This Old Jar – Using Mason Jars in Country Decor
Both a timeless accessory and a Piper Classics favorite, the traditional glass canning jar is not only affordable and functional — it just so happens to also be the perfect accent to tie together almost any style of country decor.
The race to create this new method of food storage actually began in 1795, with a request by none other than Napoleon Bonaparte. But it wasn’t until 1858, when the Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason invented and patented his namesake glass jar, that canning jars as we know and recognize them today entered the commercial landscape.
The history of the companies who manufactured them — Ball, Kerr, and others — could fill a book. These companies all continually sought to improve the jar’s closure and seal methods well into the 1900s. Home canning became increasingly popular throughout the United States and Europe during this time, and has remained so for more than 50 years.
Following the drop-off in home canning popularity in the 1960s, the consumer goods conglomerate Jarden began acquiring popular jar manufacturing companies. And while canning has seen something of a resurgence in popularity in recent years — thanks in large part to the local food movement — from the 1970s on these jars and closures have neverthless been a mainstay of the antique market. Due to the variety of sizes and colors available, in addition to the functionality and accessible aesthetic of the jars, it didn’t take long for canning jars to become a staple of country decor, rustic decor, and shabby chic style.
Wondering how to incorporate Mason or Ball jars into your own country look? Take a read through our top 5 canning jar country decor ideas below.
1. Mason Jar Floral Arrangements
This timeless look can bring color and life to literally any style of country decor. Grab a few seasonal fresh-cut stems from your local florist, or pick some blossoms from your backyard garden, and arrange in a jar filled with water. Hydrangeas, roses, and seasonal greenery all look great this time of year, and a cobalt or amber tinted jar can add a chic touch to your country look. You can also get creative and paint your jars; metallic paints and striping designs are especially popular this year.
Don’t worry, by the way, if you’re not an expert at arrangements. This look is perfect for a simple arrangement, and our Mason Jar Flower Frog Lid makes keeping those flowers in place a breeze. The lid is especially helpful if you only have a few stems to work with.
Pro tip: Change the water in your jar every other day, and keep flowers out of direct sunlight to keep cut flowers looking and smelling fresh.
For those of you who can’t afford the fuss or cost of fresh flowers on a regular basis, you can achieve the same great look with artificial flowers. Check out our Berry Picks and Flowers this season. Our Blooming Boxwood Bush and Green Berry Branch make a fun and fresh summer selection.
2. Mason Jar Food and Household Storage
Forget about canning! Mason jars in all sizes make great storage containers for dry and bulk foods like pasta, beans, oats, and even coffee and sugar. Get creative by mixing and matching sizes, and then displaying the filled jars around your kitchen or dining areas. They look great clustered on counter tops and shelves. Start with our Mason Pint Jar Basket to store varieties of popcorn or legumes.
Pint jars can also be used to make great DIY spice racks. Simply screw a few pint jar lids onto the underside of a kitchen cabinet or shelf, fill up the little jars with your favorite dry herbs and spices, and screw them into the affixed lid.
On the topic of lids, you can also use our Mason Jar Cup Lids to store all sorts of household goods. They look great filled with cotton balls in a bathroom, and the jars and lids are also great for storing small crafting items like threaded bobbins, sewing notions, embroidery floss, and more.
3. Creative and Keepsake Mason Jar Displays
Mason jars are also a great way to display your favorite keepsakes. You can easily use them to show off your creative side, and to really incorporate your personality into your home’s country decor.
Start with our Set of Hanging Canning Jars, and fill them with mementos from a recent family vacation or other memorable experience. Did your family take a trip to the shore this summer? If so, consider framing some of your favorite photos and hanging them on a living room wall next to canning jars filled with keepsakes like seashells, small souvenirs, and even travel and event tickets.
You can get even more creative by filling jars with unusual or unexpected objects. We’ve seen jars filled with everything from small pebbles and gem stones to wine bottle corks. Tired of the same old framed photos in your house? Canning jars look lovely with a single photograph inside.
You can also buy a chalk marker in white or black, and add a single word to the outside of each jar that relates to the photo. This can be a very creative and intimate way to use jars in place of reservation cards at your next dinner party or large gathering. Simply place a small canning jar with a recent photo of each guest inside, write their name on the outside of the jar with a chalk pen, and place at the table where you would like them to sit.
4. Mason Jar Light Fixtures and Candle Holders
Crafty types love pouring their homemade waxes into Mason jars to make beautiful candles. Even if you don’t make your own, our Taper Holder for Quart Jars will allow you to turn your favorite Mason jar into a holder for taper candles. This is a great way of keeping these long candles out of reach of pets and small children.
In addition to candle holders, canning jars make stunning light fixtures that can be worked into all manner of rustic, country styled homes. We love the look of lining up several Mason jars on a shelf, and then placing a bunch of small white holiday string lights inside of, and in between, each of the jars. Alternately, you can hang a short string of holiday lights around a window and cover them with our Mini Mason Jar Light Cover Ornaments. These bring a wonderful country home touch to any special occasion or outdoor event.
Our Mason Jar Hanging Caddy Quart and Lid Lights also make lovely outdoor light fixtures. Use the caddy to hang these solar powered lights around an outdoor patio, or simply arrange a few jars with the lid lights on a wooden or wicker table as an alternative to candle light.
To bring the look inside, our Mason Jar Pendant Lamp Kit makes easy work out of using the canning jars to creative light fixtures.
Pro tip: Draw even more attention to your pendant lamp by using a decorative or antique-style light bulb, such as those that are tinted grey or contain gold patterns, and that show the inner filament.
5. Share Your Love of Mason Jars
Don’t make the mistake of keeping this country decor staple all to yourself! Instead, get in the habit of sharing your favorite jars with friends and family as gifts.
Everyone reading this blog probably already knows that these jars are great for giving gifts of your favorite cookie recipes by filling the jar with the necessary ingredients and instructions, and then topping the jar off with a square of pretty fabric and satin ribbon. You don’t have to limit yourself to this tried-and-true classic, though. Try experimenting with all the ideas we’ve shared here, and see if you can’t come up with some of your own. The result? You’ll be spreading the joy of the canning jar far and wide, and that can only be a good thing.