Upcycled Baby Food Storage Containers

After you’ve had a baby and she’s old enough to eat solid foods, you suddenly find that you have a small army of empty baby food storage containers. Even if you make your own baby food, inevitably there are times you rely on store-bought baby food. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, here are 10 fabulous ways to upcycle your baby food storage containers.

1. Paint all the lids.

This can be done for any glass container that has a reusable lid — baby food jars, jam jars, pickle jars and so on. Remove the label and clean the jar or bottle. If there’s adhesive or ink expiration dates on your jar, use a paste of baking soda, soap and warm water to rub on the areas. It works like a dream and has never failed to remove even stubborn glues. Then paint your lids. When the lid is dry, the container can be used for storage or for packaging an adorable gift. Ours are filled with rock collections, buttons, washi tape, special sand, pine cones and seed pods … you get the idea.

paint the container lids

2. Create slime or homemade playdough holders.

I couldn’t even tell you how much slime my daughter has made — let’s just say, if there happens to be an Elmer’s Glue shortage, she’s probably responsible. Reusing your plastic baby food storage containers or glass jars to hold slime or homemade playdough works well. They seal tightly so the slime/playdough doesn’t dry out, and they are just the right size to pop into your bag so you always have a fun distraction when needed. Need a great homemade playdough recipe? Click here.

Make containers for homemade slime or playdough

3. Get festive with snow globes.

This is an easy DIY project that can be used to decorate your home or is perfect for gifting. Click over to MarthaStewart.com and let Martha show you how it’s done. If you don’t want to add the liquid, just follow Martha’s directions and add glitter instead.

4. Use for artist supplies.

Reuse your baby food storage containers, glass jars, yogurt cups, etc., for holding art supplies and for using during art projects. The smaller containers are a perfect size to hold water to rinse your brushes when painting. They can also be cleaned and used again and again. The glass jars are great for holding paintbrushes, colored pencils or markers.

5. Make magical lights.

I couldn’t resist adding this easy DIY to the list of ways to upcycle baby food storage containers. It’s just so cute and really simple. If you want to add some color to your magical lights, click here for a complete tutorial on these colorful glass luminaries.

make magical lights from baby food jars

6. Whip up adorable party favors.

I love this idea from Crafty Morning. She upcycled her baby food jars into princess party favors, but the idea can be used for any party theme. Having a Christmas party? Glue small trees to the top of your lids and paint the lid and tree a sparkling white. Glue a dinosaur or other tiny animal to the top and paint it and the lid the birthday boy or girl’s favorite color. After the paint dries, fill them with tiny treats, LEGOs, etc.

7. Store your tiny things.

If your baby food storage container “collection” includes the plastic containers with lids, they are great for keeping things organized. For example, they can hold small office supplies like paper clips and rubber bands, hair elastics and little craft items. Make a cute label for the top like these from Kierste from SimplyKierste.com, and you have an organizing solution that keeps those plastic containers out of your local landfill.

Organize with baby food containers
Organizing with baby food containers from SimplyKierste.com.

8. Repurpose to pack condiments or other snacks.

The plastic baby food storage containers are food-safe and a nice size for condiments, dressing or small snacks to put into your kiddo’s lunchbox. Attach a little note for your sweetie to make a cute go-to container for lunchtime.

9. Decorate an all-purpose jar.

When I saw this charming upcycle idea from Lovely Etc., I knew it had to go on the list. To make your own, take off the label and clean your jar. Use washi tape to decorate your lid. At this point, you could use your jar, but the folks at Lovely Etc. took it to the next level by painting the jar and adding a label. For the complete tutorial, click here.

Decorate an all-purpose jar

10. Put together mini dessert parfaits.

Making mini dessert parfaits in your unused baby food jars is a wonderful idea for holiday gatherings, baby showers, birthday parties and other special events. There are so many different recipes and, let’s face it, everything looks adorable in the little jars. Check out this yummy recipe from Celebrations at Home.

Tiny parfaits in baby food jars
Make tiny parfaits and put them inside baby food jars. Photo: Adobe Stock

If you’re making your own baby food, then here are some perfectly sized baby food storage containers at Yummy Spoonfuls. When your baby is grown, you can use the containers for toddler food storage, and when they’re older, they always come in handy to put in school lunchboxes.

By Wendy Gabriel

Wendy Gabriel is a freelance eco-writer based in California. Wendy's work has been featured in numerous publications and websites, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fox Business News and Mashable.com. For nearly six years, she was a weekly contributor on a popular radio talk show in the Upper Midwest with a segment titled “Simple Tips for Green Living.”