Great ideas for empty jars

Whether it’s jam, coffee or pickles, those empty glass jars soon mount up. And yes, you could put them in the recycling bin so they get made into something new, but with a little imagination and not very much skill you could turn them into something useful yourself.

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There are dozens of uses for empty jars to suit every household – here are just a few of them. Just remember, whatever you plan to do with them, to clean the empty jars thoroughly first, and remove any labels.


One of the most obvious uses for empty jars is of course storage. If you’re an adventurous cook, you could even try making your very own jam, marmalade or pickles – you’ll save yourself a small fortune on groceries if you do, and have fun at the same time. According to BBC Good Food, you need to sterilise and warm your jars before using them.

Remaining in the kitchen, you could use your jars to store a plethora of foodstuffs, such as herbs and spices, rice and lentils. Having ingredients in small jars sometimes makes it easier to access them. Jars also make great stylish glasses for summer drinks such as milkshakes and cocktails – you may want to use a straw, though.

Moving into the bathroom, why not put small make-up items, bath salts or cotton wool balls in jars? You can decorate them so they fit in with your décor.

In the office, use jars to store equipment such as elastic bands and paperclips; and crafty types can fill them with materials such as pens and pencils, paintbrushes, beads and other crafty stuff.

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In the garage, use empty jars to store odds and ends such as screws, nuts and bolts. Placed on your garage shelving, such as that available at garage shelving equipment, they’ll always be ready when you need them.


Glass jars can also be decorated to make a whole host of ornaments, such as photo frames, lamps, and floating candles – simply fill them with water, add a floating tea light and hang them from your garden fence, or put several together in groups around the house. Or fill them with glitter, pretty pebbles or coloured sand and use them for gifts – alternatively, fill them with homemade sweets, biscuits or chocolates, before adding a pretty bow.