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Posts Tagged ‘decorating glass jars’

I’m doing a hybrid post for Whimsical Wednesday/Eco-Thursday as this fits under both areas and frankly, I don’t have any other new artwork to share this week…busy, busy!

When my “One person’s trash is another’s treasure” post was Freshly Pressed by WordPress, many people commented that they saved glass jars as their treasure from the trash.  I hear ya; I am one of those too.

I actually started saving glass jars years ago when I spent a good part of my career working in the natural/organic products industry and learned of the harmful impact of storing food in plastic wrap and containers (especially heating up!).  So I started saving most of the glass jars that I was originally putting in the recycling bin.

Hot, soapy water and a razor blade will clear all the labels/adhesive off the jars

I used these jars to not only store grains, flours and other bulk goods (see that post here) but to also store perishable food items.  I save all my glass juice jars for storing homemade broth in, I save pasta jars to store portions of soup in, I save jelly jars to store homemade salad dressing.  It wasn’t uncommon for me to store leftovers/lunch in those jars to bring to work with me.

But jars also make great storage for crafting and/or household items.  As a kid, I remember my dad using baby food jars in his garage where he would store various nails, nuts/bolts, and screws.  I keep my vintage buttons color coded in glass jars I had on hand (yes, I’m that nerdy *wink*)


Vintage music sheet, twine and a misprinted postcard image which I turned into a gift tag and added an antique skeleton key to

You can use jars to even store office items like rubber bands and paperclips (I actually have mine in tin cans that once held tuna!) or special notes, mementos, even things like ribbons and thread if you sew.  In other words, endless uses.

Baker's twine and one of the vintage ledger stickers I've been obsessing about lately, topped with a tin star completes this look

And sure, you can use them up plain…or you can dress ‘em up like I did here.

Finally a use for my metal hardware! This piece also included ledger paper, vintage fabric measuring tape, fabric from a torn lampshade, twine and a scrabble tile

Now I went a little crazy on the embellishments…it’s the artist in me, but you can also keep it simple (I once saw a photo where an artist stored all her beads in reused jars and only painted the lids solid colors; stacked along a wall it looked so simple yet stunning).

To the top of the painted lid I added used/crumpled up tissue paper, a scalloped punch from a Japanese book and a "faux" cranberry that once fell off a wreath that I threw in my embellishment pile!

So with that in mind, here are some ideas to dress up your glass jars for decorative storage:

  • ribbons or twine
  • scraps of paper, stickers or labels
  • paint
  • crackling medium (to give that cracked paint vintage look to your painted lids)
  • gift bows or gift tags
  • embellishments found around the house like: silk flowers, buttons, metal hardware, old tissue paper, trinkets, objects found in nature (pinecones, seashells, twigs, rocks), etc. etc.

Speaking of natural elements, here's a tiny piece of driftwood I found off the shore of Florida while visiting my parents

You really could do a million different things.  It’s just a matter of how creative you want to get!

So with that in mind, rethink your recycling bin and see if there are other ways you can reuse your glass jars.

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