Making the Jar go Far

Mason jars are not just for canning anymore. While they’re still great for jams and preserves, the possibilities of what you can do with a mason jar in your home are limitless as these seemingly simple household items can make an otherwise ordinary fixture a deliberate display of individuality and rustic character. After working at Louisville restaurant Hillbilly Tea, which boasted no less then 12 different-sized mason jars, I consider myself something of an expert on the subject and am here to guide you through how to make that dusty glass jar a statement of Southern modernity.

Snow Globes

low key and vintage filtered image of christmas trees in mason j
While a tad complex, making your own snow globe out of a mason jar is easier than you’d think. Pick a jar of whatever size you like and glue some kind of figurine to the lid, a plastic snowman, for example. Next, fill the jar with water about halfway – you need to keep the displacement that will occur when you put the lid back on in mind. Throw some glitter in the water to create the “snow” along with three to five drops of pure glycerin so that the glitter falls slowly. Run more glue along the rim, put the lid back on and that’s all there is to it!

DIY Gifts

Scrambling for a last minute gift? Put something quick and easy in a mason jar and it immediately looks well thought out and personal. Fill a 16 oz. mason jar with all the dry ingredients for cookie baking, for example, including brightly colored M&Ms or chocolate chips. Tie a recipe tag on the top with some twine, and you’re gift will undoubtedly stand out among the rest.

Cocktail Ware

Sure, mason jars are perfect for general drink ware, but serving up a Manhattan in a 6 oz. mason jar or a Tom Collins in a 12 oz. quilted jelly jar makes more of an impression than you would think. Some local boutiques also stock cocktail shakers created from mason jars that, when paired with jars of all different sizes, make your home bar truly unique.

Candle Holders

This one’s great for homes but can also make a cheap yet elegant wedding decoration. Fill a standard 16 oz. mason jar with water and place a long-burning candle on top. Tie some raffia around the rim, group three jars together and you’ve got an exquisite centerpiece. Extra points for filling the bottoms with some vase gems for an added glow.

Tapas Dishes

Spaghetti with meatballs and tomato sauce
The charm and size of smaller mason jars makes them quirkily perfect for serving small bites at a party. The varying shapes also help differentiate dishes, lending your party a trendy and rustic aesthetic. Filling a wide-mouth 8 oz. mason jar with some pasta and miniature meatballs turns a simple dish into something nuanced and thoughtful. Or layer custard and cake in a 2 oz. mason jar as a dessert shooter. Top it with whipped cream and you’ve created treats that look like they took hours to prepare as opposed to minutes.

Salad Server

Salad in a jarThe question of how to meal prep a salad is one many young adults unable to properly feed themselves – like myself – ask on a regular basis. A large 32 oz. mason jar is the answer to your problems. Stack your veggies in a jar and store in the fridge. It’s an easy way keep salads fresh for days and much prettier than a soggy Ziploc bag.

Snack Storage

The diversity of mason jars makes them ideal for home snack storage. Fill your cabinets and shelves with varying mason jars as opposed to half-empty bags and boxes. Using clear mason jars to store your pretzels and flour isn’t only aesthetically awesome but it also makes it easy to tell when it’s time to restock.

Light Fixtures

Mason Jar LightbulbsAlthough this project may be the most difficult on the list it also, arguably, has the most payoff. There are plenty of tutorials online regarding how to make your very own light fixture out of bulbs and mason jars, but most processes are generally the same. For your fixture, trace around the lid of the jar where the bulb screws in. Hammer a nail along that line to punch a hole through the lid. The lid alone will then fit snugly onto the light fixture. Screw the light bulb back on and then add the jar. It may not be quite as easy as that sounds, but giving it a shot is certainly worth the gorgeous country charm of a mason jar chandelier or wall sconce.