Tutorial + How-to Terrariums. CC photo by Flickr user exlibris

Published on August 18th, 2010 | by Becky Striepe

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Ten Craft Projects from Glass Jars

Terrariums

Next time you finish a jar of pasta sauce or scrape the last bit of jam onto your toast, you might want to think twice before tossing that precious glass jar into the recycle bin. Those empty glass jars are a great free way to launch all sorts of fun, upcycled craft projects!

Removing the label can be a bit tricky sometimes so try soaking your jars overnight in warm, soapy water, then rub them with a coarse cloth. If that doesn’t work, orange oil works well for getting stubborn labels to budge. Once you jar is clean, there are endless ways you can reuse it. Here are ten ideas to get you started:

1. Create Sand Art

Sand Art in Recycled Containers

This is a great project to do with the kiddos! Julie shows you how to make beautiful sand art with some reclaimed glass jars, colored sand, and a little creativity.

2. Infused Vodka

This is a more grown up project. You can create all sorts of awesome flavored vodkas in your old glass jars. Whip up a batch for a themed party or as gifts!

Next: Make a jar of DIY hot sauce or tote a drink.

[Image Credit: Terrariums. Creative Commons photo by exlibris. Sand Jar photo by Julie Finn]

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • linda

    hey check out joann’s craft for charity contest–i know you are not all about stores and such but i would ask that you would ask other crafty people to support Joshua house and Metropolitian Ministeries with handmade goodness! they have a announcement on their myspace page about it !

  • http://solar.calfinder.com/blog Taylen

    along the lines of pickles and/or hot sauce – storing just about any homemade food…my parents used to collect both glass jars and bottles. jars for their salsa made from their garden and bottles for my dad’s homemade irish cream…mmmmmm so good! thanks for bringing back such great memories (and reminding me i need to get in on that this year!)

  • http://Web Dagmar

    See this cool idea for re-using glass bottles as photo frames: http://www.rikkihibbert.co.za/2010/07/16/recycle-reuse-repurpose-glass-jar-photo-frames/

    • kirsten

      amazing.

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  • http://Bugcatcher Leannn

    I let my kids use jars for catching bugs.
    I sprout grains in glass, using a square of nylon screening as a straining lid.
    Baby food jars are great for storing little things: rubber bands, tacks, beads, etc.
    I painted my cupboards, but they get scuffed easily, so I put some of the paint in a baby food jar and store it in a high cupboard for quick touch-ups.
    Put whipping cream and a marble in a jar with a lid and have the kids shake it til it turns to butter.

    • Tascha

      really that’s how you can make butter?! That’s awesome

  • Garcia12

    ahh i love the sand project :)

    • tim

      haaa :) yea me too

  • http://sunshineandsippycups.com Meagan Paullin

    I can’t remember where I saw it, but there was a post on making Easter decorations with glass jars. She soaked an old grapevine wreath in water to loosen it, and took just enough to fashion a little birds nest to fit the jar size.

    Next, she added a bit of craft moss into and around the little nest. Then she painted some old wooden easter eggs a really pretty turquoise-y blue, with brown speckles, and added them into the nest.

    So simple, nearly free, and really pretty! I saw another idea too, green-tinted coconut in the bottom of the jar, a nest made of no-bake cookie type mix, filled with egg candy and a “momma bird” Peep, with a painted lid and ribbon, as an Easter gift. Love it.

    I hate throwing away jars, they seem so, well, substantial, you know? Not garbage. So I am ALWAYS on the hunt for some new way to reuse them so that I can keep them :)

    Love your ideas here!

  • http://feathersfreesiasandfishingtackle.blogspot.com/ andrea @ ffft

    We made these last year for my sister’s birthday at my parents property and they stayed up for the rest of the summer… will be making them for my own yard this spring now that we have one! They make the garden (which is being planted now) so pretty in the evening… you can tie the lid on too so that when you are done you just put the lid back on top and it keeps any rain or bugs out… I think we ended up with about 120 in total… It was a great group project! We used hemp twine, and it has a stretch so we had to tie them really tightly around the underside of the threads. It wasn’t planned either, so we were raiding everyone’s recycling boxes :)

    I will do a post on them sometime this week…

    • andrea of ffft

      Also, I think the sand in the bottom is pretty important and you are supposed to make sure that the twine isn’t tied right at the opening… it was about 16 inches above the flame of the tealight.

  • http://www.smglassbottles.in glass bottles manufacturer chennai

    Great article thanks for sharing!….I love this glass bottles. Thanks!…

  • Pingback: How-to: Prep Reclaimed Glass Jars for Crafting

  • http://busymomhelp.wordpress.com Elena

    I decoupage glass jars and bottles and use them as home decoration

    • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky Striepe

      Very fun!

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  • laura

    My daughter’s kindergarten class glued bits of orange contruction paper to empty baby food jars and then added faces to make jack-o-lanterns. They were adorable! Now, whenever my daughter sees small jars, she begs to make pumpkins! I’m not sure, but I think the teacher or a class volunteer got the idea from pinterest.

    • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky Striepe

      That is so cute! I bet you could use that same idea to make lots of other designs, like a bunny, kitty, etc.

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