Mason jars are incredibly handy to have around and are, strangely enough, rather hip these days. You can usually get them at Value Village and other op-shops for about <$1 a piece, or pick up a box of a dozen at the grocery store for around $12. They’re crazy-versatile and infinitely reusable, so I have no problem having a healthy collection of them taking over my pantry.

1. Re-packaging tomatoes & other canned food

I love chipotle en adobo peppers, but they always come in cans that are far too large to use up all at once. Because of their tomatoey sauce, they’re too acidic to store in plastic containers without them eating away at the plastic. And that plastic, of course, dissolves into your sauce. Ew. So I love using mason jars to keep acidic leftovers in. Much better.

2. Pencil/Brush storage

I have too many brushes and other such vertically inclined type things to just scatter on my dresser without it looking like I’ve just lost a game of Jenga. So I store them in a mason jar. It’s pretty handy.

3. Storing lotions, body butters, etc.

I love using mason jars for packaging my lotions and body butters. They look super classy and add a really nice weight to the item.

4. Vase

A larger jar makes a great vase for tall flowers, a smaller one for close-cut buds.

5. Storing loose change

Poke a coin-shaped hole in the lid & you’ve got a great piggy bank. You could even make a few; one for loonies, one for toonies, one for pennies, etc.

6. Spice Jars

The smaller 125mL jars make great spice and herb jars.

7. Souvenir storage

If you’re the type of person who likes to take sand, seashells, or other such natural tidbits home from vacations, a mason jar makes a great storage vessel.

8. Soap Mold

If you’re looking to make a round disc of soap, the bottom of a mason jar makes a great mold.

9. Water tea light display

Float a lit tea light in some water in a mason jar for a lovely tabletop display.

10. Candle holder

Fill the bottom half of a 500mL mason jar with sand, and wedge a candle in it.

11. Glass

Mason jars, with or without handles, are very trendy drinking vessels these days. They look especially lovely filled with something like pink lemonade, and the tight-fitting lid is great for making mixed drinks or sealing your drink for later.

12. DIY Magic Bullet

All mason jars will screw right onto blender in place of the standard blender container, so you can make a smoothie or milkshake in the same container you want to drink it out of.

13. Spray Bottle

For those of you who are home-improvement inclined, Lee Valley makes a handy mason jar spray add-on. It’s air-compressor powered, and great for things like paint or stain.

14. DIY Cake mix

Layer the dry ingredients required to make a cake, brownies, or some other baking item. Seal, and include instructions to complete the recipe. Makes a great gift!

15. Decant your bulk-purchased items

I love bulk bins as much as the next frugally-minded person, but I’m not a fan of all my ingredients existing in cheap, overly large plastic bags. Mason jars are great for storing your bulk bin purchases in—just be sure to label them clearly so you don’t accidentally swap baking soda (USA / Canada) for baking powder (which I have definitely never done. Nosiree bob.).

What do you use mason jars for?