Did you know that the average household throws out about 480 pounds of glass every year? Even if you don’t quite meet the national average, your fridge is still probably full of sauces, beverages and condiments chilling in glass containers. Good thing there are plenty of great ideas out there for reusing them. Learn how to reuse glass bottles and jars of all shapes and sizes in simple but spectacular ways.
Inventive Ways to Reuse Glass Bottles
DIY Liquid Soap Dispenser
Simply purchase a pump—or save one from a disposable version—and you can create a distinctive soap dispenser using virtually any type of bottle the pump will fit. This project makes a show-stopping gift for anyone on your holiday list. Find the instructions here.
Wine Bottle Bird Feeder
With an empty wine bottle, some wood, a few screws and a piece of wire rope, anyone with a little DIY know-how can construct this beautiful bird-feeder. The seeds will filter out bit by bit and once the bottle is empty, simply loosen the rope to pull it out for a refill. Find the instructions here.
Healthy Spray Bottle
Just transfer the spray nozzle from the original plastic bottle to a glass one. Spray bottles are handy for multiple household chores, but plastic can leech harmful chemicals into whatever it holds. Luckily, glass bottles of vinegar, juice, soda and other beverages with twist-off lids typically fit the average spray nozzle. Find instructions the here.
Homemade Holiday Decorations
With some paint, Epsom salts and Mod Podge, you can reuse glass bottles of any type to create one-of-a-kind holiday décor. Fill them with fresh pine branches, glittery craft plants, candles or anything else your own creativity suggests. Find the instructions here.
Head to your local hardware store for a glass/tile drill bit and a lamp holder, then choose a lampshade and you’ll be ready to light up your home the DIY way. This project is best-suited to those with some past DIY experience and the tool kit to match. Find the instructions here.
Upcycled Oil Lamp
Don’t have the DIY know-how for the project above? Go old-school with this simple idea for reusing a bottle as an oil lamp. Purchase wicks and oil from a craft store, plus some prettifying pebbles if desired, then just fill the bottle, assemble the wick and light! Find the instructions here.
Chalkboard Storage Canisters
Everybody could use more labelled storage containers. This simple way to reuse glass bottles serves a practical purpose while creating something nice enough to put on display. All you need is the bottle of your choice and some chalkboard paint. Find the instructions here.
‘Keep ‘Em Busy’ Sand Art Craft
Build up a stash of bottles and colorful craft sand and you’ll be ready to keep your kids busy on many a rainy day. No need to limit this project to just sand—your kids can get creative adding layers of pebbles, glitter, buttons or any other treasures they scavenge up. Find the instructions here.
Beautiful Bottle Tree
Bottle trees, once believed to trap evil spirits before they could enter your home, are a lovely way to reuse glass bottles. Simply slip a slew of bottles over the limbs of a tree or wooden frame to brighten your garden. Blue is traditional for bottle trees but many people today use a variety of colors. Find the instructions here.
Self-Watering Herb Garden
Do you love fresh herbs but lack the green thumb to keep them growing? With a little elbow grease, you can turn old bottles into planters that water themselves. You’ll have to cut your bottles in half, which you can accomplish using one of these methods or by purchasing something like the Kinkajou —ideal if you want to try out other projects that require cutting bottles. Then, all you need is a small piece of screen and a thick string to start an effortless windowsill herb garden. Find the instructions here.
Ingenious Ways to Reuse Glass Jars
Grab a pretty fabric scrap, some batting and a hot glue gun, and you can reuse a jar as a mini sewing kit or button holder, topped with a one-of-a-kind pincushion. This would be a great gift idea for anyone who loves to sew. Find the instructions here.
Cute Candy Jars
Get yourself a can of silver spray paint and some wooden knobs, and you can quickly transform ordinary jars into classic candy jars. Set them out on your counter to satisfy your own sweet tooth or make them the centerpiece of a candy table at a birthday party, wedding reception or other celebration. Find the instructions here.
Homemade Hanging Storage
For a more ambitious way to reuse glass jars, grab a hammer and some leather strips, 1×4 boards and decorative furniture tacks to create gorgeous hanging storage. Perfect for holding office items around your desk, mixing spoons and other kitchen tools or even decorative items such as flowers or candles. Find the instructions here.
Inexpensive Desk Organizers
Whether you decorate them or leave them unadorned, a few glass jars can quickly turn a chaotic desk into a pleasantly organized oasis. Same goes for a work bench, junk drawer or any other messy area.
Fill an empty glass jar with a 2-inch layer of pebbles, enough activated charcoal to cover them and some potting soil. Voila: your own DIY terrarium is ready to be filled with miniature succulents or cacti to bring a little bit of nature into your home.
Custom Toiletry Holders
A few glass jars make for a stylish and inexpensive way to keep your vanity organized. Smaller jars can even be used inside your medicine cabinet or vanity drawers. Consider painting the jars to complement your bathroom décor or decorating them with ribbon.
Good Old-Fashioned Lightning Bug Catchers
This idea for reusing glass jars is as simple as it is nostalgic. Give your kids a jar with some holes punched in the lid and let them loose for an evening of whimsical fun. If your kids want to keep the bugs overnight, have them fill their jars with grass, a piece of damp paper towel and an apple slice. Release the bugs in a shady area in the morning.
Votive Candle Holder
Got some smaller glass jars you need a way to reuse? Fill them with votive candles and use them to create a beautiful, cozy atmosphere in any room. You can leave the jars clear or add metallic paint for a little extra glow.
Space-Saving Spice Storage
Baby food or other small jars can be reused as storage for your spices. If you buy spices in bulk, this will save tons of space in your cupboards. Even if not, jars are more stackable than typical plastic spice canisters. Jars are also easier to fit your measuring spoons into!