Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tool Time Tuesday...Canning Jars Projects

Tuesdays..."Where we always thinks outside the box" or the jar in this case. Did you know your local hardware store carries boxes of canning jars. They are actually in a lot of stores this time of year for storing fruits and veggies right from the garden or farm stand. However, no such edibles in these jars!

Canning jars come in so many different shapes and sizes.

Wide mouths and small mouths...

Short ones and tall ones.

Gold ones and silver ones. Yahoo for the silver ones. I just about died in the store when I saw the new silver covers.

If you have old jars and just want to change the lids to the new silver, they sell boxes of them, 12 for about $2.00-$3.00.

Ahhh...brushed silver. I can't say enough for the person who thought of this idea.

However, if you want to use these jars for anything OTHER THAN FOOD, you can always spray paint your gold rims.

A quick spray and they were done.

Not too bad! Looks like the ones from the store. Just don't can food with them.

So now that you know a little about whats out there for jars, here are a few ideas.
The first is a project I've been making for years. Canning jar pin cushions!
You will need some fiber fill or cotton balls, a square of fabric twice the size of the size of your flat lid and the disk from the lid.

Your square of fabric should be about twice the width of your jar lid disk. This little one is about 2 1/2" across, so I cut this square about 5".

Now, here's the order of the layering. Flat solid disk first on the table, then the ball of cotton batting, then your square of fabric and finally the ring from the lid.

Pick up the pile and start to push the flat disk up into the ring...

until the ball of batting has popped up high above the ring.

Make sure all the batting is inside the ring and the fabric is gathered evenly around the ring.

Work the fabric to smooth out the puckers.

Now trim to 1/2 inch all the way around.

So it looks like this.

Hot glue time.

Glue down opposite sides so the fabric is distributed evenly. Glue all the way around.

Now it would be nice to cover all the raw edges on the inside. You could just glue on another piece of fabric or you could print a special phrase that's meaningful to you.

I just print it out and glued it on.

Nice to read something every time you open the jar.

Gather up all your favorites for your sewing kit.

and you are ready to go...or should I say ready to sew!

Canning jars are great for storing just regular old things too...like buttons.

The next 2 projects are memory jars.
This bag of sand and seashells will be 23 years old on August 1st...our anniversary! I have kept it in this bag all through the years. Well, no more.

I found an old picture of the beach we stayed at on our honeymoon.

Center the picture with the lid.

Trim to fit.

and just pop it inside.

Now I filled the smallest jar I had with the sand and shells.

Isn't it the cutest little memory jar you've ever seen. You can always print a little hang tag with all the info from your event, vacation, birthday, special memory etc and then tie it on with a ribbon.

This next one is for the girls' prom memories. They both save their bouquets and dry the flowers. They also save the invitation and little things from the dance.

Just place all the memories into the jar...

and make a label for the inside of the ring. I printed this on a heavier weight card stock, but any paper would work.

Hold the lid disk behind the paper to center the lid on the text.

Trace and cut out.

I used a piece of the ribbon that was on her flowers to decorate the jar.

I found this little picture on the internet. It's the case the canning jars come in. Wouldn't it be cute to store all your memory jars in this box. You can identify each memory by the lid on the top of the jar.

The next ideas are decorative candle lights for parties.
I used epsom salt to hold the candles in the jar in these pictures. Works great and glistens like snow for Christmas. I've also used sand, cat litter, beans, coffee, candy, marbles etc. Whatever fits the party or function you are having.

Just fill the jar about half way and drop in a votive candle.

Here's a blue bow just in time for 4th of July...add a little flag and you're all set.

Great for the evening when you're outside enjoying the warm summer nights.

Skipping right to Christmas...yikes it will be here before we know it. I know, bite my tongue!

These are great for table decorations, for the mantel or add a scented candle for the guest bath.

I use mine every year along the walk way to our front door for our Christmas parties. They are much safer than the paper bag luminaries.

I know there are a thousand different uses for canning jars. I especially love all the food recipe jars. If you have any other ideas, share them in your comment if you'd like.
spaceI hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday and don't forget to enter this week's Sharing on Sunday give away.
Talk to you soon,


  1. They are all such clever ideas - Not sure if I can get them here in tasmania but I will try.

    Hugs - Fee X

  2. Those are all fab ideas! I suppose we could always adapt other types of jar, but those canning jars work really well.

  3. What a wonderfull ideas.

  4. Because "cheap" is my middle name, I save the jars that higher end spaghetti sauce comes in...like Classico. They are actually canning jars and I just purchase the rings and lids. I have used them for years as luminaries but LOVE your idea of using them for memory jars. Thanks!

  5. Great ideas! I love the possibility of recycling empty glass jars. Thanks!

  6. You've inspired me to buy some mason jars!! :)

  7. Love your ideas much more than the real use for them not into canning anymore and yours are so creative & fun must try some of them....keep the coming!!

  8. I've made the pincushions and my buttons are in jars too, but I just love the memory jars! And thanks for the tip about the Epsom salts too! I never would have thought of using that! :0)

  9. I use them on my kitchen cabinet to hold M&Ms...easy access for that little bite of chocolate to finish off a meal...also was at a wedding this past weekend and the florist used mason jars to hold the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets before the wedding.

