I have been mildly obsessed with mason jars lately.
No, I do not do any canning or pickling. (Although I would if I ever could grow a successful garden.) I simply like to use them for storage. I've started buying a lot of my nuts and seeds in bulk at the DeKalb Farmer's Market, which is a great cost-effective option. However, you bring them home in these little tie-top bags that are not great for long-term storage or keeping things fresh. Well pop those nuts, oatmeal, flour etc. into a mason jar with a and your pantry look more organized and you won't be digging through baggies to find what you are looking for. It is fabulous.
I also store my kefir in a mason jar in the fridge and sucant and real salt in a mason jar, which we buy in bulk with several other families.
I had never really used mason jars for much of anything before this past summer. My in-laws were in the process of cleaning out Chris' great-grandmother's house in order to settle the estate. Apparently she (as well as the most recent resident) was a bit of a pack-rat. In addition to years and years of old newspapers, she had tons (and I mean tons) of old mason jars. I took several with the thought that I could use them for flowers or other decorations/centerpieces for showers/parties etc. Well I soon found more practical storage uses for them around the house and was going back for more!
In addition to food storage, I have used them for flower arrangements. Oh, and I love the idea of putting fresh cranberries in your flowers as a festive way to add color to the vase.
Last fall at one of the artist markets at the outdoor farmer's market I saw Mason jar soap pumps that I loved! I had been wanting a new soap pump for our powder room to replace the .99 disposable one that we have been re-filling for years and immediately knew that was what I wanted. My handy-dandy (and apparently crafty) husband refused to pay for one but agreed to make one for me. Fabulous, another use for our growing mason jar collection. I would have needed pinterest or some DIY blog to give me the step by step instruction, but it was actually pretty simple and Chris figured out how to make them on his own.
The first several turned out great! I have one in our powder room, one housing my dish soap by the kitchen sink, and one that will be filled up with soap in our bathroom shortly.
Since then we've (yes, this is so simple that even I can make them) made several as gifts. I happen to like the plain and simple mason jar look, but there are plenty of ways to dress up your mason jar soap dispenser if you are looking for some flair.
And my new favorite idea for mason jars comes from Lauren at Choosing Joy. She posted last week about a DIY Anthropologie Winter Snow Globe that is AMAZING! Seriously, I am so excited to go try this one out! They are adorable...AND its in a mason jar!!!
What other great uses have you found for mason jars?