11 Great Mason Jar Gifts

Painted white mason jars with flowers on a table.

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Mason jars are incredibly useful. They're the perfect containers for everything from kitchen staples to craft supplies to a cold pint of beer and, best of all, they can be reused forever (as long as you don't break them). They also make superb gifts when you fill them with something thoughtful. Everyone has seen the layered brownie mix in a jar, but the following ideas go beyond just baking mixes (though there are a couple of those).

You'll find something for each type of person on your list, even if they don't have a sweet tooth. The ideas require little to no DIY expertise. They're simple, useful and will make great gifts for anyone from family to coworkers. Most of these would make perfect last-minute gifts since you likely already have the ingredients and supplies. Even better is that no matter what you make or whom you give it to, once used for its current purpose, they'll be able to use the jar again. With all of the gifts make sure to add printed or handwritten instructions if needed and a little ribbon or twine to make them extra special.

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Spices, Salts, Sugars and Rubs

Salt and spices in mason jars.

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Make spice kits, specialty salts, sugars and dry rubs for your favorite foodie's cooking needs. For an especially nice holiday touch, make a big mulling spice kit for apple cider like the one pictured above following this recipe. Add a card explaining how to make the cider. Specialty salts and sugars are easy to make. A good herbs de Provence salt for French cooking can be made with a couple cups of sea salt and a few tablespoons of the herb mix blended in. Follow this recipe to make a jar for a friend. An easy and lovely vanilla sugar can be made by placing a whole vanilla bean, cut in half and seeds scraped out, in a jar with two cups of sugar. Mix the seeds in well with the sugar and close the jar. The vanilla flavor will build over a couple of weeks. There are many dry rub recipes out there, but try to build your own signature rub. Even if you don't eat meat, these salt, sugar and spice blends would be great on grilled tofu, portobello mushrooms or eggplant.

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Muffin mix

Powder ingredients in a mason jar.

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Make their mornings a little easier with perfectly packaged muffin mix all ready to go once they add some oil and an egg. Print out a tiny recipe card to attach to the jar and the addition of a little whisk or spatula will really kick it up a notch. Try filling the jar with this cinnamon spice muffin mix or choose any favorite muffin mix, just omit the wet ingredients and make sure to include them in the recipe. If your recipient is vegan, try this chocolate muffin recipe. There's even a video to show you how to perfectly layer the ingredients.

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Pancake mix

Powder ingredients in different sizes of mason jars.

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Something about the holidays calls for giving gifts of comfort (and joy) and a major comfort food is pancakes. Everyone will be gathering with friends and family and what better gift to give than the ability to whip up some gourmet pancakes to feed the crowd with little effort. Try mixing up these delicious whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes from Oh My Veggies. You can find the recipe here and there's even a printable label and recipe card to go with it. It couldn't be easier.

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Candle holders

Two frosted mason jars on plastic sheet.

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Add some warm light to your recipient's home with a frosted candle holder made from a mason jar. Smaller jars would be great as votive holders while larger jars can accommodate larger candles. The frosted appearance only requires a little Modge Podge and some clear glitter. You can check out the Instructable by user siskk on how to make this candle holder here. You can add color by painting the jars or starting with tinted-glass jars or make them fancier with extra glitter of any color.

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Plants growing in a terrarium mason jar.

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Make a terrarium in a jar for a truly beautiful gift. What makes this really special is that it's something they can nurture and enjoy for a long time. Large mason jars work best for a project like this, but you can make one with any size. Check out this guide on how to make a terrarium and then make one with your own favorite items. You can stick with moss or add some small succulents and other tiny low-water plants. Make it stand out with pretty rocks or even petrified wood like the one above. Make sure you add a tag with instructions on how to care for the terrarium and you might just give your friend the best gift they'll get this year.

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Sugar and salt scrubs

credit: MGF/Lady Disdain

Sugar and salt scrubs are so easy to put together and can be made from what you have in your pantry and herb garden, but they still feel like a decadent gift to give. Here is a list of 8 homemade salt and sugar scrubs, including the above pictured rosemary lemon salt scrub, to get you started, but you can come up with any combination of ingredients and oils that seem right to you. Women might like more floral or citrusy ingredients while men might prefer something more herbal. The recipient will feel pampered and you will feel good for giving something simple and homemade.

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Granola in a mason jar on a table beside a bowl and spoon.

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Who doesn't love homemade granola? Make a big batch and jar it for your friends. They'll adore you as they sprinkle it over their yogurt, add a splash of milk, or just eat it straight from the jar. The hardest part is deciding which recipe to mix up and jar this holiday season. Try this cinnamon spice granola or have fun experimenting with your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits and spices.

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Snow globe

Mason jar snow globes

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Snow globes are synonymous with the holiday season, so what better thing to make and give to spread a little cheer. Homemade snow globes are easier to make than one would imagine. All you need are some items to put inside -- a small toy or ornament works great as do small craft trees or other scenery -- some water, glycerin, glitter (for snow) and strong adhesive to make sure it doesn't come open. There are multiple YouTube videos to show you how, but here's an Instructables guide to help you gather your materials.


Mason jars are breakable. If you plan to give a mason jar snow globe to a child, be sure they are old enough to carefully handle glass objects.

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Homemade pickles in mason jars.

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Pickles may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but let me tell you, they will be appreciated. I have a family friend that pickles all sorts of vegetables, even brining her own olives, and gives them out as holiday gifts. It's well known that you don't leave your jar unattended at the holiday party or it will "go missing." They're that coveted. If you already pickled some things from your summer and fall gardens, you're way ahead, but if not, don't fear. Make a batch of pickled mixed vegetables to suit its recipient. If they like spice, you can add some jalapeños or dried chiles for a kick. Even though summer vegetables are most frequently thought of for pickling, there are plenty of fall and winter vegetables that love to be pickled like beets, turnips, brussels sprouts, carrots, and cauliflower. Follow this recipe for a spicy batch. Homemade sauerkraut is also a wonderful cold weather pick as well as kimchi.

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Flowers in mason jars spray painted white.

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This idea gives you lots of room to get creative and personalize the gift to the person. You can make one large vase or a set of smaller vases. Decorate them by spray painting them as shown above or wrapping them in twine to give a more rustic look. Follow the style of the recipient to make sure it fits in with their home. You can fill the vase with evergreen or holly clippings if you have access to them to go with the season or use the jars as planters for herbs, a gift that will keep giving in their kitchen.

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Solar night light

Mason jars with solar lights lined up on a deck glowing.

Jennifer Schleich / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If you're more of a tech DIY person, here's a jar gift you might like to make. These simple solar night lights can be for a child's room or a charming way to light the way at night for adults. Just have the recipient keep it in a sunny spot until night time to fully charge the battery. If you paint them, make sure to leave the bottom clear. This way they can also act as a flashlight.