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Do you like jam on your toast? If so, there’s a good chance you have a mason jar in your fridge that’s begging to be transformed into something beautiful. Indeed, these canning containers can be used for so much more than pickling and preserving. From planters and bird feeders to candles and soap dispensers, these handy jars are ideal for sprucing up your home on the cheap. And that’s not all—you can also use them to keep small hands occupied with cool science experiments and easy art projects. Get ready to have some fun with our roundup of the best mason jar crafts for all ages.

RELATED: 17 Crafts to Do at Home (Even If You’re So Not the Crafty Type)

The Best Ideas for Kids

1. Unicorn Slime Jars

Slime is a sensory smash hit for the younger set so if you have kids, you’re probably already very familiar with this gooey product. Before little ones sink their hands into the sticky stuff, put them to work with this mason jar makeover. Not only is the resulting container practical, it also boasts plenty of unicorn charm as a storage container that truly sparkles.

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2. Glitter Dipped Mason Jars

Why sip a refreshing drink from a drab mason jar when you can go glam with a glitter-dipped glass instead? This craft couldn’t be easier to execute—it calls for only Mod Podge, painters tape and lots of glitter, of course. Bonus: The snazzy finished product stands up surprisingly well to washing. So bang this one out and bring your custom glass with you to the beach, the porch and everywhere you go (because it’s always fun to feel fancy).

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3. DIY Bug Repellant Mason Jar Luminaries

All the bugs come out when the weather gets swampy but don’t let them bring you down—just start spreading a very generous amount of jam on your morning toast. Once the preserves have served their purpose, the empty jar will work wonders in the evening hours as a chic DIY insect repellant. This practically foolproof craft promises to keep the skeeters away all summer (and it smells way better than bug spray).

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4. Rain Cloud in a Jar

Science and art collide in this keepsake mason jar craft, which also provides kids with an opportunity to explore the phenomenon of weather. All you need to create this cool project is a mason jar, some shaving cream and food coloring gel and the process is full of hands-on fun—because who doesn’t like to make it rain?

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5. Frosted Mason Jar Votives

No one likes an obnoxious overhead light—but before you spend a fortune on more subdued alternatives, check out this dollar store hack that turns a humble mason jar into the mood lighting solution you’ve been searching for. And there’s good news for those lacking in fancy crafting supplies: These votives owe their elegant frosted appearance to none other than Elmer’s glue. You’d never know it though, because once the craft is complete, the aesthetic of these candle holders is totally grown-up.

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6. Summer Succulent Mason Jar Planters

House plants add so much to a room but if you don’t have a green thumb, they can be a real pain to care for. Enter these adorable succulents—they require precious little to prosper and, as luck would have it, you can plant ‘em in pickle jars.

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7. Fairies in a Jar

This kid-friendly craft uses glow sticks to create a magical nighttime light show. Just don’t forget to call the finished craft “fairies in a jar” to inspire even more enchantment and wonder in your little one.

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8. DIY Apple Mason Jar

There’s no better way to woo an educator at the start of the school year than with an apple that won’t go moldy when displayed on a desk. This mason jar transformation is undeniably cute, and unlike actual produce, this puppy can be used as a pencil-holder, iced coffee cup or even taken home and filled with other beverages so those superheroes can enjoy some grown-up juice after a long day. And no, you’re not a kiss-up—this is just a kid-friendly craft that happens to make for a thoughtful gift.

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9. Watercolor Luminaries

Watercolors, coffee filters and mason jars come together for a fun and easy project that both adults and kids can enjoy. This craft is an ideal opportunity for parent-and-child bonding because the technique is neither fussy nor messy. When the job is done, the finished jar featuring a melange of soft colors is so beautiful, it looks like it belongs on Monet’s bookshelf.

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10. Mason Jar Wind Chimes

If you want to make sweet music with a mason jar, just polish off the last of the pickles and upcycle that puppy. You’ll need some chunky glass beads to string on wire, a couple of standard tools and a lot of focus, making this STEAM craft better suited for adult artists. Still, even a grown-up beginner can pull it off without a struggle—and the pay-off sounds pretty sweet.

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11. Tornado in a Jar

Even though this project involves recreating a natural disaster with your kid, the process itself is a breeze. The steps are simple, so youngsters can join in, and the three required ingredients (a mason jar, dish soap and food coloring) are probably already hanging out in your kitchen. Most importantly, the grand finale is fantastic and sure to blow the socks off your kid.

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12. Mason Jar Bird Feeder

By now you probably know that mason jars can do it all, so it should come as no surprise that they can also double as charming backyard seed dispensers for our feathered friends. String one of these mason jar bird feeders from a tree branch near your bedroom window and you’ll wake to a sweet song every morning.

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13. Mason Jar Night Light

Pick your own decal for this Cricut craft that turns an ordinary mason jar into a stunning, solar-powered night light. The machine required is fancy and a bit pricey, but a worthy investment if you foresee yourself crafting more masterpieces in the future. The process requires more precision than a young child can likely muster, but an inspired parent can bang one out solo for a beautiful bedtime surprise. (And it might even buy you a better night’s sleep.)

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14. Make a Mason Jar Aquarium

Wrap up a family beach day or trip to the aquarium by crafting an underwater scene in a jar. If you have a preschooler in your life, this project will provide plenty of entertainment but we particularly like it because the finished jar does more than the typical decorative item. This natural habitat knock-off is outfitted with plastic sea creatures that kids can pretend to care for, thereby encouraging imaginative play.

