Creative Recycling with Baby Food Jars

Baby food jars are great for arts & crafts projects. The ideas here are from T2T contributors. Many of these make great Mother’s Day gift ideas.

“When I taught third grade I used baby food jars to make candles for Mother’s Day gifts. You take many colors of tissue paper that is cut or torn into small shapes. With a mixture of glue and water, you “paint” the glue onto the tissue paper, then layer onto side of jar. Completely cover the jar with tissue and let dry. You might have to glue down corners and edges if they weren’t covered enough the first time. Then put in a small votive type candle, and there you have a great Mother’s Day gift, or whatever else you want. If you get really ambitious, you can have the kids (or you) melt paraffin and make the candles inside the jar yourself.” -Nikki

Editor’s Note: If you melt your own paraffin, add a few drops of oil such as lavender or a flower scent for a wonderful smelling candle.

“You could also do the candle holder with pretty napkins and glue. Sort of like decoupage. I have done this with those tiny terra cotta plant pots from Walmart. The mothers will love this. Home made with love and very useful. They are too fun and so easy to make.” -CJ

Editor’s Note: Be creative with the decoupage technique. Students could even draw a picture on a strip of paper cut to fit around the jar. Glue the drawing to the jar as directed above.

“Baby food jars can be used to make “snow globes” — glue a small figurine in the lid using a hot glue gun. Fill the jar with water and some glitter (or some other neat shaped plastic confetti) and glue the lid on.” -LClend

“I have used baby food jars to put colored sand in to make paperweights and sand sculptures. They are a good size, and you can spray paint the lids. We are going to be studying the desert, so I think we will make them for Christmas gifts this year.” -Nancy

“You could purchase some potpourri and ribbon. You could put mesh over the top, tie a lace ribbon around it and place potpourri inside. This is a very pretty decoration and can easily be replaced when the smell goes away. Have fun!!” -Jeana

“You can use baby food jars to make an ocean scene. Put water in and blue/green food coloring. Add a little glitter and a small rubber fish attached to the jar lid with fishing string. It looks great.” -Bonita

“I teach Texas History and we use baby food jars to make a single serving of home-made butter when we study the pioneer unit. They absolutely love it! The PTO provides yeast rolls.” – Tammy W, Sabine Middle, Gladewater,Texas

Editor’s Note: Making butter in a baby food jar couldn’t be simpler. Fill the jar halfway with heavy whipping cream and add a pinch of salt for flavor. Screw the lid on tight and have students shake, shake, shake! Keep shaking until the whey separates from the butter and the butter clumps together. Remove the lid and pour off the whey, then enjoy the butter!

For more Mother’s Day gift ideas see: Gifts That GROW