The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


July 31, 2013

Those Who Can, Do (Those Who Can’t, Craft)

Simply ‘A-Mason’ jar recycling projects

Mine end up beneath the sink, their bands scattered hither and yon. The ability to can fresh things and store up for winter, as far as lineage goes, died here.

What Mason jars I do possess were inherited from my husband (who had every intention of canning, but never got around to it) and leftover from my mom’s donation of tomatoes, green beans and other preserved garden things to the family pantry.

“Bring my jars back,” she’ll say come canning season. But, since I always forget to give them to her, they continue to take up space in the subterranean parts of my kitchen, save for the one soap scummy jar holding a scrub brush, the unimaginative nail holders in the garage and a few sacrificed each year as lightening bug or frog observatories for the kids.

You know what they say in craftdom — one woman’s junk is another’s inspiration (I’m not sure if the crafty actually say this, but I relinquish all rights).

Photographer, stylist and design blogger Lauren Donaldson’s new book Mason Jar Crafts breathes life into the timeless glass icon, with 30 interesting DIY ideas for repurposing Mason jars or jar bands, divided into categories by purpose: home décor, parties and presents, weddings, kids and holidays.

Donaldson encourages, “Anyone with an appreciation for design and a creative mind will see the Mason jar for what it really is: a blank canvas.”

Try out these two sample projects from Mason Jar Crafts to preserve a homemade original of your own. If this is your first crafty adventure in a while, just remember, “I think I can, I think I can…”

Mason Jar Crafts by Lauren Elise Donaldson, published by Ulysses Press, is available at Amazon ( and Barnes & Noble (

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