The Power of Jam Jars
Going Beyond the Proverbial Jam
Jam. Just the very thought of it propels me back to my childhood and if you were lucky enough to have a mother who was skilled in the art of jam-making as I was, then blessed you were indeed blessed. Because this jam was not some slap-dash affair. Oh no my friend. This jam was a home-made labour of love, packed full of wholesome goodness, picked from the neighbours peach trees next door. Believe it or not, making jam truly is an art, but one where there is an arduous process that begins long before the first freshly picked peach. I will spare you the details except for one very important thing and in fact, what I consider to be the most important part of the entire jam making process – The collection of JARS.
In my hometown there was a silent underground community of jar collectors who could have started their own cult if they truly knew their power. Boxes were stored in garages; much too many a husbands’ dismay; for the sole purpose of storing these jars and every so often a covert mission would be embarked upon to strip said garages of their glassy delights, and the cycle would being again.
To this day, my mother still has people collecting jars for her and even though decades have gone by; it is still considered an enormous privilege and a secret delight to receive homemade jam. What has changed though is that jars now have a life beyond that of their precious sugary cargo. We are in fact talking about the craft of recycling and reusing jars to prolong their lifespan so that they can continue to give us enormous amounts of pleasure, long after the last drop has been wiped from sticky lips.
I’m talking specifically about shabby chic table décor. Jars; beautifully tied with funky designed coloured ribbon and twine to hold the flower arrangements at your best friend’s wedding. Or re-purposed to carry your home-made picnic humus and celery sticks with a cool inspirational message on the label.
Their uses go on and on. Homemade snow globes, piggy banks and miniature aquariums are perfect crafts to do with your kids. Paint them, use glue and stick on some glitter or wrap paper around them to make them funky.
Store anything from buttons, to popcorn or spices, nails and other garage knick knacks; and of course crayons and stationary.
Just make sure it’s clean and dry before you fill it, and label it creatively! You can even get a crafty Granny that can crotchet to make some covers for your jars. Et voila! Quirky candle holders.
For DIY around the house, rethink the lighting in your kitchen and repurpose those big jars to make hanging pendant lights or even make your own solar lights for the garden. These are so simple! Grab some solar lights from the hardware store (some even come in different colours), place them in the jar, and place the jars in sunny spots around your garden!
If you like your herbs close by; then plant your favourite ones in a few jars and place them on the kitchen windowsill. Use some potting soil, a little fertiliser (even better if it’s from your home compost heap), and some of your favourite seeds (basil, parsley, rosemary all work beautifully!).
Fancy a cocktail or five? Jars make the perfect funky chalice from which to sip your strawberry daiquiri or mojito on those hot summer days. And if giving homemade gifts is your thing; be it someone’s birthday or a Christmas gift; finish off your jar of treats and goodies by using a paper doily and some string for the lid or cover it with pretty contact paper and let’s not forget about chalkboard paint; for the lid or for the label on the jar itself!
Jam or no jam, the possibilities of re-using jars to make life more fun and crafty are endless, not to mention green!
A BIG THANK YOU to our favourite photographer Kim from Big Shots Photography for arrange all these gorgeous jar images for us from Console.