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15. Mason Jar Air Freshener

It’s hard to find the right fragrance, especially when the scent in question will be wafting throughout your living space. Solve the problem with a DIY mason jar air freshener and your home will smell just right. This craft allows you to pick your preferred perfume using a combination of essential oils and herbs—because your nose wants what it wants (and always knows best).

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16. Glow in the Dark Bug Jar

Bug-catching is a blast for kids of all ages, but it’s never more fun than when fireflies strut their stuff on a summer night. This crafting activity is a creative and easy way to make a bug-catching jar with your child. Some parts of the process are best handled by a parent (like poking holes in the metal lid), but your kid can help with the rest. Best of all, this bug-catcher is bedazzled with glow-in-the-dark appliques, so there will be a light show even if your little one isn’t fast enough to bag (or jar) a lightning bug.

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17. Glitter Lava Lamps

Encourage your child to channel peace and love with this psychedelic throwback. These lava lamps are easy to create with common household products (like vegetable oil and antacid tablets) and kid participation is possible every step of the way. Needless to say, the final product is pretty groovy.

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18. Mason Jar Toothbrush Holder

It turns out your fridge is full of bathroom storage solutions. Who knew? So before you buy yourself a toothbrush holder, consider this crafty way to convert an empty mason jar into a container for your number one toiletry. Your toothbrush will be at the sink when you need it and stay as clean as the pearly-whites it scrubs. Plus, no store-bought product can compete with the pride that comes from saying “I made it myself.”

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19. Sea Glass Painted Jars

This project uses highly-pigmented frosted paint to create an sea-toned, opalescent effect that looks like the work of mermaid magic—and all you have to do is brush it on and admire your handiwork. In fact, this might just be the one time that you’ll actually want to watch paint dry.

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20. Rainbow in a Jar

A simple STEAM craft that any parent and child team can tackle with flying colors. The pot of gold at the end of this rainbow is actually a mason jar—and the color spectrum it contains can be achieved with ingredients you likely already have on hand (like honey, dish soap and olive oil). Bonus: This project doesn’t just deliver a visual reward, it’s also a ready-made science lesson on density and an opportunity for active learning that will wow students of all ages.

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21. DIY Galaxy Light Jar

All you need is a disposable cake tin, an LED light and a mason jar for crafting fun that’s out of this galaxy. (Sorry, we had to.) Star-gazing is a pleasure for people of all ages, but if you ever find yourself trying to explain to a kid why camping can’t be an every night occurrence, this child-friendly project will soften the blow.

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22. Acrylic Pouring Mason Jars

Mason jars come in all shapes and sizes and can be used as a canvas upon which to make many an artistic masterpiece. This acrylic pouring craft turns the surface of an oversized mason jar into a work of art that looks as beautiful empty as it does when holding a fresh bouquet of flowers.

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23. Mason Jar Herb Planters

Cooking is an art form and mason jars are often found in the fridge, so it’s only fitting that this craft involves upcycling that prized storage container for other culinary purposes. In a few simple steps you can use a mason jar to grow your own herb garden so your food always features fresh, aromatic flavor.

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24. DIY Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

Hand soap, like many household items, is wise to buy in bulk. Still, that super-sized bottle of suds won’t look so good precariously perched on the bathroom sink. This mason jar soap dispenser delivers rustic-chic style that a run-of-the-mill dollar store purchase just can’t touch.

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25. Mason Jar Superhero Banks

Pass on that porcelain, limited-edition piggy bank and give your kid a better introduction to the value of a hard-earned dollar with this simple DIY craft. The mason jar design can be customized to star your kiddo’s favorite superhero—and unlike an open mason jar filled with pocket change, you’ll be less likely to pilfer from this piggy bank when you need to feed a parking meter. (Hey, no judgment.)

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26. DIY Mason Jar Candles

With the right ingredients (soy wax flakes and candle wicks), you can make your own votive in a mason jar, and if you add a drop of essential oil it will smell as good as it looks. This DIY craft has tons of holiday gifting potential and when it comes to styling out the candle holder itself, the creative possibilities are endless.

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27. Fabric Gift Jars

A little Mod Podge and a few swaths of fabric are all you need to turn your mason jar into a shabby-chic gift that’s worth preserving. This collage of cloth is easy enough for a crafting beginner to manage and once it dries, more ambitious artists can use additional supplies for detailed embellishment. Bottom line: Whether you keep it simple or make it snazzy, this mason jar craft comes out looking lovely.

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28. Soothing Glitter Jars

What do you do with an overwrought kid? Hand him a mason jar—but make sure it’s the glittery sensory kind. At some point, everyone experiences emotions they don’t know how to handle. If you’re the parent of a child with frequent bouts of big feelings, your kid is probably as eager as you are to find a soothing solution. This all-season snow globe of glitter has the calming capacity to save everyone’s day.

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29. Magnetic Mason Jar Storage Shelf

You may already have come to the conclusion that mason jars are the bees knees of storage solutions—but your mind will still be blown by this magnetic space-saving hack that allows you to suspend ‘em from the underside of a shelf. You can use your jars for spices, thumb tacks, silly putty and more. Genius.

Get the tutorial here

30. Mason Jar Photo Frame

Don’t be a square: stick a family photo in a cylinder instead. We love the look of these frosted mason jar frames because they add so much visual interest (and a fitting time-warp effect) when mixed in with standard frames in a photo display.

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RELATED: 19 Crafts for Toddlers That Won’t Destroy Your Home

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