Baby food. It’s a rite of passage that most babies go through and parents cherish. The messy faces. The grins and giggles. And watching your baby experience new tastes. Growing babies tend to eat more and more baby food — and the empty jars start to pile up.

So what do you do with all those empty jars? Sure, you can recycle them. However, it’s more eco-friendly to reuse glass containers than to recycle them. After all, we reuse the glasses in our cabinets over and over. Why shouldn’t we do the same with glass baby food containers?

By reusing containers, we eliminate the need to expend energy on transporting the container for recycling as well as the process itself. We also reduce the pollution generated by the recycling process. Bonus: We get to be creative and give the jars a new purpose in our homes.

If you have baby food jars piling up, here are some ideas to help you give them new life.

Keep it with the kids

baby food jar crayon holder
Image courtesy of Monkey See, Monkey Do.

If your kids are like most, you wind up with crayons everywhere. Make a cute crayon organizer with repurposed baby food jars to keep the mess contained. You can also use baby food jars for playdough storage, another common cause of kid-made messes.

Do your kids like the outdoors? If so, they’ll have an absolute blast making these DIY bug jars and putting them to use! If they prefer tea parties, you can help them make a homemade tea set.

Kids need some encouragement to take a bath? They’ll have fun with this DIY bath paint you can store in repurposed baby food jars. The kids get to make a mess while they get clean, it’s a win-win.

Beautify your home

You can make some very simple but pretty DIY projects to accent your home with repurposed baby food jars. Try making some glass jar frames, hanging vases, tea light holders, oil lamps, or even a glass chandelier. And you can beautify yourself by making a DIY container for all of your homemade beauty products.

Organize your life

baby food jar pincushion
Image courtesy of Blackberry Creek Arts Home.

If you are crafty or have a home business, you are probably guilty of leaving supplies around the house (let’s face it, kids aren’t the only ones who can make messes). Keep your things more organized by making your own office and craft supply storage containers with repurposed baby food jars.

You can also keep your sewing supplies organized with this DIY pincushion. Or, keep your bulk spices in reach with this magnetic spice rack.

If you no longer have babies or you make your own baby food, you can usually find people giving away old baby food jars on local sales sites like Craigslist.

Feature image courtesy of Frédérique Voisin-Demery. Originally published on July 7, 2015, this article was updated in May 2021.

By Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering, founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.