Don't Throw Out That Jar! New Uses for Old Jars

I have to admit that I have been quite slow to jump on the "reuse" bandwagon when it comes to food packaging. Childhood cafeteria memories of sheepishly eating leftover spaghetti out of yogurt containers while friends showed off enviable prepackaged goods like "lunchables" and "snack-size Doritos" left their mark. However, time has healed many insecurities, and I've come to appreciate many thrifty ideals gleaned from my granola-nut parents. So much so, that I'm now guilty of selecting food goods based on the decorative weight of their containers for future uses. Glass jars clearly take the cake. Here are some new and old reasons to save a few...• 1 & 2 Candle-filled jars outdoors make magical floating chandeliers. For a helpful how-to for achieving this look, check out Martha Stewart's instructions. They also make beautiful, simple center pieces for casual al fresco dining.

• 3 & 4 Suspended and filled with a bit of bait, they also make creatively stylish fly catchers, as demonstrated in Michele and Brad's recent house tour. For instructions on how to create your own fly trap, click here.

• 5 This idea is not new, but it never fails to win my heart. There are so many gorgeous options for flower containers found right in the pantry that I don't think I will ever buy a clear vase again.

• 6 Backyard BBQs don't have to mean mountains of disposable plastic cups. Jars are hardy, stylish alternatives.

• 7 & 8 Time capsules for vacation memories! We love this idea from Sherry of This Young House. Inspired by a mason jar collection in a Pottery Barn catalog, she decided to display her vacation memories by filling and labeling jars with mementos from places she and her husband visit.

• 9 I decided to disband our "junk drawer" a long time ago because no drawer organizer, however clever, could seem to keep it from becoming a chaotic jumble of keys, pens, batteries, etc. So I love Martha Stewart's idea of stashing small items like this sewing kit together in clear, not to mention cute, containers. For a how-to, check out her site's instructions. I could see this being a perfect solution for a craft room shelf where various craft supplies are grouped by type and jarred candy shop style.

• 10 Antique mason jars are often pretty enough to display on their own too.

And in case you missed these other creative uses for recycled jars, check out Danielle's post on a DIY stained glass window and Susie's post on jars-turned-picture frames.

(Images: 1, 9: Martha Stewart, 2: Atlanta Bartlett, 3: Apartment Therapy House Tour, 4: Hotel Azucar, 5: Leah Moss, 6: My Home Ideas, 7,8: This Young House, 10: Country Living)

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