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10 Great Ways to Use Empty Glass Jars and Bottles: Reusing Jam, Wine and Other Glass Containers

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Use that Empty Glass Jar!

There is something really charming about glass bottles. Old-fashioned yet modern, simple and clean. What I love most about glass jars and bottles is that it is so incredibly easy to reuse and repurpose them. Need a container for loose change? Grab a jam jar. Looking for a retro candle holder? Use an empty wine bottle.

 All you need to do before reusing them is to wash them in hot, soapy water. Scrub off any stickers or labels. If you’d like, you can stick left over bits of wrapping paper to decorate the lids and voila, you have lovely, glass jars to use any way you’d like.

Here are my favorite ways of reusing these lovely organizing tools to keep the home neat, save money and live green. 

  1. Spice Jars. One of my favorite uses is to store spices and herbs in glass jars.  Since I buy frequently used spices and herbs in bulk, glass jars are great for storing them. You can use larger jars, such as the Nutella ones, for bigger quantities and smaller jam bottles for others.
  2. Flower Vases. Bottles, wine and ketchup, make great single stem holders while jars without the lids can be used to hold bunches of daisies or marigolds. Easy, no-fuss and cheap table decorations!
  3. Organize Sewing Supplies. Keeping buttons, threads, zippers and other sewing supplies organized is easy with small glass jars. However, before I started doing this, I was using a sewing organizer with separate compartments and that worked just as well. Except that it just got a tad small once our needs for mending grew. So, the organizer now holds ribbons and gift tags for our gift-wrapping.
  4. Keep Hair Accessories Tidy. I love  using jam jars and bottles to store my daughter’s clips, bands and hair ties. I can find what I need instantly and they make her closet shelf look all neat and organized. If you have older kids, though, you may not want to do that since jars can slip and break. Right now, I handle my toddler’s closet and so am using them. As she grows older, I may have to look at other unbreakable organizing options.
  5. Store Nails, Screws and Pins. Keeping my much-needed nails, pins and screws is easy with tightly-lidded glass jars. 
  6. Cookies, Candy and Snack Containers. I haven’t bought a single cookie, candy or snack container in ages now. All I do is reuse the empty Nutella jars. Since we don’t buy too many candies or cookies anyway, the size is perfect for the small quantities of candy, dried fruits and homemade cookies that I bake for my daughter.
  7. Pen and Pencil Holders. Jars whose lids have lost their way can easily be used to stash extra pens and pencils. Add attractive labels or pictures (Check out some great deals on labels at Current Labels and Lovable Labels!) and you have lovely desk décor.  
  8. Organize Laundry Supplies. Glass jars are also ideal for storing detergent, stain remover and any other dry laundry item that you buy in bulk. Even, if you make your own green detergent, you can use the bottles for storing it.
  9. Showcase Collections. Pebbles, leaves, flowers and shells collected during nature walks or time out in the park all go into glass jars. Even in the kitchen, you can create pretty showpieces by layering different colored lentils in a jar. I have orange, yellow and green lentils with a bottom layer of black lentils. Plus, you can keep changing it as and when you want.
  10. Candle Stands. The best use for empty wine bottles, in my opinion, is to transform them into retro-ish candle holders. I use quite a few during Diwali and Christmas celebrations at home.

  I love glass jars and bottles for many reasons. One, they look simple and elegant. Two, they’re super easy to clean and maintain. Three, it is easy to keep track of items that need replenishing, such as, dried herbs, snacks, stain remover and so on. Four, they’re inexpensive since I’ve already bought the jam or Nutella (which my toddler loves and yes, I know it isn’t the healthiest spread ever but till I don’t find a healthier spread, I’m stuck with it :-()

Your turn, now. What’s your favorite way to reuse an empty jar or bottle? Do share!!

 Photo Credit: D’Arcy Norman

Prerna


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Comments

  1. Thanks for the mention (Lovable Labels!) – we do have some great Pantry and Spice Labels available!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      You’re most welcome, Laura. I’ve seen your labels on the site and reviewed by other bloggers and they’re truly great.

  2. The kids drink out of old Polaner jelly jars. They’re octagonal so they are nearly impossible to break and they are just the right size for little hands.

    • The Mom Writes says:

      That sounds great, Djinny! I’d never considered using jelly jars for drinking.. Thanks for sharing this. Warmly, Prerna

  3. I also love, love, love glass jars! They are so pretty! :) Have a great weekend!

  4. Hi Prerna! I love using pasta sauce glass containers for sprouting beans and lentils. Just clean the jar, use a nail to punch holes on the lid, and voila, we’ve got a sprouting jar.

    You gave some great ideas. I specially like the one for hair accessories. I think my daughter would love it. We might even paint the jars to make them look more fun.
    Loving blessings!

  5. The Mom Writes says:

    Hi Andrea, love your idea for creating a sprouting jar. I have to totally try that out. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Ranjeetha says:

    Hii Prerna,
    Lovely tips…when I read this post I was thrilled because I do use my glass jars but then your post gave me new ideas on how to use my glass bottles…
    Like, for example, the soy sauce bottle that I get are slim and nice but I usually end up throwing them…but now (after reading your post) I use them to store cooking oil on the rack next to the stove (the original cooking oil bottle is big and in the cabinet) – this is easy, accessible and the soy bottle’s spout is small ensuring I don’t over pour the oil while cooking :)
    I cant wait to get another empty soy sauce bottle – this I am planning to use as a flower vase (loved that idea of yours).
    You just make my brain cells think twice before I throw another glass bottle….Thanks!!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Aww, Ranjeetha.. That is sweet.. Am so happy you’re putting these ideas to use. Being able to repurpose something is not only economical but also, so much fun:-)

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