20 Cool Ideas for Using Your Mason Jars

It's practically impossible to ignore how completely practical your mason jars can be. Beyond canning summer fruits and vegetables, they can be used for a variety of cute, versatile and functional ways. 

From preserving farmers market finds to a cute gift package for homemade treats to an adorably retro way to serve backyard cocktails, your mason jars have a lot more potential than you may have realized.

Here's a list of 20 ways you can get the most out of these awesome containers:

  1. Organize Your Desk. Stack a few jars on their sides and glue them together for a cute, efficient desk organizer for pens, pencils, scissors, crayons, markers, sticky notes, glue sticks and more. 
  2. Build an Easy Shaker. Simply drill holes in the lid and fill the jar with confectioner’s sugar, parmesan cheese, cocoa powder, or even craft glitter then shake away to your heart's content.
  3. Customize Your Glass. Just spray paint or coat the inside of a jar with acrylic paint to create a gorgeous sea-glass look.
  4. Pre-Make Cocktails for a Crowd. Make a splash at your next party with individual, pre-made cocktails. Simply whip up a big batch then portion them into jars. Seal and stash them in a bin of ice. Let guests can choose their favorite, open, add ice, shake and enjoy!
  5. Make a Portable Picnic Salad. Create individual salads by putting dressing on the bottom, then layering the ingredients (chopped is best) on top. Seal them up and tuck them in your to-go cooler. Then just shake and serve. 
  6. Breakfast on the Run. Layer yogurt, fruit and granola to make a pretty, tasty parfait for an easy breakfast to go.
  7. Control Your Twine. With a single hole in the jar lid, you can create an easy twine or ribbon dispenser. Just thread it through the top for tangle-free access.
  8. Create Under-Shelf Storage. Mount your jar lids to the underside of a shelf, then fill your jars with any small items you want to access easily. Think craft items like buttons, safety pins and scrapbooking gear or vanity staples like cotton swabs, balls, and rounds.
  9. Coolest Collage Ever. Create a funky frame for photos by sticking individual images into a jar. Then group them together for a fun, funky display. 
  10. Practical Place Settings. Put your silverware rollups into mason jars on the buffet so guests can easily grab their gear, and then use the jar for self-serve drinks at the table. 
  11. Personalize Gifts & Keep Track of Drinks. Attach chalk decals or chalk paint to jars then add guests’ names for individual floral place settings, candy party favors, and to keep track of which drink is whose.
  12. Fun Present Presentation. Using clear craft glue as an adhesive, wrap colored yarn, twine or funky stockings to the outside of the jar. Or, grab a roll or two of patterned duck tape for a cool, modern look. Stash a bit of tissue paper with small presents inside, throw on a name tag and you're good to gift. A
  13. Easiest Candleholder Ever. Fill jars with a bit of sand or small pebbles to support your votives or even tapers. Battery-powered candles are a safe, wind-proof alternative to line a walk or patio.
  14. Float a Candle. Fill your jars 1/3 or 1/2 way with water and drop in a floating candle. These are especially beautiful lined up in a row or scattered on a buffet or bar.
  15. Message in a Mason Jar. Personalize or label your jars with puffy paint or a glue gun. Write fun phrases, guest names, or list the contents on the outside, then paint over the entire surface for a cool 3-D effect.
  16. Stash a Match. Glue sandpaper to the lid then tuck your loose matches in the jar for an efficient, easy way to light your fire whenever you want. 
  17. Impromptu Pourer. Using an old cardboard table salt container, trim off the top to fit the jar and attach it with the rim to make a pretty pourer for salt, sugar, sprinkles, or glitter.
  18. Pantry Storage. Use your jars to store dried beans, small pasta, cereals, or snacks in your pantry. That way you can easily see what's inside, and your ingredients are protected by an airtight, spill-proof seal.
  19. Herb Garden. Cluster several jars along a window sill and plant a different herb into each one. Practical and pretty!
  20. Make Mini Baked Goods. Small jars are great for baking anything from s’mores to pizzas to mini pies to cakes. Just use your favorite recipe and place jars in a water bath in the oven so they won’t break. Your guests will LOVE it.

What’s your favorite non-traditional use for a mason jar?