Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Upcycle Glass Jars

Empty jars from jelly, spaghetti sauce, minced garlic, honey, wine... you name it. Whenever I'm washing one out, something snaps inside of me & I save it instead of putting it into our recycling. {Every time!} The way I see it, why waste a good container for a future craft? Today's $0 Project is about how to remove the sticky labels from your jars so you can upcycle them into something new & fun!

up·cy·cle [uhp-sahy-kuhl]
verb (used with object), up·cy·cled, up·cy·cling.
1. to process used goods or waste material so as to produce something that is often better than the original

Fill a sink with hot water & place your bottles/jars in until they're fully submerged. Add 1 Tbsp dish soap, 2 cups vinegar, and 1/2 cup baking powder {powder, not soda}. After the fizzing subsides, the labels should peel right off the glass. I let mine sit for 2 hours while I was out at the store. If the paper comes off but the glue is still there, I resort to Goo Gone to fully remove the residue.


Now that your jars are label-less, here are some upcycling ideas:

SUGAR SCRUB Sugar + dish soap = homemade sugar scrub.  Click here to fill your jar with this simple {but luxurious!} skin exfoliating DIY tutorial by me. You can experiment with different soap scents and try adding essential oils. It really doesn't get any easier than this!

CITRONELLA CANDLES Melt plain or colored {but scentless} wax chips in a heat resistant bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Add a few drops of citronella essential oil to the wax. Place a wick in your jar, then pour in the wax. Let the wax firm & you have yourself a cute candle that will repel pests on the patio.

MINI TERRARIUM Fill your jar in this order: rocks, charcoal, potting soil. Then add plants, sticks & succulents. The charcoal helps contain moisture and stave off mold. Looking for things to add? Collect from your yard. {No bugs allowed!}

DRINKING GLASSES Fill your sink with cold water. Soak a string of yarn in nail polish remover & tie it around bottle. Light the string on fire & let it burn for about 15 seconds. {Don't burn yourself!} Dip the bottle in the sink, and the glass will split where the yarn was. This is especially fun to do with bottles that have etched or painted labels that are directly on the glass.

SELF WATERING WINE GLASS PLANT Follow the steps above, but save the top piece. Fill the bottom {cup part} with water. Thread some string through the neck of the bottle so that it hangs out both ends. Put your dirt & seeds in the inverted top piece, then place it on the bottom piece {neck will be facing down}. The string will wick the water up & nourish your plant. Just don't forget to replenish the water supply as needed!

STORAGE Andrew has a few jars near his tool bench with spare nuts, bolts, nails, and screws; I have my own collection in the kitchen for chocolate chips, sprinkles & raw sugar for my tea; and there is a jar on our bathroom counter filled with q-tips & cotton balls. Use glass jars to spice up storage of otherwise boring items!

In short, empty jars = endless possibilities. I plan to do a post on each of these ideas in between all of the Spring DIY we have going on around our house {new back patio, deck & landscaping} Stay tuned & Keep creating! 

What are your ideas for upcycling glass containers?

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