Repurposing Glass Containers: Ideas From Our Facebook Friends

Friends in our Facebook community have thought of some creative and exciting ways of repurposing glass containers, from wall sconces to incense burners.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff
February 7, 2013
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Turn old glass containers into beautiful vases for your kitchen window.
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Many of us have a steady stream of glass containers coming into our homes, but we don't know what to do with all of them. For our Facebook question of the week, we asked you, "Aside from recycling them, what creative reuses have you found for your glass jars, bottles and the like? A terrarium? A light fixture? Maybe even just a quick plant protector?" and here's what you told us.

Gardening Jones I use larger glass containers as mini 'cloches' to get an early start on planting tomatoes and such outdoors.

Nancy Retynski I'm cutting the bottoms off of large containers just like Gardening Jones to use as mini green houses! I was also thinking about using the bottoms to create a rain chain and square bottles as fence toppers.

Wendy Pillows Hixson Obviously, they're great for leftovers, but what I use a lot of glass containers for, especially small ones, is for keeping small items organized. Crafts, hardware, jewelry, toiletries, you name it.

Sharron Brinsfield McDonald I save all my glass jars (if I can keep up with the lid). I will store things in them, use them for vases, rooting plants, etc.

Noreene Bailey-Treece I sometimes use my old glass jars to make solar chandeliers. If the glass is broken, I collect it in a barrel and use it for pottery glazes.

Joseph Snyder I use empty wine bottles as incense burners.

Angela Keeney I made a slightly raised asparagus bed with wine bottles by shoving the skinny end into the dirt.

Pam Truesdale Every year during the holidays I buy juice beverages in green glass bottles. When they are empty, I use them as templates for wall sconces and chandeliers to use in power outages. The neck of the bottles are perfect for holding the tapers that I use in mine. They are decorative enough to keep up as a part of the decor. I think I'll have to start giving them as gifts, too!!

Helen Marie Turner Ford I like to save old buttons in glass jars, just like my grandma used to do. It brings back lots of good memories of looking through grandma’s button jars as a kid.

Carol Kipping I like to cut fresh flowers from the garden, tie a bow around the top of a jar (whatever size) and voila ... it brightens up the house!

Robin Baldwin-Woznica Someday, I would love to gather all my different-colored glass jars, break them, smooth them in a rock tumbler and create a beautiful glass mosaic.

Justin Rose This is more my wife's department, but she uses some of our old glass jars as holders for common household items and makes beautiful wind chimes with the rest!

Christie Conlon Dark brown bottles make excellent protective coverings for light-sensitive products such as vitamins, oils and milk.

Half Acre Farm I recycle old glass jars and use them to hold homemade vanilla.

Mary Foster I have made tiki torches with Tanqueray bottles. Just fill the bottle with citronella oil, make a hole in the cap, stick the wick through the hole screw the cap on and there is your tiki torch.

Ritual We used to use our empty wine bottles as decorative places for cuttings to root. We would wrap twine around the neck for hanging purposes, fill them with water, and stick stems in until they developed roots. It produced a steady stream of propagation material.

Walt Rose We try to melt our scraps into something useful, but not all glass types fuse well together which causes them to crack. However, if you melt the same type of glass together you should find success.

Thank you to all those who submitted your great ideas. Answer more questions of the week at MOTHER EARTH NEW’s Facebook page.

To see one more way people are repurposing glass containers, check out this beautiful cordwood wall embellished with bits of recycled glass or read the full story on this community-built, energy-efficient cordwood building.


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