How to Repurpose Old Spice Jars In Unique Ways

Last Updated on May 11, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster

Have you recently cleaned out your old spices and are now wondering about what to do with old spice jars?  Looking for creative upcycling ideas? There are SO many ways to repurpose spice jars around the house that you should definitely not just toss them in the recycle bin.  

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collage of spice jars and old spice jars being used for arts and crafts

Live Green and Reuse Empty Spice 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 additional 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 back yard!

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

How to Repurpose Spice Jars

Before you toss your old spice jars in the recycling bin, look for creative upcycling ideas instead.  These are a handy sized jar, often with a sprinkle top insert.  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 spice jars around my house and home:

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two empty spice jars on a cutting board with labels removed

Fill Old Spice Jars with Flour

Fill old spice jars 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 jar 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 is also great on top of muffins before they bake and in your homemade oatmeal

Fill Spice Jars 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 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. 

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 old spice jars with baby powder. This is a great way to remove sand from 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 to hold your kids’ small paint brushes. The fine tipped paint brushes 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.  

Upcycled Sewing Hacks

Use empty spice jars 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 suit cases 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 spice jars  yourself, give them to friends and family to use.  Or, put them on Craigslist for crafters.  Get creative with your empty spice jars and keep them out of the trash and recycling bin!

Do you have any other creative ways to reuse old spice jars?

(NOTE: Post updated and content added from previous publish date)

Want an easy way to remove labels from glass jars?

Click on the photo below for a simple tutorial!

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


Comments

  1. #10 would be by daughter’s favorite. She LOVES stuff like that!

  2. 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 🙂 )

  3. Great suggestions! I usually just toss mine out, but I’m going to rethink that next time.

  4. I’ve lived by the beach most of my life and regularly deal with sand on my feet but I’ve never heard of the baby powder trick. I gotta try that!

    • I don’t even remember who originally taught me that but they always kept a big thing of baby powder in their bag when they went on a beach vacation!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

    • my cilantro flowers all the time…usually when I don’t want it to! I will try to remember to gather the seeds next time!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Bev Ashdown says

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

  15. This is such a good idea! I like the idea of making your own spice blends. It would be a nice way to gift somebody too.

  16. Thanks for sharing! It is a great idea to use it for small storage. Those tiny objects can be so irritating to organize!

  17. 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.

    • Diane Hoffmaster says

      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!

  18. 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.

  19. I’ve used several of these ideas, and now I have a few more to try. I use a bottle to put flour in to dust cake pans also.

  20. My comment is really a question. How do you get the smell of just say garlic salt(or other spice) out to repurpose the jars?

  21. 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!

  22. I store “glitter” ( salt colored with food color ) in an old spice jar with shaker top for use with grandon. It is much less messy.

  23. Haven’t done this yet but you could put sugar colored with food coloring to use when baking.

  24. maesaysdoit says

    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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

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