How to Repurpose Old Spice Bottles In Unique Ways

Have you recently cleaned out your pantry and are now wondering about what to do with all those old spice containers? Looking for creative upcycling ideas and ways to reuse them? There are SO many ways to repurpose old spice jars around the house that you should definitely not just toss them in the recycle bin, never to be used again.

Small jars like this, especially ones that have that sprinkle top insert, are incredibly handy around the house and yard. Once you’ve used up the spices (or had to throw them away), consider giving those old spice containers new life instead of recycling them.

Stop throwing away small glass bottles!

We go through a lot of spices in my house. We don’t add a lot of salt to our food and using herbs is a great way to get flavor without adding sodium. Of course, fresh herbs are the tastiest, but that isn’t always an option.

In the dead of winter, my oregano is…well…DEAD! And who in the world even knows where things like paprika or coriander come from. Certainly not my backyard!

Our spice addiction results in me trying to find new uses for a whole lot of empty small jars. I figured maybe you all would like to know a few ways that I have discovered to use them.

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collage of spice jars and empty spice containers being used for arts and crafts


How to Repurpose Spice Jars

Before you toss your old spice containers in the recycling bin, look for creative upcycling ideas instead. These are handy-sized jars, often with a sprinkle top insert. Remember, spices expire after a while and should be replaced.  However, don’t throw them away!  Check out my post about ways to reuse old spices after they expire.  Then, get creative with reusing the small jar they came in. 

What sort of things do you do around the house that could be better organized? Put spice jars and even empty perfume bottles to good use! Here are a few ways that I repurpose them around my house and home:

two empty spice jars on a cutting board with labels removed

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Fill Old Spice Jars with Flour

Fill them with a ‘sprinkle’ type cap with flour. Next time you make bread, pie crust, or anything else that needs to be rolled out you can just sprinkle your flour directly on the cutting board. No need to stick your dirty hands in the flour canister!

More Creative Upcycling Ideas

cinnamon and sugar in small spice container with vanilla

Make a Cinnamon and Sugar Shaker

Combine a tablespoon or two of cinnamon with 1/4 cup white sugar and mix well. Place your cinnamon and sugar mixture into the spice jar and sprinkle on toast in the morning. Cinnamon and sugar are also great on top of muffins before they bake and in your homemade oatmeal

Fill Spice Containers with Powdered Sugar

Repurpose spice jars by filling them with powdered sugar for easy ‘dusting’ of baked goods. Store the powdered sugar jar in a cool, dry place. Then, use it to give an upscale look to your sweet potato pancakes. Or, try my Chocolate Raspberry Kaiserschmarrn.  They are seriously a delicious breakfast treat!

spices in burlap bags

Make your own spice blends

If you always use oregano, basil, and garlic powder to make your garlic bread, just make up a big batch and put it into the old spice container. Place a piece of masking tape on the jar to remind you what the recipe was.  This is especially handy with larger spice tins since you can make homemade seasonings in bulk.

If you grow your own herbs, old spice jars really come in handy. Check out my post on how to preserve fresh herbs and repurpose spice jars with your own garden fresh spices! 

Try this Great Beach Hack!

Fill them with baby powder. This is a great way to remove sand from your feet after a trip to the beach.

If you cut your children’s hair with clippers, baby powder will also help remove the cut strands from the back of their neck and shoulders. Upcycled spice jars filled with baby powder can go in your pool bag, nursery, and bathroom!

art with paint brushes, small jars, and art supplies

Use Empty Spice Jars to Hold Paint Brushes

Save your old spice bottles (the ones with the holes in the top) and use them to hold your kids’ small paintbrushes. The fine-tipped paintbrushes you use for arts and crafts will fit right into the holes. To weight the bottom of the jar, just fill 1/4 full with raw rice.

Use Old Spice Jars in the Garden

Fill your empty spice jar with diatomaceous earth or salt. Use it to kill garden pests instead of lugging a huge bag or box of garden treatment around the yard.  

Pro Upcycling Tip: Check out my post on how to cut a glass bottle in half with string!   

Upcycled Sewing Hacks

Use this handy glass bottle to store sewing pins, needles, buttons, small nails, tacks, or basically anything small. You can also use a bar of soap to hold onto your pins. 


collage of Empty Spice Jar Repurposing Ideas  

DIY Cleaning Made Easy!

Fill old spice jars with baking soda for cleaning purposes. Store it in the bathroom and use it to clean your bathroom sink. Actually, this is a great way to repurpose spice jars all over the house. In the bedroom, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress when spring cleaning. Put in near the pet bed to sprinkle before you vacuum for odor control. There are a ton of uses for baking soda around the house!

Laundry Room Reuse Idea

Fill old spice jars with powdered laundry detergent for your next trip. That way, you can wash laundry while you are away and that means fewer suitcases to carry! This is great if you are particularly sensitive to changes in laundry detergent due to allergies. 

