Canning and preserving your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to save money, eat healthier, and forego additives and chemicals. And if you've read our article 12 Ways to Re-Use Baby Food Jars, you already know how easily jars – no matter their size – can be repurposed. But some canning jars have a tendency to explode when they're processed in hot water baths, while some of the metal lids never seal. So what exactly are you supposed to do with these spare or faulty canning lids?
SUGGESTIONS FOR RE-PURPOSING JAR LIDS
- Make safety reflectors: If your driveway is difficult to maneuver after dark, make some inexpensive reflectors using scrap wood and jar lids to guide drivers. Spray the lids with reflective paint, screw them to the sides of stakes cut from scrap wood, and drive the stakes into the ground.
- Save half-eaten fruit and half-drunk beverages: If you have half a peach, apple, or orange you want to save for later, simply wrap a jar lid in plastic wrap or wax paper and place the fruit cut-side-down in your refrigerator. The same goes for a glass of partially consumed of milk or juice. Just cover the glass with a lid and refrigerate it to keep it fresh.
- Cut biscuits and cookies: Lids with deep rims or canning jar bands make excellent impromptu biscuit and cookie cutters. Dip the bottom edge of the lid in flour to keep it from sticking when you press it into the dough.
- Create a spoon rest: Place a jar lid on the stove or the countertop next to the stove while cooking. After stirring a pot, you can rest the spoon on the lid so there's less to clean up later.
- Use as a drip catcher for honey: Depending on the size of your honey jar, you should be able to place it on a jar lid to stop drips from getting on your tabletop. And you can store it that way, too, so your cabinet shelf will stay cleaner.
- Make coasters to protect furniture: Glue rounds of felt or cork to both sides of a jar lid, and keep a stack wherever cups and glasses accumulate in your house. This will prevent stains and water rings from mysteriously appearing on your furniture finishes.
- Use as saucers for potted plants: Lids with rims are perfect for catching excess water under small, potted plants.
- Organize small items: Corral paper clips and other small office items that clutter up your desk by putting them in jar lids with deep rims. These jar lids also work great for holding loose change or earrings on your dresser or bureau.
- Use as paint palettes: Old jar lids are perfect for turning into convenient, kid-sized paint palettes. They also work great when you need to do decorative painting or touch-ups around the house, but don't want to haul an entire can of paint along with you.
- Turn into candle holders: You can decorate the metal lids with hot glue and ribbon, beads, and photos for unique candle holders that can be used in your home or given away as gifts. Or, just pack a few jar lids and some insect-repelling candles on your next camping trip for fewer bugs and extra light.
- Make magnet photo frames: Visit FirstPalette.com for instructions on how you and your kids can make adorable magnetic photo frames out of jar lids and self-hardening clay!
- Make tin punched Christmas ornaments: Visit eHow.com for instructions on turning jar lids into a beloved and time-honored holiday craft.