1. Get yourself a reusable straw, some ice, mixer and your favourite spirit and who needs fancy cocktail glasses!
2. Candles – collect up the ends of your old candles, melt them down over a bain-marie, get yourself a wick at the ready and centre it after you have poured the wax into the jar. Tie the top excess of the wick to an old pen or pencil balanced across the centre of the jar to keep it in place whilst it firms up.
3. Air freshener – choose your favourite herbs from your garden, (I like rosemary and thyme, but mint is another great choice) simmer your herbs with some water (and vanilla extract or pods if you have them) and after a few minutes or so let it all cool. Pour this all into your jar and you can either take the lid on and off as you please or nail a hole (carefully) into the top to let the scent out gradually – note: you will need to change this after a few days.
4. In the craft room, fill them with buttons, ribbons, paperclips - anything small and crafty.
5. In the workshop they’re used for storing the little things; washers, screws, nails, paint brushes, pens and pencils – if it’s small and easily lost, it is going in a jar.
6. Vases – is there anything cuter than a jam jar filled with cut flowers from the garden?! Sometimes I leave it plain, sometimes a ribbon or some garden twine accents the top.
7. DIY beauty containers - I rustle up my own sugar scrubs and bath salts and keep them in a sealed jar to stop the steam getting to them.
8. Ornamental – really like shells? Fill a jar with your latest haul and display in the bathroom. Smoky grey is your colour scheme? Fill a jar with pebbles and pop on your shelf. Whatever your style you can pretty up any room with the right jar display.
9. Paint them up to suit the season, Halloween, Easter, Diwali - you name the occasion, you can decorate the jar to suit, stick a tea light in it and you’ll have a great little display that you or your little ones can be proud of.
10. Storage, as basic as it gets - with a surge of zero waste shops popping up, it is so easy for many of us to now take a bag full of jars into town and fill them up with nuts, dried fruits, sugars, flours, pulses, pasta, even the odd sweet treat.
11. Pot noodles – and no, I do not mean the store-bought varieties that I used to devour as a teen after one too many tipples! Check out these recipes for the perfect quick lunch, but feel free to try different versions once you’re hooked! www.rivercottage.net/recipes/chorizo-tomato-instant-noodles-in-a-pot www.rivercottage.net/recipes/diy-pot-noodles
12. Shakers – carefully create a few small holes in the lid of a jar (a nail and mallet work nicely) and you have yourself a shaker as easy as that; use it in the kitchen for flour, icing sugar or coco dustings or in the craft room or with the kids for bio-glitter.
13. Packed lunches with your larger jars - fill them with layers of salad, just remember to put the wet and the heavy items at the base and work your way up to the light and leafy bits!
14. Dressings – your smallest jars often seem less useful than the large, but they are perfect for salad dressings. Take them alongside your salad or roast veggies, shake it up and dress your lunch just before you eat to prevent soggy meals.
15. Decanting – sometimes buying items we use often in bulk i.e. yoghurt, seems the most logical way and prevents the endless individual pots issue. My small and medium glass jars, are perfect for decanting my daily morning yoghurt into with a spoonful of honey, lemon curd or frozen fruits. Or make loads of homemade crisps and seal them up in jars to help you stick to your daily dose.
16. Overnight oats – one of my favourite time savers. Try a few different recipes to find your preferred version and spend a couple of minutes each evening prepping what could be your breakfast or lunch for the next day. The time it spends in the fridge overnight is where the magic happens – with so little effort from yourself!
17. Herb garden – in the medium and large jars, fill the base inch with a layer of small gravel and fill with good compost before planting up your herbs: mint, rosemary, coriander, parsley all do well on a windowsill – just make sure you monitor the moisture level for a perfect supply of fresh herbs
18. Just plain reuse them! Bulk make, jams, curds, chutneys, ferments, pickles and reuse the jars for their original purpose! www.rivercottage.net/recipes-in/preserves
There are so many more ideas out there: oil lamps, tealight chandeliers, snow globes, date night ideas pot luck, I really could go on but I think you get the idea ;)