Jars of jam and bottles of booze can help you through the holidays even after the food and drinks are gone.
Those emptied glass containers can be repurposed into decor that will spruce up, illuminate and scent your home — or perhaps that of a party host or other gift recipient.
The options are many and the costs are few, as the following 10 project tutorials illustrate.
1. Snow ‘globe’
This illuminated snow scene started with a miniature penguin and pine picked up for less than $1 at a Wal-Mart, but you can build one around your objects of choice. (Here‘s a nonilluminated one made with a miniature antique car and tree, for example.)
The little light casts just the right amount of glow to light up the scene inside the jar. You have to make one of these this year. It is so simple and so much fun.
2. Stained glass
This project from Mason Jar Crafts Love also benefits from optional illumination — “they’ll look great at night with a candle inside,” the website notes.
As for the Mondrian-style staining, only three types of art supplies are needed: Gallery Glass window color, peel-and-stick lead lining and liquid leading.
Almost any glass vessel can be used for a terrarium, with more creative options often also being more frugal — like the old coffee pot option seen in Apartment Therapy‘s tutorial.
From miniature garden gnomes to toy dinosaurs, a variety of items can also be installed as decorative finishing touches.
If your liquid hand soap or dish soap is still in the plastic dispenser it came in, try unscrewing the pump piece and matching it up with a more attractive glass container.
The Red Chair Blog explains:
Did you know that the screw-on plastic dispenser tops from store-bought soaps, shampoos and lotions will often fit on glass bottles? Finding the right bottle may require a bit of experimentation, but once you find a bottle the right size, you can create a unique, eco-friendly DIY soap or lotion dispenser in seconds.
5. Tissue holder
Mason jars can also serve as tissue dispensers made to match your home’s decor.
As explained in Landeelu‘s tutorial, it requires only a scissors, cutting blade, decorative paper and paint:
The beauty of the good ole mason jar is that you can paint it, tint it, spray it, etc., to make it any style you’d like it to be. And with the addition of any style of scrapbook paper you can customize it even more.
6. Reed diffuser
This trendy air freshener, which transmits scented liquids into the air via wooden sticks, is an easy DIY project.
Almost any glass container will work as long as it has a narrow opening to help disperse the scent slowly, according to Food 52. As for the scent, a mixture of water, vodka and essential oils do the trick with the aid of bamboo skewers.
7. Air freshener
If a DIY reed diffuser still involves too much work or cost for you, consider a baking soda-based air freshener like this one from The Burlap Bag. All it takes is baking soda, essential oil and a lid (or a makeshift tinfoil lid).
It takes little more than vegetable oil and floral elements to turn a spare jar into a custom candle that could do Martha Stewart proud.
According to A Piece of Rainbow‘s tutorial, a variety of oils — such as commonly available cooking oils — will work.
9. Tiki torch
Recycled wine bottles can be converted into outdoor mounted Tiki torches as shown in a tutorial by Gerardot & Co. According to the branding company, the project was the result of frustration over an apparent dearth of “affordable and atypical” Tiki torches.
The tutorial calls for several additional pieces of hardware used to mount the torch, but the mount is optional. Apartment Therapy reports that a free-standing version can be made for less than $4 and fueled with citronella instead of torch fuel.
10. Electric lamp
If you’re comfortable taking a drill to glass, check out a photo tutorial at The Undomestic Goddess or Household Hacker‘s video tutorial for converting an empty bottle into a functioning lamp fit for gifting.
In these two instances, it’s a Jack Daniels bottle lamp. But you can use your choice of bottle.
How would you put an old glass container to new use? Share your tips in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.
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