Environment Recycling & Waste 11 Clever Mason Jar Hacks and Mods By Ramon Gonzalez Writer Columbia College Chicago Roman Gonzalez is the creator of the urban gardening blog MrBrownThumb, founder of the Chicago Seed Library, and a co-founder of One Seed Chicago. our editorial process Ramon Gonzalez Updated December 28, 2012 credit: Ramon Gonzalez Share Twitter Pinterest Email Recycling & Waste Zero Waste Plastics Forget about the iPhone, the mason jar, patented in 1858 by John Landis Mason, might be man's greatest achievement. The humble glass jar has remained relatively the same as the world around it has changed, and yet finds itself very much in vogue. Beyond home canning, the mason jar has many uses. Here are a few of the ways hackers, makers, crafters, and eaters are putting their jars to use. 1 of 11 Holdster Mason Jar Travel Mug credit: Holdster USA While reviewing the Cuppow lids for mason jars, TreeHugger Lloyd Alter pointed out that the glass gets hot, and speculated that the designers would need to invent a sleeve to protect our hands. This is exactly what the Holdster addresses. Hand made in Vermont, Holdster is crafted from vegetable-dyed leather, designed to insulate your mason jar to keep your hot drinks hot, and comfortable to hold. The sleeves come with and without handles, and the price includes the jar itself. 2 of 11 Mason Jar Terrarium credit: Made by Mavis If you don't have the time or space for a garden (or you consistently kill houseplants), a terrarium crafted from a mason jar may be what your brown thumb needs. Layer gravel, activated charcoal, fine soil, a pinch of moss, and a low-growing plant, and you have a contained ecosystem to brighten your windowsill. After assembly, these terrariums require little watering and care. Make your own, or find one like MadebyMavis on Etsy. 3 of 11 3D Printed Accessories credit: Alex English 3D printing may be all hype or it could be the future of manufacturing. But there is no mistaking that 3D printing was everywhere in 2012. With 3D-printed lids you can transform mason jars from just containers to multi-purpose kitchen gadgets that can save space in your crowed cabinets. Need a fruit fly trap? Want to sprout your own greens? Need to clean and prep veggies? You can 3D print lids for mason jars that help you do all that and more in the kitchen. Lower-tech options (cheesecloth, anyone?) often work, too. 4 of 11 Country Mason Jar Wine Glass credit: HomeWetBar Mason jars make great beverage containers, and, yes, can even be converted into country-living staples. Instructables member MaryT8M created a guide for the process of turning mason jars into wine glasses with glue and glass candlesticks. If you're not the crafty type, check out Home Wet Bar to buy. 5 of 11 Mason Jar Photo Frames credit: Photojojo A quick search on Pinterest proves that mason jars can become an obsession. Available in different colors and shapes, a mason jar can be a beautiful work of art in its own right. Instead of tucking away extras in cabinet, try turning them into frames. Check out Photojojo for directions on how to turn a mason jar into a photo display. 6 of 11 EcoJarz Drink Lids credit: EcoJarz A group of young entrepreneurs came up with the idea for EcoJarz to encourage reuse. And if you're concerned about BPA leaching from plastic containers, you should know that glass is inert and safe for drinking and food storage. EcoJarz silicone and stainless-steel lids?a> ($5.99) turn mason jars (and other glass containers) into travel mugs. 7 of 11 Mason Jar Snow Globe credit: Etch3 One of my favorite crafting projects is creating snow globes. It's also a great way to keep kids entertained. Etch3 on Instructables explains how to transform a mason jar into a snow globe with a child’s toy, glitter, glue, and water. 8 of 11 Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker credit: ShadowedOne After a long day of crafting, when the glitter has covered every surface in your home, you're probably ready to kick back with a nice, stiff cocktail...poured from -- what else? -- a mason jar shaker, of course. CocktailHacker shows you how in this cocktail shaker Instructable, which can be completed in just five minutes. 9 of 11 Mason Jar Cakes credit: Imnopeas If these vases look good enough to eat, it's because they are. Baking in mason jars has become quite a trend, and these mason-jar garden cakes by lmnopeas, take the, well, cake! Using real flowers for decoration and crumbled cookies to simulate soil, they're beautiful and delicious. 10 of 11 Mason Jar Lighting credit: Kimberly Sisk It's quick and easy to use a glass jar as a votive holder, but Kimberly Sisk kicks it up a notch with her icicle candle holder, made from a mason jar, some Modge Podge, and a little magic. Looking for more ways to light up the night? Check out this mason jar candle candelabra, bauble lamp, and impressive electric chandelier/a>. 11 of 11 Mason Jar Smoothies credit: Amy H. For a final surprise, did you know that a mason jar's neck and some blender bottom caps have the same thread count? Yes, you can attach a mason jar to a blender (very, very carefully). You don't need a specialty blender to make things such as guacamole and smoothies, just make them in the same container you'll store them in. Amy H shares her recipe for the perfect, individual smoothie in a mason jar. What are some uses you've found for mason jars? Tell us in the comments below.