What’s the Deal With Mason Jars?

24 Aug
canning jars, mason jars, national archives and records administration, crafts,

Mrs. Fidel Romero proudly exhibits her canned food, but her neighbor only feigns interest, as she would rather turn Mason Jars into sets of homemade gluten-free hand soap dispensors. And anyway, god, why does Mrs. Fidel Romero ALLLLWays have so show off so much anyway? Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

What is it with Mason Jars? One can hardly troll Pinterest for four or five straight hours these days without realizing that Mason Jars are hotter than the New York Subway system in August in the 1980s when I was forced by Federal Law and the Office Manager to wear panty hose to work (still not bitter). Whether you’re living out there in the country sipping your sweet tea out of an ole Mason jar as you play chess with gramps on the cracker barrels or breezing by the Shibori dyed scarves at an upscale farmer’s market and for some reason feel compelled to buy a hand-needle-felted Mason Jar cover that will keep your drinks icy for hours for $16, Mason jarology is spinning out of control. And by people who spent $16 on a felted Mason jar, that would be me. Yes. It’s right up in the cupboard pining away for my attention. To my shock, I don’t wake up every morning thinking, “I’m going to use that felted Mason jar today and boy are other people going to be jealous of the solidity of my ice cubes when noon rolls around.”

The first step is admitting we have no control over our addictions, right? Dear God of the Mason jar, you know me. You know how many craft ideas I have about Mason jars, right? You know that absolutely none of them have anything to do with the purpose for which they were invented, i.e.; canning vegetables, despite the fact that we have a monstrously large garden? And that there’s only so much crap you can put into one house? Please help me. Because when I hear the word “Mason Jars,” I am no better than any of the other DIYers and craft folk that start looking at empty paper towels and think, “I’ll bet I could make some really classy napkin holders if I . . . “ NO. STOP.

But for those who have somehow escaped the magical lure of Mason Jarology, here are just a few of the things the People are using them for these days:

Blogger Mommypotamus ( http://www.mommypotamus.com/50-creative-ways-to-use-mason-jars/)shares 50—50! Ways to repurpose Mason jars (relying on the help of some of her fellow Masonophiles. Some of these ideas include:

  1. solar lanterns
  2. terrariums,
  3. vases of all stripes (twig vase, painted vase, distressed paint vase, chalkpaint vase,
  4. candleholders
  5. hummingbird feeders,
  6. seasonal decorations,
  7. snowglobes, chandeliers
  8. herb gardens
  9. date night jars
  10. leftover holders
  11. homemade bath scrub holders, and more.

Some of these ideas seem kind of clever. Like an all purpose sewing kit with a burlap top that serves as a needle cushion. Others, eh. Ketchup and mustard holders? Don’t ketchup and mustard already come in holders? Like ones that squeeze out just the right amount of mustard on your hot dog? (Or, say I’m going the classy route, I WANT my visitors to see the word “Grey Poupon” for themselves to know they’re getting the quality item. Though what is a Poupon, actually? And why is it gray? Oh to hell with it, it’s French. I mean, it isn’t even mustard right? It’s Moutarde. )

The even bolder (at least in name) blogger Mason Jar Crafts Love advocates baking buttermilk rolls in jars. (http://masonjarcraftslove.com/buttermilk-roll-in-mason-jar/). And recommends passing the butter. I certainly did not come up with that one. But the word “butter” always perks me up.

And how about Crafts With Jars (All Jars, All the Time) (http://www.craftswithjars.com/.)This woman is not fooling around. Some ideas she shares are making a Mason jar backsplash, infused water (in Mason jars), jar lid picture magnets, a home-made playdough holder with a toy glued on the top. And WEDDINGS? Fuh-get-about-it. If you cannot think of 15 awesome things to do with Mason Jars in the next 15 minutes for weddings, you aren’t even TRYING ( like wouldn’t it be cute to cover a mason jar with like, doilies, and put the rings in it, and have the 4 year old ringbearer trot up the aisle with a nice glass jar perched precariously in his tiny doll-like hands, and then, if he doesn’t by some chance fall and break it and slash an artery, it would be really funny if the top were GLUED SHUT so that when the groom tried to unscrew it it would be hilarious—okay, I made that one up) .

The Country Chic Cottage, among other things, shares thoughts such as how to make a breast cancer gift in a jar, a Mason jar salad, and then, I saw that she shared how you can make a Mason Jar necklace. Oh now, madame, I thought, You have gone too far. Some madness has darkened the door of the Country Chic Cottage. It is hardly subtle to hang an entire Mason jar around your neck, even in the land of Country Chic, no? Even if it’s been ombred, decoupaged, gilded with glitterglue and ModPodge and filled with beeswax and lavender. So I had to check it out for myself. http://www.thecountrychiccottage.net/2014/01/diy-mason-jar-necklace.html. You can see if it’s possible yourself. Give these ladies some traffic!

I may seem as if I am mocking my sisters in Masonology. However, I must admit in my chaotic art room, I have, ahem, about a dozen Mason jars. And I’ll be damned if they aren’t just about the most helpful things in there. They hold pens, my painting water, various small art supplies that should be kept separate, and they look pretty. So I’ll try to control myself from getting four or five more dozen for the moment. But the Masonesses are definitely onto something, I must admit. Even if I’ll be damned if I start canning one damned thing.

Writing Prompt: Is there anything that obsesses you?

 

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