11 Creative Uses for Canning Jars

Canning jars are one of my favorite kitchen items. Not only do I love to see the pantry lined with home-canned goodies, canning jars have so many other practical uses.

When you find them used, canning jars make one of the most economical glass storage containers ever. I keep a look out for canning jars at garage sales and thrift stores to add to my collection. 

Canning jars aren't just cute. Here are 11 practical and creative uses for canning jars.

11 Creative Uses for Canning Jars

  1. Fill with flowers. They make cute quaint vases, especially with ribbon or raffia tied around the top.
  2. Use as cups for little ones. They are sturdy and don’t tip over easily.
  3. Collect loose change. It’s amazing how quickly it adds up!
  4. Store smaller portions of bulk purchases like beans or barley and use them as part of your kitchen decor.
  5. Keep weevils or ants from infesting your pantry by storing sugar, flour, and other tempting food in glass jars.
  6. Fill with cookie or brownie mixes for inexpensive gifts
  7. Use canning jars as adorable holders for homemade candles (another wonderful gift idea!)
  8. Keep your favorite bulk herbs fresh by storing them in a tightly shut canning jar.
  9. Hold drippings from bacon, sausage, chicken, etc
  10. Use canning jars to store leftover soup or other liquids. Not only does the glass not leak chemicals, but you can see what’s stored and use it before it spoils.
  11. Store homemade herbal salves, toothpaste, and other natural products in small glass jars.

As you can see, a cupboard full of canning jars opens up the door to many practical and pretty uses.

Canning jars help prevent chemicals from leaching into your food (which might happen with plastic storage containers), protect your pantry from pest infestation, and turn homemade projects into beautiful DIY gifts.

These are just a few creative uses for canning jars. What is your favorite use for them?

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  1. says

    Home-made bathsalts or granola for gifts
    Storing salt, baking soda, or baking powder in my humid climate.
    Growing bean sprouts- I top the jar with a square cut from an old nylon stocking held on by rubber band, soak beans or grains over night, drain through the sieve created by the old stocking, rinse and drain upside down three times a day, and in to or three days we have sprouts!

    • anna says

      Growing bean sprouts—what a great idea! What kinds of beans do you sprout? Do they have to be organic?

  2. says

    I keep a jar near my washer and dryer and use it to hold small items that come from pockets, like change or paper clips.
    Every once in a while, I sort out the change and cash it in at a Coinstar machine. I always get a gift card or voucher, so the service is free. I’ve been able to treat myself to some nice things from Borders and Amazon.com using change!

    • anna says

      Good idea! Just about the only thing I rescue from the laundry is my husbands thumb drive! But we did save up enough change to buy a camera right before our first baby was due. 🙂

  3. says

    I like to keep ’em on hand to take food to people from church who need a good meal (new moms, folks with family in the hospital, etc).

    I also use a big one I picked up at a thrift shop to keep my kitchen scraps in til I can take ’em on out to the compost bin.


    Great post!

  4. says

    I love canning jars! I actually use them to hold my silverware in as I have no drawer space for them. They make cute craft continers for leftover ribbon and stuff too.

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