5 ways to give an old jar a new life

Add a touch of glam to an unwanted glass jar

Upcycling is the modern term for the phrase ‘make do and mend’. However, everything we want and need is available instantly, whether buying online or popping down to the shops. Recycling glass jars, plastic bottles and other items that can have another life beyond their initial purpose is, fortunately, becoming a trend, and the internet is full of upcycling hacks, tips and tricks to help us all be a little bit less wasteful.

Candle Holder

Make your home look lovely and feel cosy by transforming a glass vessel into a tea light holder. Add some garden twine to the top of the jar for a rustic look, or decorate it by painting it with different colours to make a colourful lantern.


One of the best uses for a leftover glass jar is to use it for storage. If you want to add a personalised touch, paint the lid using a spray paint that can be used on metal or plastic, depending on the type of lid. You could also add some vintage door knobs to the lids for a more decorated style, or you could try glueing on some plastic animal figurines and spray paint the lids fun colours to appeal to children.


Whether your flowers are freshly cut or artificial, turning an old glass jar into a vase means you won’t need to pay high street prices to make your home look welcoming. The taller the jar the better, as you’ll be able to get more of the stems in the vase. If you feel like decorating it, you could decoupage it using pages from an old book, or spray paint it your favourite colour.


Got any leftover fruit and veg? Instead of throwing it in the bin, try pickling the produce, or making chutney or jam; after all, that’s what our jars were made for. Just make sure you clean them thoroughly, before filling with your homemade preserves.

Cake Mix

Who doesn’t love a homemade cake? This is a great gift idea for the avid bakers in your life, especially if you’re on a budget. Find your desired recipe, and simply layer up the dry ingredients in the jar — then attach the full recipe on a paper luggage tag.