The “humble” but history-influencing Mason jar has been around since 1858 was invented by John Landis Mason who despite his contribution to humanity/society, died penniless and never capitalized on his success (he also invented the first screw top salt shaker in 1858 but obviously was not able to capitalize that idea as well).
Although home canning/preserving may be considered out of vogue today as compared to its hey-days that lasted well into the 1950’s, it can be immensely rewarding, affordable, saves you money, its environmentally friendly, and what better way is there to enjoy the spoils from your summer garden especially during our long and cold Canadian winters.
Can be re-purposed for hundreds of craft ideas
Although home canning/preserving is not considered a necessity as it once was (especially during WW1/2), Mason jars can be re-purposed for hundreds of different craft ideas. In fact, Mason jars are one of the trendiest items in the craft world these days. I’ve seen them used as beer steins, milk cups, soap dispensers, lights, vases, storage solutions, candle holders, wedding decorations, jars for collectables, or just a nice display on the shelf. Montana’s Cookhouse restaurant chain even uses Mason jars in a commercial setting for serving their patrons soft drinks and other beverages.
A long-term jar collector of a different breed
I’m a self-confessed pack rat when it comes to hanging onto unique looking jars – I’ve always hung onto any “Classico” jar pasta sauces or other interesting glass jars that crossed paths with in my kitchen hoping to re-purpose them into an art piece (note: although Classico jars are modeled after Mason jars, they surprisingly cannot be re-used for canning but are ideal for craft projects).
My first creation was a pincushion Mason jar (see pics) which is handy for when I’m sewing. Next was an ‘antiqued’ soap dispenser that I painted and sanded the edges. For the coffee filter roses that I made (and continue to make; I’m slowly working together a whole bouquet together), I used a Mason jar for the final display; I just spray-painted my jar in a silver metallic finish to make it look glam. These roses are very simple and inexpensive to make and so versatile for decorating in different areas of your home.
Dollarama stocks them on a regular basis
While I had a descent stockpile of “saved-from-the landfill” Mason jars, I was starting to run out of jars fast … during one of my many visits to Dollarama™ this summer, I noticed Dollarama was stocking pint-size Mason jars in very affordable three-pack ($2). They also stock a single quart-sized jar for the same price. I found these quantities to be the perfect amount since they usually sold in much larger quantities (12-pks) at other retailers and I knew it would take me a long time you use them up.
To broaden your exposure
Realizing I’m just a dabbler when it comes my Mason jar craft projects so far, this article is the best idea-generator I’ve come across that specializes in this craft area and offers some truly amazing, wonderful, and clever ideas on how to re-purpose a Mason jar. Check out their 100 very good ideas.
Did you know “how” collectable Mason jar are?
As I was researching some of the background material for this article, I didn’t realize that Mason jars has become such a desirable vintage collectible and command big dollars for the really rare ones. While there are hundreds, (if not thousands) of variations of Mason jars out there, what really matters the most to collectors is the colour. Cobalt blue is the rarest and there’s only a few of those around; they can sell for $10,000 to $15,000 each; most typical prices on eBay range in the $20 to $100 range. Yikes, at those prices, I’m off to check my Dad’s modest collection of vintage bottles to see if anything pops up in there.