The holidays are coming up fast and if you’ve got a surplus of Mason jars around the house, you’re in luck. These containers aren’t just good for canning fruit and vegetables, they make an excellent base for tons of winter projects. From gift giving to holiday decor, here are ten great Mason jar Christmas crafts that are easy, elegant, and fun to make.
Fun-size Gift Capsules
Why mess around with messy paper filler and trying to fill an oversized basket? The standard Mason jar is a great size for making small gift packages. This is an easy project for little hands to help out with during winter break and can be personalized to each person. Pamper coworkers and casual acquaintances with jars filled with miniature chocolates, boutique salves, or relaxing bath bombs. You can theme jars around flavors, colors, or the recipient’s favorite food. Does your favorite neighbor love pizza? Fill a jar with gummy pizza candy, gift cards to their favorite pizza place, pizza-shaped soap – the size of the jar makes it a creative challenge to fill these gift capsules with small tokens of the gift-giving season.
Holiday Floral Vase
This craft is especially good if you have jars, but don’t have lids for them. Decide how best to decorate the vase to fit your holiday aesthetic: spray painting the jar gold or silver and leaving it as is makes for a great minimalist piece, going crazy with brightly colored ribbon, puff paints, or glitter will lend a jollier and more eye-catching motif to your vase. However you decide to decorate your Mason jar, remember to fill it with the flora of the season: red berry stems, holly, mistletoe or lilies.
Send a mason jar filled with all the dry ingredients for your favorite recipe to mix up and bake on their own. Add the ingredients one at a time to create a pretty layering effect that shows off all the different ingredients and make sure to add a ribbon around the neck of the jar with the instructions included. Your mix doesn’t have to be limited to baked goods – drink mixes like hot cocoa or mulling spices work well too and smaller jars can hold really great spice mixes for seasoning dishes. You can also add extra ingredients that will make your mix complete to the ribbon around the neck of the jar, like mini marshmallows for the cocoa or sprinkles or nuts for the baked goods.
Handmade Beauty Soaks, Scrubs, and Salts
Soaks, scrubs, and salts are easily one of the more customizable and luxurious gifts that you can make at home. Many use less than four or five ingredients and the recipient will appreciate knowing what their new bath time go-to is made with. All you need for the base for a soak is an Epsom or sea salt, your preferred essential oil for aromatherapy, and extras like powdered milk, rose petals, or lavender buds. Scrubs can be even easier to make: all you really need is a sugar and a fat to mix it with, like coconut oil or almond oil. There are plenty of recipes online for both, so finding the perfect soak is easy. Pack your scrub or salt into an appropriately sized Mason jar and decorate it with a ribbon around the jar’s neck with some lavender sprigs or cinnamon sticks attached and a gift label with the ingredients listed.
Personalized Snow Globes
Snow globes are an easy way to enjoy a white Christmas, especially if you don’t get snow in the winter. Because they’re relatively inexpensive and close tightly enough to avoid leakage, Mason jars make for a perfect snow globe. All you need is a jar with a lid, a bottle-brush tree (or whatever you’d like to set the scene with), glitter, and water. You can find some great inspiration on the internet for cute DIY snow globes and even some tricks on how to make the glitter inside swirl and settle at the speed that you want. This is a great project to keep little hands busy.
Mason jars can add a bit of rustic flair to your decor and with a little creativity, they can even become the main focal point of a vignette or tablescape. You can fill large mason jars entirely or in layers with interesting seasonal objects like acorns, small sleigh bells, Christmas candies, or cranberries. Adding a small string of fairy lights to an empty jar is beautiful and eye-catching on its own, but adding small branches or dried flora adds a special touch to it.
Stuffing Mason jars full of homemade caramels or cookies is a great way to make a lot of easy-to-transport gifts at one time and since the Mason jar seals, they’ll stay fresh so they’re easy to make ahead of time too. Make sure that your treats small enough to fit in the jar and, while they’re baking or setting, decorate the jar with ribbons, and custom gift tags.
Floating Candle Holders
There’s something romantic and whimsical about floating candles as opposed to regular pillar candles. These aren’t only cuter than traditional candles; they’re easy to make too. Just fill a mason jar with water and some eye-catching herbs or citrus slices, top with cranberries, and put a tea candle on top. Use different sized jars to make an interesting arrangement.
Different from putting loose treats into a Mason jar, these treats are baked right in. Yes, you can bake in a Mason jar. If you want to make individual servings of your favorite desserts as a gift or for the dessert table, just divvy up the batter into each clean and dry jar. Use cupcake rules: only fill the jar about 2/3 of the way, you don’t want any spillage. Let cool before covering tightly with the lid and decorating. You can even add icing to the top of the cake before you seal it if you like, but you’ll need to refrigerate it if that’s the case. Tie a spoon to the neck of the jar with some ribbon. (Note: most Mason jars are food-safe, but be sure to check before you start baking.)
Project kits are great for giving as gifts, keeping the kids busy, or for having fun at a party. Making one can be as easy as putting chocolate squares, marshmallows, and graham crackers in a jar and tying a roasting stick to it for a s’mores kit, or as involved as making directions for a project like the snow globe craft above and including everything needed to make one (minus the water). You can even use it as a nice looking (and space-saving) container for puzzle pieces. Filling a jar with some small craft supplies will keep younger children busy while older children can be entertained with more complicated crafts.