Repurpose empty glass jars for dry goods storage DIY

October 17, 2012 0 By EngineerMommy

When you finish the last bit of pasta sauce from that jar in your fridge, don’t throw it out. Clean it out and use it for another purpose. Storage! You can store dry goods in these jars, like nuts, dried fruits, sugar, flour, etc. Or you could even store homemade sauces, dips, and dressings. The possibilities are endless!

This can be done with any glass jar. Jelly jars, salsa jars, pickle jars, olive jars, and so on. Different sizes and shapes complement each other when placed near each other. Here is a sneak peek at the finished product.

Ok, first let’s take a look at what my various nuts and dried fruit look like on the shelf in their original plastic bags from the store.

Yuck! So not pretty!!

The first step will be a thorough cleaning of the inside of the jar. Use your regular dish soap and brush to remove any last traces of food from the inside of the jar. Now on to the outside of the jar. We have to completely remove the label and adhesive glue. Soak the jars in a container of warm water for several hours. Most of my jars only needed to soak for about 15 minutes. When the label adhesive is water-based in nature, it will come off easily after soaking in water. I had one jar that must have had an oil-based label adhesive, and the label glue did not come off at all after soaking for a while. So I just scrapped that jar. I had plenty of others anyway. But I did read somewhere that you might be able to remove oil-based label adhesive by soaking the jar in oil. Anyway, if your label comes off easily after soaking in water, consider yourself lucky and move on to the next step. Here are my jars soaking in water.

Next you will want to paint the lids of the jars. And also put a custom label on the front of the jar to indicate what will be stored inside. I used these Avery regular return shipping labels and this specific Pharmacy font for my labels. I love the way it all came out. And this is so much cheaper (well, it’s free) than buying specialty glass jars at the store.

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