorate a shelf or a ledge. (Note: This may not be a good idea if you have small children.)
  • You can use glass jars to house Betas (Siamese Fighting Fish). These fish do not require an air filter.
  • Create a terrarium for African violets or herbs.
  • Fill your jar with potpourri and interweave battery-powered tea lights or decor lights. Place the cord out of the back and put a rubber band or decorative ribbon around to hold the cord in place. When you plug in the lights, the heat disseminates the potpourri’s scent. (Note: If you use Christmas lights instead of battery-powered tea or decor lights, then do not leave the plugged in jar unattended.)
  • Fill a large jar up with water and some tea bags and place it out in the sun for some Sun Tea. 

Next time you go to toss that glass jar into the trash can, remember that any glass jar can still serve another useful purpose, as well as save you money in the long run.  So, with all the creative and useful ways to re-purpose glass jars, perhaps we should give those jars another shot at being useful.

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