Repurpose Empty Spice Jars for Kids

Let your child use them in pretend play. Fill with beans or small pasta that will not fit through the holes. Use a small amount of hot glue to glue the lid in place. Hand it over to your child to ‘season’ her latest pretend dinner creation!

There are dozens of ways to repurpose spice jars around the house. Use them for DIY cleaning products or to organize your pantry. Have your child use them in art projects or for pretend play. If you have too many yourself, give them to friends and family to use. Or, put them on Craigslist for crafters. 

 collage of spice jars with spices and some empty with label removed

Get creative with your empty spice jars and keep them out of the trash and recycling bin! Sadly, the glass recycling program in our country is sadly lacking so finding new ways to reuse them is incredibly good for the plant. 

Do you have any other creative ways to reuse old spice jars? Want an easy way to remove labels from glass jars?  Check out my post about how to remove labels from jars easily to get started.  

74 thoughts on “How to Repurpose Old Spice Bottles In Unique Ways”

  1. Great ideas. I’m hoping to plant in indoor herb garden so I always have some fresh herbs available. I also admit that i”m addicted to salt. I always have #2 around – so wonderful in many applications (you might want to reread it 🙂 )

  2. I buy the HUGE sized spices at Costco because I cook a lot, so I refill my empty spice bottles and store them in the kitchen cupboard. Then, I keep the big containers down in the cold basement. It’s been working great!

  3. Great ideas. I love the tip about putting baking soda in an old spice jar for cleaning. I repurpose our spice jars by refilling them with spices I buy lose and when I make my own seasoning mixes like taco seasoning and chili. Love your tips. Thanks!

  4. Must try the baby powder thing!

    We screwed the lids of spice jars to the underside of our utility room shelves to have hanging screw and nail containers. They are a good size and hang down low enough to see the contents

    • very good idea! I have seen that done with baby food jars but with no babies in my house I dont have many of them!

  5. There are many spices you can’t grow, but you picked two that are easy! Paprika comes from a pepper that is like a cross between a bell pepper and a chili pepper, dried and ground. Coriander is the seed of cilantro. Next time your cilantro flowers, let it go, and collect the seeds!

  6. I had toothpicks in a plastic container that melted when it got too close to the stove. I transferred them to an old glass spice container with a large-holed shaker lid, and it’s been working great!

  7. Great post. I saved up several and made bubble solution then twisted pipe cleaners into heart shaped wands and my daughter passed them out for Valentine’s Day at nursery school. It seems like they give each other gifts and trinkets for every little holiday so this saved us some money and saved everyone else yet another piece of plastic junk from entering their house. Use it up and toss it into the recycling bin knowing it’s already clean and has been reused at least once!

  8. I have used them for my flower seeds. I have a shoe box with containers inside and a cut flower to show what seed goes in there. If too many I use a baggie. For small seeds I use the container with holes.

  9. I use some to put seeds in for easy planting: just shake gently side to side over the prepared row. Great for carrots, lettuce, spinach etc

  10. The large containers of grated cheese are perfect for sprinkling slug bait. You don’t touch it and it distributes it perfectly. I’ve used them for fertilizer as well. You can store large amounts of seeds too like zinnias and marigolds. Thank you for your tips.

  11. I use them instead of reed diffusers. Put oil in the jar and poke reeds (or bamboo skewers) through the holes. Simple

  12. I’ve reused spice jars for (a)toothpick holders. One for work, one for my car, one for the camper, etc.
    (b) sand souvenirs from the beach. Add label with location and date. My son puts dirt, a small rock/shell, leaf, whatever in a bottle as his souvenirs from trips.

    • ilove the beach souvenirs idea! I still have shells in my wallet from last year’s beach trip and the kids are teens. They STILL love finding them and bringing them home!

  13. I was thinking it would make a nice classroom project for like Christmas or Mother’s day gifts by doing a diy bath salts and filling them with some bath salts and getting those stick on labels decorate it and use for kids mom gifts. Also think they would work to hold glitter in them for crafting, this way you have several different colors stored and just ready to sprinkle on.

  14. Just put 1/8 to a 1/4 tsp of vinegar in the jar, close it and then rotate the bottle a few times. I then add a little water and splash it around, then rinse. No more smells! It even works with pickle jars!

    • Wish I had known this before! Love it! Glitter is so messy and seems to “stick” around for a long time with little ones crafting! I will have to now pass this along to my adult daughter and use for my grands. Kids love glitter, this mama didn’t lol. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Beads, and beading string or thin ribbon for stringing, for jewelry making and crafts can be stored in spice jars.
    Glitter also. And embroidery floss. The holes in the shaker tops make them perfect for so many craft. With all the different types of spice organizers you can really keep them near and categorized for so many crafts.

  16. I have been using them as mini vases for flowers. I buy a couple of long lasting bouquets (alstromerias and mini carnations), cut them down, and give them out as a little gift to random people that I see to help brighten their day.

