By Kim Robson:
If you have a new baby in your home, you surely must also have a growing collection of baby food jars. Sure, you could recycle them, but there are a jillion ways to reuse and repurpose these handy little receptacles. Without further ado, here are some brilliant ways to give those cute little jars new lives:
Make a spice drawer. Paint the tops with chalkboard paint, then label the contents in chalk. Fill the containers and nest into a handy drawer. Or glue magnetic strips to the undersides and stick them to the side of the refrigerator.
Use them to display frequently used kitchen staples.
Store fresh herbs in the refrigerator.
They’re also great for corralling beauty supplies like hair clips, hand soaps, bobby pins, Q-Tips or cotton balls.
Don’t overlook holders for office supplies like pens, pencils, paperclips, binder clips, staples or flash drives.
They’re also perfect for holding loose hardware like nails, screws, nuts, bolts, pins, etc.
They’re perfect for collecting pocket change.
Use them to make gifts of homemade bath salts, lotions, butters or salves.
Make homemade snow globes!
Make the top into a pin cushion and fill the container with sewing supplies.
Use them as votive candle holders.
Wrap wire around the tops to create outdoor tea lights. Put a bit of sand in the bottom for looks and to settle the light, and hang them around your patio.
With a bit more ambition, you could make this rustic candlelit chandelier.
Glue plastic toys to the tops and fill them with kids’ tiny treasures. Kids can also use them as temporary specimen jars for found insects. (Punch holes in the lid.)
Fill them with rocks, shells, or seaglass.
Make mini terrariums.
They’re the perfect size for making mini cakes in a jar or pies in a jar. Recipes for cakes (or pies) in a jar usually call for mason jars, which are tempered to withstand high heat. If you do use a baby food jar, just be aware that there is a small chance the jar may break. I would recommend one of the many no-bake recipes for cakes in a jar. They’re perfect for picnics, outdoor lunches or baby showers.
Some folks reuse baby food jars for home canning. This may have been okay some decades ago, when the containers were thicker. Today’s jars are relatively thin, and may not withstand the heat and pressure of a boiling water bath. However, there are a number of folks reusing baby food jars for canning. Again, be aware that the jar may break. Instead, you could use the receptacles for non-canning foods that would be eaten soon or stored in the refrigerator. Ideas could include pesto, infused oils, homemade candies, or jams.
I bet you think you don’t have enough baby food jars now!