Mason Jars, 20 Different Ways to Use Them

Mason jars are another one of those things that we take for granted.  They are easy to get and always seem to be available.  Yet they have so many uses I can’t think of them all.  So I have made a list of the ones that immediately pop into my mind.  After you start thinking about it I am sure you will add many ideas to this list


Canning is the most obvious one. It is the reason that they were developed in the first place. Have lots of jars on hand and don’t forget the lids and screw rings.  Store lots of extras, they will always be good for trade.

Vacuum Sealing Food

Vacuum sealing food products in mason jars using a Food Saver or similar product. See our post here on the FoodSaver Jar Sealer

Dried fruit vacuumed sealed in mason jars

Small Herb Planter

Small planter for raising herbs, just be sure to water the herbs delicately since these jars don’t come with a draining system.

Churning Butter

Make butter in mason jars. Shake the jars or roll them around the floor after filling halfway with buttercream and you’re on your way to mason jar churned butter.

Drinking Glass

They make good improvised drinking glasses.

Tool to Make Vanilla Extract

You can use them to make homemade vanilla extract. See this breakdown on Making Vanilla Extract.


Pickling, you can use them to make sauerkraut or to pickle vegetables.


Candles, the pint and half pint ones can be used to make candles.

Oil Lamps

Similar to using mason jars for candles, you can use them for oil lamps. Fill the jar partly full of old or rancid oil and float a wick in it. Natural materials like 100% cotton make the best wicks.

Storage for Matches

Mason jars make excellent waterproof storage for matches, and makes finding them much easier than using the “everything drawer” we so often find they’re relegated to.

Medical Item Storage

Finding storage for small medical items like q-tips and cotton balls can be a pain. Mason jars are perfect for this job.

Growing Sprouts

Use mason jars with sprouting lids to be a great starter tool for your garden.

mason jars
Sprouting lids for mason jars

Seed Storage

Mason jars are perfect for storing seeds. Make sure to label appropriately & they’re ready for the growing seasons.

Storing Food

Storing foods that need to be kept dry, like grains, legumes and spices.

Mixing Container

Mixers, you can use them to mix various ingredients by vigorously shaking the jars with the lids on.

Solar Oven Pot

Mason jars make great pots for cooking in solar ovens. 

Improvised Burglar Alarm

A simple pint mason jar slide on to a door knob can serve as an improvised alarm.

A simple pint mason jar slide on to a door knob can serve as an improvised alarm

Yarn or String Storage

Mason jars are excellent for keeping yarn and string organized, and easy to reach.

mason jars
Yarn or string containers

Sun Teas

They can be used to make herb sun teas by letting them sit in the sun to warm the tea.

Meals in a Jar

Pack your dehydrated foods and seasoning in a jars so all you have to do is add water.

These are just a few of the potential uses of mason jars.  They are probably 100s more. Hopefully this will get you started on thinking about ways to use them

See also  12 Tips for Hiding Cooking Odors From Others

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4 thoughts on “Mason Jars, 20 Different Ways to Use Them”

  1. They make great lanterns once frosted and topped with an outdoor solar walkway light. I keep a few in a window at all times for soft/emergency lighting.

      1. Lynnda R Mathis

        You can purchase glass frosting in spray cans at WalMart, Lowes, type stores. Spray the inside of the jar.

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