  17. I put Olive Oil in one, and Balsamic Vinegar in another to take to work for salads. I also use for camping–they tend to NOT leak.

  18. I’m an environmental educator and I use flour in a plastic spice jar as a temporary & environmentally friendly way to mark something out in nature. When I see poison ivy, I sprinkle flour around the plant to mark it so the kids don’t touch and also learn to identify it. You can sprinkle flour on grass to mark a starting point for an activity, etc.

    • excellent use of your brain……Good for you, I am a hairdresser,we have a ton of odd little things….pins,rubber bands,beads for up do’s…..clips clamps nets etc,lots of kids.a partner of mine had a plastic lazy Susan with high sides……she collected clear plastic soda bottles cut to the same size(height)……..when we had wedding parties hairdo’s to create we would spin away…no labels needed.Perfect and organized…..she had a spice bottle for a bit of glitter(white)…….I am retired now but I remember how clever she was…..also, it was a recycled turntable from her mom’s house…….Good thinking:)

  19. I have vinegar in one to take to the beach. It is the cure when jellyfish stings. Being in the shade and Putting some vinegar on the skin will solve the problem.

  20. Put a few cotton balls in the jar with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Snap on the shaker lid and put it in your car for an air freshener.

  21. I use cascade dishwasher powder to clean my tub. I will now put in old spice jar with shaker top. Much nicer than the baby food jar I have stored it in for years. I also store my sewing/embroidery needles in small spice jars or old pill bottles.

    • GREAT IDEA…….losing a needle terrorizes EVERYONE…….We summered on the river……how many times did I hear adults say to tots……watch that fish hook,you’ll put someone’ eye out!!!!…we collected clear 35mm film cases to hang around the babies hooks mostly for awareness, as they grew,they were trained to USE them:)

  22. I put paint in them everytime I paint a room. It keeps a nice sample size if I need to do a touchup. I also flip furniture, and I give a small jar with paint when I sell the furniture for touchups. Medicine bottles and film canisters are good for that, too.

  23. Love soooo many of the ideas posted here!
    Here’re a few more.
    Note: for safety I only use plastic bottles in bathroom (ceramic tile floor) & for babies/toddler rattles. You can ‘lock’ baby rattles by sanding the plastic cap & neck threads a little with coarse sandpaper, then add your bells, beans or pebbles, and put a little line of epoxy on the bottle threads before screwing the cap down tight. Let it cure a day before use and check to make sure cover is glued on tight because cover, if off, would flunk the “choke test” as would the noisemakers if they fell out.

    A plastic spice bottle is great for holding a little Dawn when camping or for holding small amounts of poster paint for kids – turn a shallow box or egg carton upside down & cut holes to hold the bottles upright.

    We grow dill & fennel every year – on opposite sides of the house – and save seeds in old glass spice bottles. I also use a glass spice bottle to take a little salad dressing to work with salad. The glass spice bottles go thru the dishwasher just fine – any plastic disks with holes and any plastic caps can go in the top rack in a nylon mesh bag. I heated a small nail to enlarge a few holes in the plastic disk for shaking out bigger seeds, toothpicks, etc.
    Small glass spice bottles are also useful if trying out fresh herbs in oil. They’re also good when making a small amount of a herbal infusion (Use a grabber to hold the glass bottle when adding hot water). If you have a cover that’s not water-tight, add a cover liner cut from the plastic disk inside some (Folgers, Nescafe,…)instant coffee jar covers. Place spice bottle on disk upside down, trace tightly around the neck, then cut it out. A line of clear glass spice bottles are also great for rooting small cuttings in Spring – take up very little space on the window sill so you can easily see how the roots are doing – and the height of the water so they don’t dry out!

    Finally, glass spice bottles are great for holding a little of strongly scented spices, flowers or herbs when teaching kids to recognize stuff by smell. Could be part of a cooking or gardening lesson – just keep the covers straight (you could number of letter them).

  24. I have my colored sugars and sprinkles in the 4 oz square spice jars with shakers tops. They fit into my two tier spice rack perfectly and are colorful . All my cooking spices are in small jars in a drawer near the stove with the tops labeled. It is so nice to have everything in one place organized. I donated my old rotating spice rack to a crafty friend to use in her craft room. I have spice jars of flour, cinnamon sugar,and powdered sugar in kitchen. Cascade in the bathroom for tub, and powder in the cars for the lake sand. I put glitter and small beads in spice jars . Needles and band aids are next ! Thanks for the ideals. Just put a jar of tums in by purse!

  25. A coworker took her salad dressings to work for her lunch salads. Those glass spice containers took up much less space in the small, shared refrigerator than a regular salad dressing container. She was able to keep 2-3 different dressings for variety and keeping the dressing separate from the lettuce prevented the salad from wilting.


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