d.i.y. essentials: mason jars

Mason Jars have more street cred than most kitchen essentials. They can be used to store bobbins and buttons, can and ferment food, as a hooch jar and even for terrariums! At Workshop, we use Mason Jars for everything from decoration to demonstration. Two of our most creative classes — Pie In A Jar and Glass Jar Terrariums — use these jars for the most creative projects. Here is a little on the iconic container and exactly why you should keep some handy in your cabinets.

one of the best inventions ever! the mason jar.

The jar was invented by John L. Mason in 1858. The Mason Jar was originally called a wax sealer, since it was used to store sealing wax for writing letters around the turn of the 2oth Century.  There were many jars that were invented around this time that had different types of sealing lids and jar shapes, but eventually a version of  the metal jar and ring design that we know today won out. It is rumored that most of the jars that were invented back then are still usable today. And during the Vietnam War, a variant on the hand grenade was made to attack the enemy, since the glass could not only hold the grenade, but was also strong enough to fall from choppers and still retain its shape without detonating.  Talk about durability and standing the test of time!

use them to organize place settings at your next party!

mmm, spiked summer tea perfection.

Watch out for sales at your local grocery store or online. Sometimes, cases of these can get expensive. But think about it — you’re pretty much buying them for life! Local thrft stores also have them if you’re really trying to cut down costs.

If you’re looking to give a gift, Mason Jars are perfect, since it can be reusable after the container is empty. Spreading the Mason Jar love is always a good thing!

Though the glass is extremely durable, the Ball company does NOT recommend using the Mason Jar to bake in. Since temperatures to bake breads and things can go up to 400 degrees, this is hot enough where the jar may burst. SO BE CAREFUL!

hanging mason jar lights.

How To Hack A Blender With A Mason Jar via Simply Recipes

How To Make Hanging Mason Jar Lights via Design Sponge

How To Make Your Own Soy Wax Candles via eHow

Mason Jar Cupcakes via Joy’s Hope

50 Ways To Use Mason Jars via Planet Green [This list is FANTASTIC!]

use it as a cookie/biscuit cutter in a pinch!

Mason Jar History

Mason Jar Listings on Amazon

The Seattle Times on Mason Jar versatility

Have any cool examples of awesome things you’ve done with a Mason Jar? If you’d like your tutorial or project featured on the Workshop blog, please email me at We’d love to feature you!

Lets get our hands dirty,

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