Save That Glass Jar — Here Are 28 Wonderful Ways to Upcycle It

Whether it’s a jar of baby food, some homemade preserves, leftover pickles, or the ubiquitous mason jar, chances are there’s a glass jar somewhere in your home. Do you know where it is? Go grab it now— especially if it’s just hanging out in a cabinet or waiting in the recycling bin! There are TONS of ways you can reuse and upcycle that jar yourself, for all kinds of useful and beautiful DIY reasons. We stumbled upon a list of ideas at By Stephanie Lynn that made us realize just how many options are out there, so we rounded up 28 to share with you today! It doesn’t matter how big your glass jar is or what kind it is; if you’re determined, you can use it to make one of these:

  1. Photo Luminary

    The best way to upcycle something disposable? Turn it into something lasting— and what’s more lasting than a memory?! Simply tape your favorite photos into a jar, add a tea light, and you have a gorgeous luminary.

  2. Autumnal Lantern

    Prefer your luminaries a little more seasonal? Make one perfect for fall using any jar you have and real leaves!

  3. Clustered Outdoor Lighting

    Of course, if you cluster a bunch of jars in various sizes together and insert votives, the effect is magical enough you don’t have to do anything else to them! This clustered lighting is perfect for any outdoor celebration, including weddings.

  4. Marble Art

    If you’re taking your glasses into the DIY decorative direction, take it all the way to art! Make one-a-kind designs using spray paint . . .

  5. Ombre Stain

    . . . and food coloring!

  6. Flower Vases

    Want to put those decorated jars to work? Turn them into flower vases! Here are three more decorative ways.

  7. Candles

    Always wanted to make your own candles? An empty jar gives you the perfect opportunity! Make it any color and scent you want!

  8. Oil Lamp

    Take DIY lighting one step further from candles and make a simple, old-fashioned oil lamp.

  9. Secret Candy Gift Jar

    This idea was designed for Christmas, but it works for any gift-giving occasion! Your recipient will think you’re just giving them a jar of candy, only to find a more monetary reward inside!

  10. Kitchen Garden

    Want to grow your own herbs indoors but don’t want to give up counter space? This solution is elegant, fun, easy and decorative!

  11. Mini Pies

    Don’t forget about using those perfectly round lids! They’re a great tool for making miniature, bite-sized pies . . .

  12. Ornaments

    . . . and Christmas ornaments!

  13. Glowing Night Light

    Whether you want them for a DIY kids’ room night light or some creative, magical décor, these glowing jars are so much fun to make and to use.

  14. Magnetic Spice Rack

    When it comes to reusing jars, everybody pays attention to mason jars, but another kind that’s just as useful and MORE adorable? Baby food jars! Use them to make things like this customizable, magnetic spice rack . . .

  15. Salt and Pepper Shakers

    . . . DIY salt and pepper shakers you can add your own designs to . . .

  16. Individual Cupcake Holder

    . . . the perfect container for gifting a cupcake . . .

  17. Color-Coded Crayon Containers

    . . . or an organizer that teaches your kids to color-match while they clean up their school and art supplies!

  18. Nail Polish Remover

    This idea originally used a plastic pill bottle, but we think a glass jar would work just as well, if not better!

  19. Snow Globe

    Glass jars are built to last and protect, making them perfect for one-of-a-kind gifts that preserve memories and special moments. Especially creative ways to do it include these snow globes . . .

  20. Vacation Memory Jar

    . . . and these collections of travel mementos!

  21. Terrarium

    Prefer to collect and display something more natural, but tired of all the flower vase ideas? Try a tiny terrarium . . .

  22. Fish Bowl

    . . . or the smallest, cutest aquarium!

  23. Bug Jar

    Kids more into creatures that crawl than the ones that swim? Get them interested in nature by making their own bug catching kits!

  24. Butterfly Feeder

    Even better than catching bugs? Encouraging them to set up shop and pollinate!

  25. Chore Jar

    Another way to keep kids occupied? Chores! It might not be fun, but by putting all the tasks into a jar, it is easy and efficient.

  26. Under-Shelf Storage

    Of course, jars were designed to hold things, but the particular design of glass jars makes them ideal for this smart, space-saving storage solution. Put whatever you want into them to free up counter space in a crowded kitchen or bathroom.

  27. Soap Dispenser

    Jars aren’t just for storage in the bathroom. You can repurpose them for cleansing, too!

  28. Yarn Holder

    Avoid tangles and protect your yarn from playful pets by making a yarn holder! Your knitting projects have never been easier.

With all of these clever ideas, you’ll never have to throw out a glass jar again! We especially love all the different ways to use them as mementos and gifts! If you want even more ideas where these ones came from, be sure to check out the list from By Stephanie Lynn, PLUS these other round-ups of more specific ideas and kinds of jars: