Canning jar crafting is gaining popularity

Very often, they are collecting dust in the corner of the basement.

They might be stored in the pantry or cellar, filled with this past summer’s garden treasures: green beans, peaches, blackberries, tomatoes and corn.

Or someone could combine several with dryer hose-type clamps and herbs or house plants. Voila! It’s an instant garden area for a patio, kitchen or anywhere a little color is needed.

Decorating with canning jars – Ball, Mason or other brands – is a rising trend in decorating.

“It’s something everyone relates to,” said Beverly Neff, owner of Neff’s Country Loft, 2514 Washington Blvd., Belpre, behind Bob’s Market and Greenhouse. “It’s part of our heritage, part of our past.”

A search of the Internet on sites such as Pinterest or those under “Mason Jar crafts” shows hundreds of uses for a simple product that’s been around since 1850.

Images show snow globes, office supply organizers, containers for cut flowers, spice dispensers, firefly jars and containers for mixed or other prepared drinks for parties. Just pile them in a washtub with crushed ice, and guests can serve themselves.

For Caroline Waller, owner of Passiflora, a floral design business based in Marietta, and many of her clients, Mason jars offer the opportunity to do an event, such as a wedding or dinner party, in way that doesn’t break the bank.

“It’s a cost-effective way to make something look really pretty,” Waller said.

The rising popularity of using the jars in design is part of the whole do-it-yourself movement, Waller said.

Her favorite jar to use is the old Ball turquoise jars, which she uses for vases. By adding a multi-colored ribbon, it’s a good vessel for geraniums or irises. Adding the vases to a dining table also has impact.

Elizabeth Green, 25, of Marietta, uses several kinds of jars in her crafts, especially to make solar-powered or rechargeable lights. She recently needed to replace a set of solar lights after they were destroyed at a concert.

“Crafting is my release,” Green said. “It’s my way of relaxing. I like to have my brain active and focus on something.”

At Crafts2000 in Parkersburg, Jessica Templeton, department head and staffer on the service desk, said the store sees many customers buy Mason jars in spring and summer and combine glass candlesticks with the jars to make “redneck” wineglasses.

She said many customers pick up ribbon and solar light lids to spruce up whatever jar craft they are making.

Her favorite use is a firefly jar. Break open at least two neon glowsticks along with 1 to 2 teaspoons of diamond dust and you have a glow-in-the-dark container for summer lightning bugs.

Neff said her favorite uses of Mason jars involve food. She said the jars are good for dry goods, such as rice and pasta. She also bakes some goodies including cookies or bars to give as gifts. Once a recipe and decoration are added to the jar, it makes a good gift for anyone. Another idea is to layer the dry ingredients in the jar and add a recipe and baking instructions.

Sarah Dye is owner of Top Drawer Furniture and Design, 200 Front St., Marietta.

“There are a million things you can do with Mason jars,” Dye said. “One of the cool things is lighting.”

Dye said cutting a hole in the bottom makes a unique chandelier.

“It’s kind of that reuse-repurpose feel,” Dye said. “We have to work with all types of budgets and use what we have.”

Jason Rowley, category manager at Kegworks, a beer supply retailer in Buffalo, N.Y., said he saw the trend on the rise and figured out a way his store could meet the need.

The store and website offer 26-ounce Mason drinking jars, 16.5-ounce drinking mugs and cocktail shakers and will add shot glasses in the future.

“The unique design and feel of the Mason shaker will definitely catch some people’s attention,” Rowley said. “Its look manages to be both nostalgic and edgy, while still being a fully functional, high-quality bar tool.”