Have an abundance of empty mason jars at home? This list of empty mason jar storage ideas will help you recycle and reuse in smart ways!
Raise your hand if you have a collection of empty mason jars just waiting to be used.
Stemming from blackberry jam to tomato sauce to floral arrangement gifts, many of us have an influx of glass jars. Rather than tossing the empty jars in the recycling bin, I use them all over my home.
I first starting using more mason jars when my grandmother gifted me a bunch of vintage ones.
I use them both for décor and for holding things in my house – such as the pens on my desk!
As I’ve gotten more jars over the years, I’ve come up with even more ways to use them for storage solutions around my home. Getting organized with mason jars is a win-win since I already own a bunch of them!
MASON JAR SIZES
There are more sizes of mason jars than you would think, and a few different brands and colors too! Ball is known for its beautiful turquoise vintage jars and makes a pink version too.
Generally we have three main sizes: quart (the big jars you might see for jar storage in pantries), pint jars (your typical canning jars), and half pint.
You’ll also find “elite pints,” which are pear shaped, flat sized jars which are super squatty and wide, mini jars, and more. The more sizes you have – the more you can use them!
There are so many creative ways to use mason jars and accessories that make them even smarter – check out my accessories suggestions at the bottom of this post!
20 Empty Mason Jar Storage Ideas
As you saw above, I love the look of vintage jars on my desk with colorful pens and Sharpies inside.
This trio of jars came from my grandmother and are a little too old for food preservation, so desk accessory it is.
Jars are also great for craft supplies of all kinds: paint brushes, scissors, and more.
I came up with this good idea when I had a beautiful bunch of birch tree straws leftover from my son’s birthday and didn’t know where to put them.
They were so pretty I wanted them on display, but didn’t want them getting dusty. Vintage jar to the rescue!
I recently was brainstorming a container to store our corn-on-the-cob holders. Mason jar to the rescue!
The extra good news about this solution is that the jar has a small footprint in a tall drawer so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.
Instant Flatware Holder
3 jars in a row = a DYI flatware holder! Pint-sized mason jars fit perfectly in vintage cheese boxes.
I have a bunch of these boxes that I use in my pantry, mantels, and more. I break out this flatware holder when we have a buffet-style party at home.
This set of 3 white painted jars would be perfect!
You might remember back when I had a shelf in my kitchen that was the perfect size for quart mason jars. I stored grains and nuts in them and not only were they easily accessible, they looked nice too. I still use jars for decanting rice and bulk grains, nuts, and popcorn kernels.
Flowers in a mason jar is nothing mind-blowingly new, but did you know they make special lids called “flower frogs” that helps keep stems apart? My mother-in-law loves them and brought me these beauties from her garden!
Make Salad Dressing
Add ingredients, add lid, shake!!! Store in the fridge.
As Drinking Glasses
We use jars for our primary drinking glasses! The small half pints are great for kids, and the pints are perfect for …. well, a pint of beer! Jars seem to be a lot more durable than fragile glasses.
Chalk box get crushed? Lid hard to put back on without chalk falling out the other side? Half pint jar to the rescue!
Any little doo-dad in your house probably needs a container in which to store them. Safety pins, paper clips, push pins, bobby pins – pint jars are great for them all.
Buy an adapter lid and you have an instant soap pump. I bought these lids, and they came with matching labels too : )
You can buy an expensive butter keeper…or you can just use a jar! We keep our butter on the counter so it’s soft and spreadable.
A half stick fits perfect in a half pint jar. Pop in the dishwasher to clean between sticks.
You know how hard paint cans are to open? And then you make a mess stirring the paint. I keep a jar of paint handy for quick touch ups on my trim.
A paint expert might tell me this is not ideal for the paint, but it’s such a small amount if it were to “go bad” I could just replenish! So far it’s worked for me.
Decorate with them!
Fill them with beautiful things like shells or branches. Or paint them.
You can DIY mason jar paint yourself if you’re crafty or take advantage of Etsy and have someone do the paint job for you 🙂 Look at this beautiful selection of colors!
Canning and Jams and Yogurt, oh my!
It’s no secret that the mason jar is the king of canning and the food preservation industry.
Jams and pickled veggies aside, you can also use them for making yogurt or kefir, kombucha, sun tea, storing tea, mixing cocktails, and more! Check out this post on How To Ferment Vegetables.
