Displaying Your Canning Jars and Recycled Glass as Kitchen Décor

Reader Contribution by Tina Ames
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It is the end of the season, and you have just canned a dozen jars of tomatoes, several jars of peaches, or maybe tons of applesauce from a bumper apple crop. Maybe you are a jam maker with an assortment of colored, flavorful jams. Why not show them off as part of your kitchen décor? Why put all of them on a dark shelf in a pantry or basement?  Be proud!  Revel in the beauty of these specimens. Ideally, your canned bounty should be in a cool, dry place, but it won’t hurt to take a few jars of each for display. Just use them first and replenish from your pantry/basement. If it is available to you, jars in a variety of colors and textures are preferred.  The stores now have a variety of colored glass jars, also, that can be used.  Display them in a row on a shelf, an open cupboard or a countertop. Just make sure not to stack them; display them in a single file. The stores now have a variety of colored glass jars also that can be used. Try it – stop hiding these beauties!

Displaying empty canning jars looks wonderful, as well, especially if you have different colored glass. You can put the band on the rim for display. That way, when you need to fill during canning season the bands are already there, and you just to need to buy more unused lids to sanitize before filling them with gifts from the garden.

Another way to use glass jars for display is to recycle old pickle, honey, sauce, baby food, etc. jars. So many shapes and sizes exist from products we buy at the store. They are beautiful, and you are recycling too – double whammy!  Wash them well and soak them to get the label off. Make sure they are completely dry before filling. If the top has an advertisement that you don’t care to see, just paint it with spray paint, craft paint, blackboard paint, or leftover wall paint.  With blackboard paint you can label the jars with chalk and wash it off when you want. I sometimes use spare spray paint, then I label the jars with a fun marker. Doing this is permanent, so make sure it is something you always have in your pantry like sugar, pasta, rice, beans or whatever is a staple in your home.

Additionally, you can use the lids from parmesan cheese shakers on most standard canning/pasta jars.  These are great for storing things you shake, such as cinnamon, sugar, etc.  I fill mine with dried goods that have a variety of textures and shapes for visual interest. Plus, they are much better off stored in a sealed glass jar than the original containers that are plastic or cardboard. This is because it optimizes the shelf life of the food by keeping away bugs, critters, moisture and air. It is a perfect storage solution if you buy in bulk, too. Sometimes I buy something at the store just to reuse the glass jar in my pantry!

Old liquor bottles can be used for such things as vinegars, oils, salt, etc. Wash the jar, remove the label, and dry the jar thoroughly.  To top them off, you can use bottle pourers and corks. These bottles look wonderful on the countertop. To customize further, you can use some made-for-glass markers to paint them. I have an old green glass stemmed bottle from my grandparents’ house that I use for storing olive oil. It looks great and brings back wonderful memories, too.

Filled with canned bounties, your jars and recycled glass containers will be a beautiful addition to your kitchen décor. Fruits, vegetables and dried goods are beautiful and need to be shown off.  Come on – boast your bounty!

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