Put your recycled jar at the center of a gift bundle for a memorable gift. A gift bundle combines contents the recipient will use now with a container he or she can use later. The key to creating a good bundle is to start with a strong, unifying theme and apply it to the contents and the decoration.
Can you cook? The sky's the limit. Preserves, jelly, chutney, and salsa -- almost any treat can go into a jar. (Remember to use strict food-safety practices with home preserves; you don't want to give your loved ones botulism for the holidays [source: Penn State University].) A decorated jar can be a lovely way to present dry foods as well, such as peanut brittle, toffee, drop cookies or roasted or candied nuts. Pair it with Christmas ornaments or candles for a festive, colorful gift bundle.
For other gift bundles, think about ways to package an entire experience. Some examples are:
- A jar of popcorn with a favorite DVD
- A jar of bath salts or bubble-bath beads with a loofah, scrubber or foot massage roller (For a real winner, try putting all these gifts in a basket with a color-coordinated hand towel and a scented candle or lavender sachet.)
- A jar of gourmet cocoa powder with a jumbo mug
- A jar of loose tea with a pair of cups and a tea strainer
- A jar of dried beans -- a bean soup mix -- with a spice packet and a recipe (Lentils, pinto beans, red beans, black beans and white beans will look beautiful in layers. For color and extra kick, you may want to add a mini ristra -- a garland of dried habanero peppers.)
For any gift bundle, presentation is important. A basket is almost always inexpensive and attractive. Depending on the contents, a cloth wine-bottle gift bag can be a striking way to bundle gifts. Focus on reusability in the container as well as the contents. Add a ribbon or some raffia, and you have a handmade, heartfelt, one-of-a-kind gift.
Chances are, once you've started thinking about ways to reuse glass jars, you'll never throw one out again. Have fun, and don't forget to share the results.
To learn more, visit the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Links
- Apartment Therapy. "How to Cut Glass Bottles for Use in Other Projects." Re-Nest: Abundant Design for Green Homes. May 7, 2008. (Accessed 4/5/09) http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/how-to/diy-how-to-cut-glass-bottles-for-use-in-other-projects-049526
- Domagalski, Luke. "Aquarium Care: Choosing the Right Aquarium Size for Your Fish." Buzzle. March 25, 2008. (Accessed 4/9/09) http://www.buzzle.com/articles/aquarium-care-choosing-the-right-aquarium-size-for-your-fish.html
- Domagalski, Luke. "Planted Aquarium Care 101." The Smiley Fish. (Accessed 4/9/09) http://thesmileyfish.com/
- FamilyFun. "Candle Jars." DisneyFamily.com. (Accessed 4/8/09) http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=10289
- Instructables. "How to Cut a Glass Bottle" (Video). Instructables: Make, How To, and DIY. (Accessed 4/6/09) http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Cut-A-Glass-Bottle./
- iVillage. "Glass Jar Lights." iVillage. (Accessed 4/8/09) http://home.ivillage.com/decorating/crafts/0,,7hbb,00.html
- Keenan, Susan. "How to Remove Candle Wax." Do It Yourself. 2006. (Accessed 4/9/09) http://www.doityourself.com/stry/candlewax
- Penn State University. "Home Food Preservation: Resources for Safe Food Preservation." (Accessed 4/9/09) http://foodsafety.psu.edu/preserve.html
- Petco. "Setting up a Freshwater Aquarium." Petco: Care Information Sheets. 2004. (Accessed 4/9/09) http://www.petco.com/caresheets/fish/SetUpFreshwaterAquarium.pdf
- Philips, Roxi. "Mason Jar Magic: Making a Summer Patio Lantern." My Lifetime. June 20, 2008. (Accessed 4/8/09) http://www.mylifetime.com/lifestyle/home-crafts/craft-ideas/seasonal-projects/mason-jar-magic-make-summer-patio-lantern
- That Pet Place. "Three-Gallon Aquarium." That Pet Place: Products. (Accessed 4/9/09) http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/242948/product.web