My OH would say I’m a hoarder, and while I like to keep hold of useful things, I do tend to have clear outs when I think that I’m not actually going to use them (apart from Gu glass ramekins – I still have loads of those in my cupboard and really should recycle them). But I’ve got a stash of glass spice jars to repurpose and reuse.

I do go through a lot of herbs and spices. I used to work at McCormick who make Schwartz, so I have a great stash on my two layer herb and spice rack in my larder. I could buy refill packs, but TOP TIP – if you weigh a jar vs refill that state the same weight, you don’t get as much in the refill boxes because the jars are filled by sight. The joys of glass jars is that they need to look filled!

23 ways to use old herb and spice jars

I do tend to recycle them fairly frequently, but sometimes I might need a small jar for something, so do keep hold of a couple just in case. It’s just a shame the lids are so ugly, but I suppose you could respray them. A lot of the reasons I use them don’t need a lid anyway.

Stuck with lots of clothing ribbons? Check out the post on 23 things to do with ribbons

If you’re like me and have a few herb jars lying around ‘just in case’, make use of them. You can also use cake sprinkles jars, but these tend to be plastic and not as good for long term use.

TIP: Just bear in mind the type of opening they have. The old Schwartz jars in the UK have quite a narrow opening, whereas the new style glass jars (and own brand versions) have a wider mouth to get a teaspoon in, so you have more flexibility on what you can store in them.

25 ideas for reusing old glass spice jars

Keep ribbons in them – one ribbon each, with the end piece out the lid,

Use them for twine or string. Not balls of string as they won’t fit, but some twines (mostly crafting twine), comes in narrow spools. Just add to a jar and stick the end out of the lid.

Store buttons – by colour

Store beads – one colour per pot. Especially good for tiny seed beads

Keep drawing pins or paper clips in them

Use for cake sprinkles – or chocolate chips

Reuse them for herbs and spices. Either dry your own herbs, or decant larger bulk packs of spices into jars. The smaller jars are easier to use when cooking than lugging a large bag out every time.

Use as a sugar shaker – flavour sugar with cinnamon or vanilla

Use as a chocolate shaker for hot chocolate

Add mini marshmallows and use for a hot chocolate bar.

Use to make up your own spice mixes that you can’t buy elsewhere. Or if you want smaller volumes than you can buy (pumpkin spice in the UK, or make up specific curry flavourings)

filled herbs and spices jars with different items

Paint the inside (just pour in paint and swirl around, tip out the excess and let them dry. Use them for vases for single flower stems,

Collect coins in them to help with saving, and teach children about money.

Stand children’s paint brushes in them

Decorate and use for each family member’s personal toothbrush holder

Make sand art – colour sand different colours then layer up the colours as you fill the jar. Make sure it’s packed in tight and glue shut the lid.

Make a mini snow globe – Add a little ornament to the bottom, glue, then add glitter for a shaker. Or water, a bit of glycerine and glitter. just check the lid ends up being watertight – you might want to add cling film over the top to make it watertight before glueing the lid on

Make a mini lava lamp.- as with the snow globe watch out for water tight-ness. You need vegetable oil, food colouring and an alka seltzer.

Use for salad dressing to take out and about with your packed lunch (better if it’s a screw lid rather than a flip open one to keep liquid in, or if you can keep it upright)

For camping, decant sugar, oil, washing up liquid or washing detergent in rather than taking a big bottle or carton

Play 3D noughts and crosses – using different colour lids to show the player.

Store tiny Lego pieces in them – lights, single 1s, flowers, heads.

Store Hama beads in them by colour

Grow spring onion scraps in water

Keep cocktail sticks in them. The plastic tubs they come in always fall apart, but these will let you just tip them when needed.

Do you keep hold of old glass spice jars? What do you do with them?

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