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No jar left behind!
Submitted by Pam on Sat, 03/14/2009 - 19:55
Here are some glass jars "re-purposed" into candle lanterns for Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall! And the best part - all of these (except the Fall lantern) can be "re-purposed" again for another use, like maybe holding buttons, or beads, or glue sticks!
Spring: Punched tin butterflies mounted on the jar sides allow the flickering candle light to pass through tiny holes in the wings. They are attached with pieces of UHU Tac so both the butterflies and the wire wrapped around the top can be removed easily. If you aren't familiar with UHU tac from the Learning Palace, you really should get acquainted!
Summer:. Short, fat jars make great candle lantern displays for beach agates. Arrange your translucent pebbles in the jar, fill with water to the top of the rock layer, and place a floating candle on the water surface. (Using a floating candle prevents wax from oozing onto the pebbles.)
I don't like the jar lid threads totally exposed, so I usually try to cover them. For this lantern I strung tiny, drilled snail shells I had lying around and tied them around the top of the jar.
If you don't have beach agates available, I bet glass marbles would work just as well, especially the clear ones with colored swirls inside.
Winter:. A very tall olive jar is great for mixing your own homemade salad dressing. But sprayed with washable frost crystals and embellished with a few small dried chile peppers and hot pink raffia, it becomes a southwestern style holiday candle. I probably won't take this one apart - but it could easily be "re-purposed" by removing the embellishments and washing in warm soapy water. (A little safety note: be sure to place your raffia so it won't come near the candle flame.)
Fall: OK - this one is pretty much permanent. I collected a ton of colored leaves last October and pressed them between layers of newspaper. To make the lantern, I brushed on a layer of Mod Podge, placed several leaves where I wanted them, and covered them with another layer of Mod Podge. So easy. (Be sure to seal with acrylic spray if they will be used outside.)
I'm thinking that if I wrapped a bunch of these with wire and hung them from the patio ceiling, they would be a warm and inviting way to welcome the Fall. Or I might just cluster several together on a table.
Dried, pressed flowers from your garden would also work very nicely to decorate jars in the same way. (I used all of mine up on my easter eggs - so Fall leaves it is!)
Don't overlook "re-purposing" glass jars for use in your pantry - especially if, like me, you are trying to reduce the amount of "packaging" you bring into your home. What I love most about using glass jars to hold dry food items is that there is no need for labeling because the contents are visible through the glass, and you can see in an instant when it's time to replenish your supply. Save a lot of money by purchasing most dry foods from the bulk bins and storing them in your "re-purposed" glass jars!
Glass jars make great freezer containers for foods with a fairly high water content, like freezer jams, red or green chile sauce, or pesto. (Just be SURE to leave about 1/2" of space between the surface of the food and the top of the jar to allow for expansion during freezing.) Glass jars also work well for freezer storage of nuts, coconut, homemade spice blends and dried bread crumbs.
Moving past the ubiquitous glass jars....
This colletion of cobalt blue water bottles has been my favorite way to display flowers from my garden for the past 18 years. My friend Heidi brought me these lovely, fragrant tulips. Yes, fragrant! Anyone who knows where I can get bulbs next fall for fragrant tulips, PLEASE tell me.
A collection of oddball tumblers (left over from once-complete sets of drinking glasses) also works well to display fresh-cut flowers. Because the mouths of the glasses are wider than the bottle openings, I can place a small bouquet in each tumbler instead of only one blossom. I often place one flower shape and color in a tumbler and cluster five or six flower-filled tumblers on a table to create a really beautiful centerpiece.
(What no photos of all these flowery ideas??? Well, it's WINTER!)
I just couldn't bear to toss this body cream jar, so I used it for years to hold hair bands and bobby pins. My MIL, who has traveled all over the world, recently gave us a lovely treasure - a real, found on the beach fishing net float. But since it is round - how to display? AHA!
My body cream jar - perfect! And to hide those pesky threads, I use seasonal embellishments. (Here you can see a "re-purposed" candle wreath that I no longer use as a candle wreath.)
These are two little pottery drinking glasses left over from a set of six. They make great containers for Q-tips and cotton balls. A taller pottery leftover is holding my toothbrushes, and another my makeup brushes.
I think I've probably made my point - do not toss out any silicon based life forms! They can almost all be put to good use over and over again.
I had better end this post here because my husband has apparently come to the conclusion that blogging has made me lose my mind. He just walked past the bathroom door and glancing in saw me standing in the bath tub taking a picture of the inside of my medicine cabinet. As if the look on his face wasn't enough, he said "I am really beginning to worry about you!"