Jams and preserves are as much a part of the English-style tea time as the teapots are. And the empty jam jars can be fodder for a number of creative projects. Just the way those tea tins and unwanted teapots and teacups could (see my article here). Save some up and then try your hand at one of the creative uses shown below.
The More Obvious Uses
You don’t have to stretch your imagination too far here. Several uses spring to mind immediately.
- Candle holders – the possibilities are endless, including filling the jar with hot wax and a wick in the middle.
- Flower vases – the flowers will have to fit the jar sizes, which can vary quite a bit.
- Storage jar for non-food items – extra buttons, bits of ribbons, small toys, game pieces, coins, paperclips, rubber bands, and any number of other things.
- Pencil, pen, and brush holders – some people even go so far as to paint the jars.
More Crafty and Whimsical Uses
Let your creative spirit roam free with ribbons, lace, and even little toy figures attached to the jar lids. Some starter ideas:
- Salt and Pepper shakers – just a few holes in the lids with a nail and hammer will suffice (pepper needs several, and salt often only needs 2 or 3).
- Pincushions – people seem to be able to make pincushions out of anything, as I pointed out previously about teacups.
- Paint jars for your kids – make them even more fun by gluing toy figures to the tops.
- Holiday gifts and decorations – from pumpkin candleholders to cute snowman jars.
One Final Use
Awhile back, I did my own little experiment in creating a flavored tea (one where the tea leaves have things like spices, flowers, and fruits added in). The vessel used for storing this mixture was a very well-cleaned used jam jar. The flavored tea turned out rather well, and that jam jar kept it fairly fresh. (In case you’re wondering, it was half Scottish Breakfast, half Kenilworth Ceylon, a couple of pinches of coriander, and several cardamom seeds split open and the contents added to the tea. It is wonderful served hot with milk and sugar.)
Try you hand at turning some of those jam jars into something cute, useful, whimsical, or whatever suits your skill and imagination.
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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