25 Ways to Use a Mason Jar

25 Ways to Reuse a Mason Jar

I have about 75 mason jars in the cabinet above our refrigerator and seem to add to that number each year. I’m not sure you can ever have enough mason jars.

When June arrives, I haul out half that many to store freezer jam for the year to come. Some are used for freezing beans and pumpkin puree but the rest often sit collecting dust.

I started collecting ideas for using the classic jars (besides the obvious drinking glasses and vases) and wanted to curate my list here for all of our use. Many of these projects would also work to reuse any glass jar.

Storage

Ways to Reuse a Mason Jar

DIY and Crafting

Ways to Reuse a Mason Jar

Food

Ways to Reuse a Mason Jar

Gardening

Ways to Reuse a Mason Jar

Gifts

Ways to Reuse a Mason Jar

Printables

If you like pretty + organized, you can get free mason jar printables here:

Have a favorite use for mason jars? Please share!
 

Homemade Carpet Cleaner

homemade carpet cleaner

I’ve had this embarrassing stain hiding under my couch for three months. When it happened, I quickly cleaned it with some water and a towel. I clearly did not use the right tools and it’s slowly become this deeper and darker stain. Over the weekend, I finally got a few things out of the kitchen and made it go permanently away. Here’s how:

Homemade Carpet Cleaner

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Vacuum up the baking soda.
  3. Mix dishwashing liquid and white vinegar into the warm water.
  4. Dab the solution over the stain with a cloth until the stain is gone.
  5. Use the second dry cloth to blot the carpet dry.
 

Reducing Your Use of Plastic Produce Bags

Buying produce at the grocery store often requires those awful plastic produce bags that are hard to clean and reuse because they are so flimsy. There are many options to reduce your use – find one that works for you:

1.  Choose paper produce bags.

2.  Take a large basket, bag, or wagon to the farmer’s market and store produce there until you get home.

3.  Encourage your local grocery store to carry the BioBag– a biodegradable, compostable produce bag. Compared with plastic, they have a greenhouse effect reduction by up to 49%.

4.  One of choices I’ve made to get rid of plastic produce bags is to use reusable bags. I’ve been using Bag the Habit bags, courtesy of Abe’s Market, for several months now. They are heavy duty – they’ll hold several potatoes – without breaking or stretching. They have a wide opening for bigger items like a head of lettuce and a draw string to keep everything inside. Not only are they great for putting your produce in, but you can also use them for your bulk purchases like beans, raisins or pretzels. My only complaint is that I don’t have more of them!

5.  If you’re crafty, make your own reusable bags with these instructions from Mother Earth News or Instructables.

If you do use plastic produce bags, here are some options to reuse them:

  • Packing material
  • Pick up doggy doodoo
  • Put in the diaper bag for dirty diapers
  • Line garbage cans

If you don’t want to reuse them, make sure you dispose of them properly by recycling them. If your curbside recycler doesn’t take these bags, many grocery stores take them back like Fred Meyer, Walmart, and Whole Foods – search for local locations here. Every couple months, I drop off any plastic bags I have ( shopping, produce or packaging ). The collection bin is usually near the entrance.

 

Vinyl Free Wallpaper

settingPhotos_wallpaper_main2

I’ve been toying with the idea of wallpapering the wall behind my bed and was curious about what my wallpaper options are.   Frankly, I’ve never wallpapered anything but I’m always up for trying something new!

What I didn’t know was that most stock wallpaper is made with or coated with vinyl (PVC) – a product I stay away from.   The stinky smell from products made with PVC ( new cars, plastic shower curtains, etc. ) emits hazardous VOCs in your house contributing to indoor air pollution.  Our indoor air is already 5x more polluted than the outdoor air, let’s not add to it with PVC wallpaper!  As I often find, there are better alternatives – vinyl FREE wallpaper.

Mod Green Pod vinyl-free wallpapers use water-based inks on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper and finish the product with a water-based glaze that can tolerate light wiping.  They’ve got some fun prints, check out the photo above!

grasscloth_imageFor more prints, Graham & Brown has 46 wallpaper prints that are VOC-free and printed on paper from managed resources.

I love this Juicy Jute grasscloth wallpaper – it’s got great texture and is made with jute, a natural fiber.  It also comes in 29 different vegetable dyed hues.  For other natural fiber wallpapers, check out raffia or hemp.

Traditional wallpaper paste has a bunch of chemicals, too, so try this great DIY recipe from Annie B. Bond.

  • •1 cup flour (wheat, corn, or rice)
  • •3 teaspoons alum
  • •water
  • •10 drops oil of cloves (natural preservative)

Combine the flour and alum in a double boiler. (If you don’t have a double boiler, set a smaller pan inside a bigger one that contains enough water that can be brought to a boil without overflowing). Add enough water to make a consistency of heavy cream; stir until blended. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened to a gravy texture. Let cool. Stir in the clove oil. Pour into a glass jar with a screw top. Apply with a glue brush. Makes 1 cup. Shelf life: 2 weeks refrigerated.

 

DIY Homemade Play Dough

I came across this recipe from Family Fun Magazine for homemade play dough using ingredients already in your pantry and the color comes from food instead of the typical dyes.  This is a quick option for keeping your kids busy during the rainy and cold winter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/8 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • natural dye ( see options below )

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.  Add oil and natural dye and stir all together well.  Knead the dough on a floured surfaces for a few minutes and if it’s too soft – add a bit more flour.  You can store the clay in the refrigerator.

Dye options:

  • YELLOW – 3/8 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ORANGE – 3/8 cup hot water and 1 tablespoon paprika
  • FUSCHIA – 3/8 cup hot beet juice ( try using the juice from a can of beets )
  • BROWN – 3/8 cup + 1 tablespoon of hot water and 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Any other natural dye ideas?