Old ones, new ones, big ones and little ones, name brand or jelly jar, it doesn’t matter to me, I love them all.

Why do I love them?

I thinks it’s because they take me back to a simpler time. A time when people threw nothing away, they used what they had and made the best of their resources. Or maybe it’s the vintage feel they give, or that each jar has a history all its own.

Maybe it’s because they come in all shapes and sizes and have a thousand and one uses. All of these are good reasons to love and appreciate jars, but I think the real reason I love them is because they are free! (most of the time anyway) I like free. I love free. Free is convenient. Free makes me happy. You know who loves free more than I do? You got it. The worlds tightest man 😉 And he really loves me when I use free stuff. As a matter of fact, our unofficial family motto is “we take all things free”.

A while back, while cleaning off part of our property, we ran across two fifty gallon drums that needed to be moved. They had been in that one spot for decades, literally, but before we could move them, we needed to empty them. I have to admit I was a little anxious about taking the lid off of a fifty gallon drum that hadn’t been opened or moved in 40 years. I couldn’t imagine what was inside. Maybe it was full of family heirlooms, or old news papers from the early 1900’s. Maybe it held a deep dark family secret. What if there was a body in there? My mind raced with possibilities. As Devin began the process of prying the lid off I asked, “what do you think is in there?” Devin said in his normal, un-excited, calm manner, “oh, it’s probably just old jars or something”. As he began to lift the lid, my heart raced with anticipation. I felt like Geraldo Rivera at the opening of Al Capone’s Vault. As he pulled back the lid he said, “yep, just like I said, a bunch of old jars”, then he threw the lid on the ground. As he walked away I heard him say, “welp, I guess you’ll have a ball digging through that.”

Once again Devin was right, it was full of old jars! How does he do that?

The difference between me and Geraldo Rivera is, he was embarrassed and disappointed by what he found and I was like a kid in a candy shop!

Here’s a sample of what we found. Aren’t they beautiful?

Here’s some more we found in the old shop.

I couldn’t wait to get them home and clean them up. All I needed to do now was find a way to give them life again, a new purpose. I figured they had been hidden long enough so I decided to display them on my kitchen counter and fill them with my favorite things. The more I thought about what to put in them, the more excited I got. It doesn’t take much.
I spray painted the lids with three colors of green that complemented each other. Here’s the spray paint I used.

The Rust-oleum ‘spruce green’ is my favorite color, and by far a better brand of paint.

I filled them with some of my favorite things that I use on a daily basis, like tea bags, nuts, loose leaf teas and spices..

Then I got a brilliant, border line genius, idea to fill some them with ingredients I would need for baking chocolate chip cookies.

Is that not brilliant? You’re welcome 😉

I filled the biggest jar with chocolate chips. Most chocolate chip recipes call for a bag of chips, which is two cups. The jar made it easy to pour and measure them. I premeasured the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda) and put the mixture in one of the jars. Then I did the same with the white and brown sugars, and put them in another jar.

The very next day I had a chance to use my brilliant jar idea. One of my best friends in the whole wide world, we’ll call her Kim Wells, has a daughter that goes to school here in Tulsa, we’ll call her Lauren Wells. As a favor, Lauren asked if she could borrow my copy of Downton Abbey, season 3 for their Downton Abby watch party. Since I am a HUGE Downton Abbey fan, and I LOVE Lauren Wells, I was happy to oblige!

We agreed to meet at a shopping center in Tulsa the next day. As I was rushing through my morning trying to get out the door, I had another brilliant idea. I’ll make cookies for their watch party, I thought. When I looked at the clock I realized I had to leave in an hour, but since all of my ingredients were pre measured and ready to go, I was able to do this-

And this-

So that I could see this! A happy face 😉

I hope this inspires you to get creative with your jars. And when you do, please share with the rest of us!

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