How can I reuse or recycle baby food jars?

baby food jarTravis left a comment on the ‘Suggest An Item‘ page asking:

What can I do with baby food jars?

We’ve featured bigger jars and littler jars in the past but not specifically baby food jars.

Any reuse suggestions then? In particular, any suggestions that will use them en masse (since some families could be getting through a few a day) or baby-related reuses?

Some ideas to get us started: baby food jar candles; very cute baby food jar pincushion-topped sewing kits; and this month’s craft craze, terrariums in jars (mine, when I get around to making it, will star some little dinosaurs).

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baby, household, items, kitchen, packaging

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24 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle baby food jars?”

  1. Avie says:

    We make sugar or coffee scrubs (recipes readily available online) and fill little jars, like baby food jars with them. Then we put a bunch of different flavors together in a basket for a quick, cheap, very impressive gift.

    Printing your own color labels seriously ups the “wow factor”.

  2. theclevermom says:

    You can make snowglobes with them.

    Use them to contain small things like screws, paperclips, pins…

    Glue the lids to the underside of a shelf or cupboard and use as a handy spice or doodad container, unscrewing as needed.

    Make you own yogurt using them.

  3. Bobbie says:

    Baby food jars are the best for storing paint in. Either leftover paint from home decorating for touch ups, or any craft project.

  4. Bobbie says:

    p.s. If you grow your own herbs as I do, you will find these very useful for storing herbs in.

  5. Mary says:

    Screw or nail the lids to the underside of a shelf. Then fill the jars with little things that need to be stored (nails, washers, beads, pins…) and screw the jar onto the lid. It is up out of the way and you can easily see the contents. This is good for organizing a home workshop or craft area. You could even screw the lids to the underside of a kitchen cabinet and then store herbs in them.

  6. Angie says:

    I saw someone use industrial glue & make a Christmas tree with them! The string lights were then attached to the openings, and from the front and in a window: WOW!!!!

  7. Bad Monkey says:

    I use them in the garden and put little tea light candles in them.

  8. basicgirl says:

    We recently transfered all of our spices into baby food jars and they work great. Excellent if you cook with a lot of spices.

  9. Nikki says:

    When i was younger i made christmas ornaments out of the lids. We picked a simple design and then punched holes in them using small nails and a hammer. It was a cute gift for parents. The jars can be used as seed starters. Also fun for children.

  10. Kirsten says:

    They work great for storing turpenoid and linseed oil when painting with oils

  11. Oraxia says:

    I find that baby food jars are nice for bringing sauces and such in a packed lunch, such as soy sauce for sushi or dressing for a home-made salad if you don’t want your salad marinating in it until lunchtime.

    They might also be useful for home made products, as mentioned by Avie above. Home made lip gloss and deodorant recipes have been mentioned on this site before, I think for the empty glue sticks entry.

  12. Eco friend says:

    I love the idea to make snow globes out of them. That’s pure genious!

  13. Lisa says:

    We just made cute candleholders for Mother’s Day with my students.

    Take off the label.
    Cover outside with a 50/50-glue/water mixture.
    Cover the outside with torn bits of different colored tissue paper.
    Apply glue mixture on top of that and let dry.
    Add a tea light candle and you’ve got a “stained glass” candle holder.

  14. Jodie R. says:

    I saw the other day (sorry, I forget where) that someone put them upside down with a photo inside. They had different glass jars of varying sizes (for ex., a salsa jar) and made quite a nice vignette with them. It looks really nice when it’s a grouping of black and white photos.

  15. Jessica R says:

    We have 3 dogs and a cat. They occasionally need to have stool samples delivered to the vet. The baby food jars are a nice size and one can see exactly what is in them so they won’t be opened accidentally. They have a wide enough top that I don’t have to mess with precision. I write my pet’s name on the jar top with a Sharpie, pop the jar in a paper bag that has my name & addy plus my pet’s name and Voila!

  16. After cleaning them out and removing the labels, the bottles should look as good as new, and you can use them as party favours or door gifts. Fill them with pastel-coloured jellybeans for a baby shower, or smarties and other small sweets for other occasions. Guests can recycle the glass jars once the sweets are gone, or reuse the jars as storage solutions.

  17. HuntingWabbits says:

    Isn’t it cheaper to boil veggies, mash then, and make your own baby food?

  18. Samantha says:

    Watch out for a BPA coating on the inside of the jar lids (and other products containing plastic). BPA has been linked to developmental issues in fetuses, infants, children and health issues in adults. Also keep an eye out for it in soothers, bottles, toys, drinking containers and other plastic products.

  19. Julia says:

    I posted a shout-out on Facebook to all my friends to see if anyone wanted some. Several of my crafty pals gave a hearty YES! They were happy to walk away from each visit to our place with a dozen or more!

  20. scaussie says:

    I did do my own babyfood, but sometimes when caught short I would get a jar.
    I painted the outside of them in diff colours and then used them for finger paint/water pots….good follow on activity for the weaned baby.
    Also to store my 3yo dd bead making stuff when we go visiting, enough to make a necklace & bracelet.
    And of course they are so cute as a vase for the beautiful picked weeds (flowers) that are given to me…she loves to fill it up herself and she decorated it herself with stickers.

  21. Clare Woods says:

    cover a small sponge with pretty material and glue it to the lid. Fill the jar with pretty pins – makes a lovely gift for a friend with a sewing machine.

  22. phi says:

    When my kids were babies, I made rice soup by the pot, then stored in baby food jars and froze them. Perfect portions when lunch time came. When they became toddlers, I cooked rice using tasty homemade broths instead of plain water. So convenient when a quick lunch was needed or when we traveled. I learned these tips from my Mom. These days, they finish an entire pot within one meal!

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