7 Ways to Repurpose Old Glassware

7 Ways to Repurpose Old Glassware

One of my favorite things to upcycle is glassware. Anytime my family finishes off a jar of jelly, salsa, pickles, or spaghetti sauce I wash them out, strip the labels, and keep the lids. I make sure to run the jars and lids through the dishwasher, and if the lids have wax seals, I keep them sitting out for a few months until they lose the smell of what was previously in the jars. Sometimes the labels can be difficult to get off, but luckily I haven’t met one yet that didn’t come off easily with a combination of hot water and Goo Gone. There are so many ways to repurpose old glassware: storage, display, or decoration. Click through to get ideas…

1. Gift Jars

A glass jar with a lid is a great resource for creating a gift jar for a friend or teacher. There are endless possibilities with this upcycling project. I have given tea jars like the one pictured as gifts with a variety of tea choices. Alternatively, you could put in hot cocoa, marshmallows, and a candy cane for a Christmas treat. You could even fill the jar with nail polishes, a nail file, and cotton balls for a girly home manicure birthday gift idea. For a kid-friendly gift for a little boy, you could put in some play dough and a few toy cars. Think about who you want to gift your little creation to, and paint the lid for a fancier, more customized look. 

For more ideas about how to use jars for gift-giving this holiday season, check out two of our DIY gifting guides: 5 Gifts You Can Make With a Mason Jar and Christmas Gift Ideas: 13 Ways to Fill Mason Jars.

2. Toiletries

Putting Q-tips and cotton balls out for guests to help themselves to and for everyday use can be done fashionably with upcycled glassware. I like to leave the tops open for my guest bathroom so that guests feel welcome to use whatever they may need. You can finish it off the look with a bow of jute twine for a more decorative touch. I like using lids in the master bathroom, adding a splash of paint to match the decor.

For more ideas using jars for bathroom storage, watch this tutorial: How To DIY a Mason Jar Organizer; or get more tips on styling your glassware storage here: 5 Ways to Color Mason Jars.

3. Hair Supplies

Girls' hair often requires lots of bands, bobby pins, ties, and clips. Repurposed glassware is an easy way to consolidate all of those necessary items into one place while still maintaining easy access to all of it. Plus, it looks pretty. I like to leave mine out on my counter top for when I’m getting ready in the morning. 

Check out this guide to spray painting your old jars for cute, stylish hair accessory storage: Get Your Hair Stuff in Chic Order; or go for a more minimalist approach with simple pained labels to keep your hair elastics and bobby pins in order with this DIY tutorial: Jar O' Elastic Hair Bands.

4. Flower Vase

I bought this old-school soda bottle at an estate sale, but it can easily be duplicated with any glass bottle you may already have. I decided to take my design to the next level by filling it with kidney beans (you could also use glass stones, rice, quinoa, rhinestones, beads, etc.) and adding some fake flowers to it. Be sure to cut the flowers to the appropriate height for the soda bottle. Now, it’s a great decorative piece for any home. 

Learn how to make your own soda bottle vase here: Make a Soda Pop Bottle Vase. You can also repurpose empy wine or sparkling cider bottles as shown here: Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles.

5. Candy Display and Storage

My co-workers love to eat treats on the job, so I like to stock mason jars with candy and leave them at my desk for anyone that comes to visit with me to enjoy. A cute, colorful way to do this is to put each candy in its own jar. It really gives it that turn-of-the-century candy store feeling that I love. Plus, it creates a way to serve loose candy like jelly beans and gummy bears without having an unsanitary situation such as an open bowl. I painted the lids to add a pop of color to our rather drab office color scheme. 

This decorative candy jar is sure to spruce up your office and satisfy your sweet tooth: Candy-Filled Mason Jar Vases.

6. Baby Accessory Storage

When you've got a baby on the way, it can seem like there's an endless amount of items that need a new home. One great way that I got organized for my baby was by putting items that I knew I'd use regularly (i.e. brush, comb, nail trimmers, syringe for medicine) in a glass jar and placing it near my son's changing pad for easy access.  

Here are some more Nursery DIY Organization tips for crafty parents or soon-to-be parents.

7. Party Utensils

When company comes over, I like to get out glass jars to sort the silverware. I use one jar for each different kind of cutlery. This works well with a serving line or a buffet-style meal. If you wanted to kick it up a notch, you could even paint the jars to match the theme of your party. I’ve seen some cute holiday-themed jars out there. Get crafty!

If you're debating on what kind of centerpiece to use this Thanksgiving, A Functional Thanksgiving Center Piece for a Few Bucakroos can turn your old glassware into a utensil-holding focal point for your dining table, of you can transform your picnic table this summer with Summer Mason Jars for cook-out gatherings.