Trvial Pursuits: Spread the Mason jar joy

Jamie Hult, Journal staff writer

One of my earliest going-out-to-eat memories is of my parents taking my brother and I to a restaurant called Po’ Folks, where my parents, my brother and I sat in a country-style dining room, complete with gingham tablecloths and matching curtains, and drank sweet tea served in big Mason jars. It was the best sweet tea in the world.  

Po’ Folks went out of business in the South in the late 1980s, but I have never lost that association between Mason jars and mouth-watering sweet tea goodness. 

Friday happens to be the very first National Mason Jar Day (this space isn’t called “Trivial Pursuits” by accident), and because the Mason jar is a versatile object with a lot of potential beyond being a vessel for tea, its possibilities bear closer examination – especially if you’re on a budget and the gift-giving season is upon us.

After stocking and stacking up on Mason jars at the local dollar store and poking around Pinterest for inspiration, I’ve compiled a starter list of DIY gift-worthy Christmas crafts that my daughter and I will tackle in the upcoming weeks. 

• Cookie mix Mason jar. In a matter of minutes, you can create this super easy and yummy give-able for a baker (or anyone with a sweet tooth). Find a delish cookie mix, open and pour. Layering cookie mixes of slightly different shades will make it more attractive and science project-y, and sweeten with chocolate chips and, of course, a festive ribbon. For kids, consider swapping cookie mix for hot chocolate.   

• Snow globe gift card Mason jar. Banish boring gift-card holders with a bit of crafty presentation. First, empty one bottle of clear glue (Elmer’s works) into your Mason jar. Sprinkle in a little glitter to sparkle up the scene. Top off the mixture with warm water and shake. You can let the gift card blow in the breeze, or affix it to a miniature Christmas tree that you’ve hot-glued to the Mason jar. Let your imagination go wild. 

• Bubble bath Mason jar. While I’ve yet to experiment with “recipes” for bubble bath mix, bath bombs, hand soap, and the like, I love the idea of giving my female friends and family members a fun and practical assortment of bath products in a new way. Pretty bow or embellishment recommended. 

• Pork rub Mason jar. Dads can be the hardest to shop for; they claim they never need anything, they appear not to need anything, and even after beaucoup brainstorming sessions, I’m often at a loss. If you have a griller you plan to get a gift for this Christmas, here’s a super-simple and inexpensive way to his heart (or maybe just his stomach – either way, you’re good). Best of all, most of the items you will be needing to put this jar gift together will be found right in your spice cabinet: 

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup paprika

2 tbsp. chili powder

2 tbsp. onion powder

2 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. ground black pepper

1 tbsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground ginger

Simply mix your ingredients (yields about one pint) and spoon into your Mason jar. Spice it up with a handmade label – the hammier, the better!

For each of these Mason jar gift ideas, I have a specific person in mind, and if these go well, I’ll expand. My daughter is always eager to get crafty, so her enthusiasm will be extra incentive. Crossing fingers for no #PinterestFail. 

Happy Mason jar Christmas crafting to you and yours!



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