Jars are ideal for making single serve overnight oats, chia pudding, or the famous mason jar salads trending all over the internet. Pour the dressing on the bottom and mix in a big bowl when you’re ready to eat. Or use to store soups and sauces on your prep day. Silicone cupcake liners can serve as dividers.
Try: Thai Crunch Mason Jar Salad and Mango Chia Pudding
A mason jar is the perfect size for storing a bunch of herbs. Add a little water to the bottom and arrange herbs like flowers. Store on your windowsill (for a day) or in the fridge (for a few days).
Find loose buttons or change in your washer or dryer? Store them in a jar! My mom had a button collection in a jar when I was growing up.
Q-tips, toothbrushes, makeup brushes, cotton balls – done!
Freezer holding popsicles – wide mouth
Wide mouth jars make great holders for these silicone popsicles molds that we use for pouring leftover smoothies in. Put the mold in the jar, pour the smoothie, store in the fridge until frozen, remove the jar!
Have more ideas for empty mason jar storage? I’d love to hear them in the comments!!
Mason Jar Accessories
Don’t get stuck using boring canning lids. If you haven’t been to their site before, Mason Jar Lifestyle has everything you could dream up for jars! They make all kinds of mason jar accessories, from every kind of lid you can imagine to reusable straws, soap pumps, silicone sleeves, and solar lights!
Amazon has a bunch of handy accessories too – like these flower frog lids for making jar arrangements.
These chalkboard labels are a must-have for any kind of jar storage!! Get a chalk pen to make the text pretty : )
Want even more ideas? Search for “mason jars” on Etsy and the crafting community will have you seeing heart eyes!!
Where To Store Extra Empty Mason Jars
I keep extra jars in the top of my kitchen cabinets (you know, those areas that you need a step stool to reach?).
If you have the storage space, any extra cabinet in your house works. But remember you can decorate with jars too! If you have open shelving, jars can be beautiful lined up in row! You can mix a variety of of sizes in one color in a decorative grouping.
If you buy them in bulk, save the original box or use cardboard boxes with dividers (like for wine) to separate jars.
You can store your canning lids on the jars so they stay together or separate them by piece with jar rings in one basket and lids in the other.
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Louise RD says
I have a large drawer full of the 3 different sizes, (prefer widemouth) and use them as my Tupperware (among other things) to store leftovers as well as freezing soups & chili. I don’t like the 2-piece metal lids, so keep a stash of the white plastic 1-piece lids—easy Peezy! I love your idea of housing corn holders in a mason jar! I’m on it;-)
Kath Younger says
Yes and yes! The double lids are not my favorite either – singles all the way!
I had a friend over recently who opened a kitchen cabinet and she asked me what’s with all the jars? LOL because it is just FULL of jars! I use them to store homemade foods in: chicken stock, pesto and jams mostly.
Kath Younger says
Haha! I used to have more but have pared down in recent years
I have so many jars, including a few of the turquoise. When I was younger I canned all kinds of veggies and salmon (I live in Alaska where my late husband fished a lot). I love your ideas. I’ve always used chipped or cracked jars to hold things around the house. And, I have my flatware in the same wooden boxes. These came from my in-laws who got them from the local dairy filled with butter, cream cheese, etc. Thanks for a fun post.
Kath Younger says
Love how many you have!
I’m 5′ tall so I need a step stool for anything higher than the bottom shelf (almost!)
Brandie J Kuefner says
Love your ideas.. my mom used them for quick sncks with cubed cheese and sliced meat in small jars tucked nicely in fridge drawer
K Alexander says
Great for cotton balls in one and q tips in another in my bath. I store all my special flours, like oat, almond, gluten free in large jars. Also small pasta, rice, lentils, barley and wheat germ. I have a larger jar that I filled with shells and made a lamp for my bath, a lamp of antique buttons into a lamp for the laundry room. Also bath salts with essential oils beside the bath tub.
I love glass anything, Ball jar Kerr Jarrs especially, I’m from a town in Indiana where I grew up was the glass capital of Indiana it was called Dunkirk Indiana, not anymore we only have 1 glass factory now, at one time in history we had 23 glass factories there. The next town over was Ball jars. Not anymore sad to say. I think we should bring glass back it’s recycled just like plastic. Things taste better in glass. I miss the town I grew up in as I’m sure alot of people do.
Kath Younger says
What cool history! I agree about tasting better for sure.