  10. Your ideas are so great. I will be using some of them soon.

  11. You never cease to amaze me. Love .Love your ideas.
    Thank You for sharing.

  12. i just found two boxes brand new with lids in teh basement. It was great timing to find your article.

  13. Karen, you are brilliant! I can use some of these ideas for our church Christmas fair. I have lots of canning jars in my basement. Thanks for sharing your incredible creativity! mariaegerard@gmail.com

  14. Oh yes...so many wonderful ideas for use of canning jars and lids. You've made some very pretty ones. Another thing I love the jars for is those layer cookie mixes you give during holidays.

  15. Great ideas! I see a few Christmas gifts in the near future!

    Hope the sun is shining for you today,

  16. What cute ideas! I love the honeymoon and prom jars!

    I actually saved a few jars from spagetti sauce, pickles and apple sauce and cleaned them out and now have one filled with buttons and one with ribbons and one with wooden spools on a shelf above my sewing machine, for a little decoration and inspiration!

  17. Great idea's! Lots of fun projects! Thanks! :-)

  18. Love all the ideas! Canning jars of various sizes are often sold in thrift shops, so look there before buying new! Probably won't find silver lids there, but I'm going to look before shopping for them in regular stores.

  19. Thanks Karen!!
    Loved your ideas...I'm such a softie when it comes to Mason Jars!! Love them!

  20. And I just used them for drinking! I'll have to save some for these great ideas - thanks, Karen!

  21. very clever, as always! The Memory Jars are new to me, I can see how sweet and meaningful they can be.

    But I do have one question about the candles... what sort of 'party or function' have you had where the decor required Cat Litter? ;-)

  22. My antique blue Ball canning jar is filled with the "dog ears" I get when sewing triangles to other shapes for the quilts I make. I have the attachment that turns my jar into a lamp, but haven't covered the lamp shade yet. I'll have a picture soon. Donna

  23. Thank you for all the fun ideas.

  24. Karen~ Back in the 80's we made
    lamps for the kid's rooms with Ball
    jars. We put hot wheel cars in the
    boy's and dolls in the girl's. Put
    the lamp kit on the lid and match
    the shade to whats in the jar. I do
    have vintage buttons and lace in
    some blue Ball jars and I canned
    23 pints of May-haw jelley in some
    Ball,Knox and Atlas Hall jars. Some
    of these are very old from Mom's
    house when she used to can. ":O)

  25. Great tips. This definitely goes into my list of favorites.


  26. Those are all really great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing! -Elizabeth

  27. Those jars are so versatile. I love the pincushion one. I save my Moccona coffee jars for putting in christmas nibblies. Also my neighbor and I wired up, and hung lots (moccona jars) with tealights inside, for a street party.

    :) my word verification is: shine

  28. I think the ideas are fantastic, especially the memory jars. You are a genius.

  29. Love all the ideas...clever, clever, clever!

  30. Love the candles in the epsom salt - perfect for that holiday coming up faster than we think that we won't name! (If I say it it'll be here tomorrow, I swear!)

  31. I'm always on the lookout for new jar craft ideas. Thanks for sharing these!

  32. The candle and the photo lid are simply fabulous! You can never have enough jars - great ideas! Stopping by from Just a Girl. Hope you are enjoying your week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  33. Some more fun (and economical) ideas from you...thanks!

  34. Thank you. I used to do a lot of canning when my family was home so there are lots of empty jars in the basement wanting to see daylight again. Thanks to you some of them can be useful again. Wonderful gift for my sewing friends, the pin cushion jar.

  35. Wow! You have sooo many great idea for the jars!! Thanks for sharing!! They look fabulous!

  36. Lots of wonderful ideas for the jars.
    I gave mine away since I wasn't canning anymore.


  37. You're overflowing with great ideas!!! Love it!!!

  38. Thanks for sharing all those lovely ideas

  39. Congratulations, really good ideas to turn the canning jars in very very original decoration! Claudia (Italy)

  40. Hi - just scrolling through your amazing blog, and came across your organizing icon. I love your creative use of the canning jars. I will just have to make the sewing jar for my Mom now. Thanks so much for the great idea. And your tutorial is great, too. When you get a moment, please grab a cup of java or tea and cruise through some of my altered art moments.

  41. Love your seashell jar. I did something similar here: http://flyawayhome-4am.blogspot.com/2010/05/summer-vacation.html

  42. What wonderful ideas!

    I recently used canning jars to transform my spice drawer from an absolute mess into a drawer I open just to look at!


  43. I absolutely love the pin cushion idea! I've been meaning to get a pin cushion for years but never have gotten around to it and now, wahlah! I have one that also doubles as a place to hold my little scissors and some thread. Thanks so much for this wonderful project and your great blog!

  44. Love reading your blog, and the jar ideas were great.


  45. I need to buy a case of these - all such wonderful ideas. I am going to make the pincushion one - I'm thinking this would be great when I'm sewing an outfit - put all the buttons, zippers, trim etc. into the jar so it's all together while sewing up the garment! What a mind you have Karen, to come up with these genius ideas!

  46. I love all your jar ideas. I made a pin cushion jar but the lid would not screw on, I trimmed the fabric and used cotton fabric and cardstock to cover it. Any suggestions?


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