Storage Jars

Storage Jars 1

Every once in a while, I get a bee in my bonnet, and I just have to change things. Dunno why. That’s just the way it is.

I’ve learned to go with it. My peeps have learned not to question. Works better for everyone that way.

My latest buzz bee is the storage containers I keep on my counter to hold the bulk-purchased grains, seeds, beans and pastas I use all the time. I’ve been using the OXO POP containers, which work great, but (a) they’re expensive, and (b) even though they’re BPA-free, who knows what other chemicals are going into plastics today? I don’t. And it makes me a little noi’vous.

Hello, Glass!

I’ve wanted to switch over to canning jars for storage for a quite a while now, but the one thing that stopped me was the width of the openings of most jars. I really want to be able to stick my hand in them, and I really want my measuring cups to fit.

Weck jars were my first choice — love, love, love Weck jars — but I know myself well enough to acknowledge that the double clips and floppy gaskets would drive me positively batty within a week. I’m in these containers every day — nothing will likely match the convenience of the easy-to-remove POP container lids, but their replacements have to at least, you know, not drive me batty.

It’s a good rule for kitchen tools:  battyless operation.

After much searching, I finally found these French Le Parfait jars at the Container Store. Thick-walled, wide-mouthed and $3.00 cheaper — each — than the POP containers, I knew these would fit the bill nicely.

Storage Jars 2

Labeling was also a concern. I needed something flexible — removable & changeable. Since these jars will sit in a dry zone — kitchen sink is on the other side of the room — and hold dry items only, I don’t have to worry about the labels getting wet or spotted.

That’s when my crafts-junkie impulse kicked in, and I gave myself permission to go to Hobby Lobby (which is waaaay dangerous; I’m not even particularly crafty so I don’t where the fascination with crafts stores comes from. Honestly, SoupAddict is a conundrum).

I found plain brown paper tags, distressing ink for the edges, and these cute steampunk-inspired pendant thingies with random words and numbers.

Storage Jars 3

The contents of the jar are noted on one side, preparation instructions on the other, and the tags are easily attached to and removed from the jars with the jute string. The removability serves a number of purposes. Washing the jar without damaging the tag is number one, of course. When an item gets a promotion to larger jar (i.e., I decide to keep more of it on hand, like the oats below, which are getting bumped to a larger jar), the contents and the tag are easily moved to the new jar, while something else and its new tag takes over the current. They’re easy to read, and I really like having the preparation instructions right there.

I keep blank tags in the utility drawer for new additions.

Storage Jars 4

I don’t have a photo of the final display with the new jars because I’m still in the process of taking stock, transferring and tagging. But here’s a quick peek at the finished product. I’m not totally wild about the bright orange gaskets, but it’s not a show-stopper. If I ever find quality white gaskets in the correct sizes, I’ll switch them out.

What are your favorite storage containers? I’d love to hear about them!

Karen xoxo


  1. Very cool idea – far more sophisticated than Chez Cher. I am neither classy or crafty :-) I use 1Qt, 8 oz & 4 oz canning jars w/ a screw top and mark the contents with a Sharpie; I should probably buy stock in Ball.
    (I am glad to see that I am not the only one who writes H20 for water…)
    Can you come organize my kitchen, please?

    • I love Ball jars – both vintage and new. I can spot a blue ball jar 4 aisles over at a flea market. 😉 I also have a thing for vintage milk bottles right now. Basically, my house is a glass warehouse. (If the threatened tornadoes arrive today, there will no hiding place safe from the potential of glass shards.)

  2. Darlynne says:

    These are beeyoutiful. You are so creative, Hobby Lobby girl, I am eager to see the finished results. And I totally understand the need to change things. Can there ever be too much kitchen counter space? One does not think so.

    Spices are the only items I’ve made a concerted effort to organize and I use the little glass jars with tight lids from World Market. I put the labels on the bottom of the jars, which means I have to pick up each jar if I don’t recognize the spice, which isn’t a bad way, actually, of reminding me of what’s on those shelves. Not that I would forget and ever, say, buy two or more of any spice …

    • I use glass jars for my spices, too. But I’m itching to do something with the white labels stuck on the sides. They don’t bother me, aesthetically, but they do get spotted and smudged (which does bother me, aesthetically 😉 ). That on-the-bottom thing is a really good idea….

  3. I get far too excited by storage jars and their various shapes and sizes, and I am frequently reorganizing my kitchen with them as well. My preferred jars are the Bormiolo Fido variety. Inexpensive, solid design, white gaskets, and many sizes available.
    I love the tags you made tho… I think I feel another revamp of my pantry coming on 😉

    • I use the huge Bormiolos for my flours – I can’t get my measuring cups in there, but they’re so pretty sitting side-by-side on the shelf, I don’t even care. 😀

  4. I love those vintage tags!

  5. I love this idea of the glass storage jars with the tags for the recipes especially. I like the comments regarding the other type of jars as well. A great project for a very rainy day. I do use glass jars for my spices which I saw originally on the Food Channel. They are small with fitted lids. I think I bought them at libby glass company, directly. I use a label maker to put the name of the spice and the date on the jar directly. Easy to read and remove.

  6. Love these jars and your tags! Brilliant idea to put the “how-to” info on the back!
    I was just looking for wide mouth jars for pickling (refrigerator type) the green tomatoes in my garden. Even the wide mouth Ball jars are hard to find here!
    FYI – sometimes CostPlus has white gaskets by the six pack in the kitchen gadget section or near the storage containers. Looking forward to seeing the finished kitchen counter for inspiration!

  7. so pretty you make me cry.

  8. I switched to glass jars last summer – we kept getting moths in my oatmeal – gah!

    I think I found white gaskets for you!!

    I am not crazy about orange either. 😀

  9. I find these jars at estate sales and garage sales for usually less than $2. I try and get them for $1 or less. I got one Sunday at a garage sale for $.10 along with some Ball canning jars. Clean them in my dishwasher and good to go.

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