Using Mason Jars for Pantry Organization

Mason Jars are a great option for storing dry goods in your pantry! 

I am not much of a collector, but the one thing I do collect and keep dear to my heart are Mason Jars.  It may seem ridiculous, but, I love the simplicity of them.  The classic look and how they stand the test of time.

And these aren’t just any jars.  These Mason jars were given to me by my in-laws who hold on to many things. And thankfully they do, because we tend to receive a lot of beautiful things!   From the very little research I have done, these jars date back somewhere between 1930 and 1950.  (They all have glass embossed labels that say:  Improved GEM, Made in Canada)

So because I adore these beauties, I like to have them on display in some capacity…the best way to do that is to use them.  I have always used them to store my pantry items like cornstarch, barley, cocoa, oat bran … that sort of thing.

Most of them have beautiful glass toppers and zinc lids, and some don’t, so for those ones, I jazzed them up.  I love how they look all lined up in my pantry, but they deserve better labeling than the dry erase marker I have been using!  So I decided that a little pretty project was in order!

I headed to Michaels and found a roll of chalkboard paper (yes they make it, and it’s amazingly easy to use!  No need for spray painting!).  I also used my 50% coupon and bought a pretty little punch.  The makings of a really cute label!

So easy!  I was done in less than an hour!  The hardest part was writing with the chalk.  I used regular old chalk, and I should have sharpened the end to make writing easier!  I think they turned out so pretty!

Using Mason Jars for Pantry Organization

If you are interested in my previous post about Jazzing Up these Jars, click here…

Have an great day!


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  • Reply Flannery Buchanan February 19, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    LOVE this! How did you affix the cardboard paper to the jars? SO fun!

    Flannery @

  • Reply b. lee February 19, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    adorable *

  • Reply Ali Richardson February 20, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    This is WAY better than painting on chalkboard labels. WAY better! I’m heading out to Michael’s now 🙂

  • Reply Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia February 23, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    This is so cool, I didn’t know they sold this!!
    Thanks for linking!

  • Reply Terri February 23, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Great idea!! I love it!!

    If you want the look without the chalk coming off you could use a white gel pen to write on it.

  • Reply Trisha February 25, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    So cute! I didn’t even know that made chalkboard paper!

  • Reply Brook February 25, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Love this idea!!! They turned out so cute. I’ll have to keep an eye out for chalkboard paper, I had no idea it even existed.

  • Reply Sue February 25, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    I love it! Classic simplicity!

  • Reply frillsfluffandtrucks February 26, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    Chalkboard paper at Michaels?! Oooh, thank you for the heads up–I had no idea!

    ~ Sarah

  • Reply Me and My Pink Mixer February 26, 2011 at 2:38 AM

    Super cute! I had no idea Michael’s sold this stuff ~ going there this weekend!

  • Reply Moms of all Trades February 26, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    LOVE THIS I have so many jars I am going to be trying this!

  • Reply shannon February 26, 2011 at 5:01 AM

    I love labels, but the best part is you can change them out easily!!!

  • Reply Jamie February 26, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    I love this idea. I’ve been meaning to make over my pantry and this would be perfect. I’m your newest follower. It would be great if you could stop by my blog Monday and add your project to The More The Merrier Link Party.

  • Reply TidyMom February 26, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    adorable!! I love old jars!

    Thanks for linking up!! I featured your post on my wrap up post!

  • Reply Stacy February 26, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    I love them, thanks for sharing.


  • Reply Lynn February 26, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Love this!! I am going to have to get organized and do this! I have been saving all my jars when I use them for something and now I have a way to spruce them up! Thanks!

  • Reply I♥naptime w/ Chocolate Sundaes February 27, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    These are SO cute! I need some of that stuff. I hope you’ll link them up to I Heart Nap Time.

  • Reply SmileMonsters February 27, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Very cute!

    Jo @ SmileMonsters

  • Reply Jess February 27, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Love this! I too am an avid jar collector. What a great way to keep organized.

  • Reply Kim @ KimsKandyKreations February 27, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Such a great idea. These would work great for so many different purposes. I loved it so much I had to share it on my Shout Out Sunday post.

  • Reply Shabby Soul February 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    LOl….I thought I was the only one who saved jars!! I shyly asked at work if they would save their big pickle jars for me… I love your chalkboard labels! & will be using that one!

  • Reply Farmer's Wyfe April 9, 2011 at 6:18 AM

    These are GREAT!! I love the idea!! Thanks for sharing!! I store all my cooking stuff in jars and canisters too. I need to figure out a better way to display them, though. Right now they are all in the cupboard.
    I love old things that people have saved…well, most of the time. 🙂

  • Reply { The Painted Home } April 9, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    so cute , thanks FJI for introducing us to you!
    d e n i s e

  • Reply Diane April 9, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Clever lady! Love the way it looks…I am inspired, will have to make a trip to Michaels. Great post….looking forward to more. Diane

  • Reply uruguay white life April 9, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    It‘s so nice that I have found your blog about your link on Funky Junk Interiors. So I have scrolled a little and like what I see. Now I’m your new follower! 😉

    Take care

  • Reply Kim April 9, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Love them….they turned out so cute!! I didn’t know they made chalk board paper…I will have to check it out!!

  • Reply Elizabeth (Blue Clear Sky) April 9, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Super cute and practical too. I love the little chalkboard labels. I share your jar addiction and store spices and dry goods in jars too.

  • Reply Sara April 10, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    I first thought “mercy – how tedious to paint all those tiny chalkboard labels on jars”. But NO you used a punch! Amazing!!

    I need to check out Michael’s… I purchased (my second) “Wallies” stick on chalkboard just last week. I hadn’t considered cutting it up… First I’ll check Michael’s.

    Excellent – thanks for the inspiration!

    I’ve stopped by from Funky Junk – nice to meet/follow you!


  • Reply ShantyGirl April 11, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Way cool way to dsiplay and make use of your vintage jars, hope you stop by my place to see mine.

  • Reply A Nurse's Curses April 15, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    I LOVE jars, I just started using them in my kitchen and I used them for centerpieces in my wedding. Love your ideas!

  • Reply Quilted Cupcake April 21, 2011 at 10:49 PM

    I love, love this idea. So clever to use the chalkboard paper- would have never thought of that! I’m a jar collector, too. Thanks for sharing – like your lotion idea, too. Our soap dispenser seems to always be empty!

  • Reply daisy April 27, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    I’m a Mason jar junkie too. You are so blessed to have the real McCoy in those gifts from your family. Enjoy!

  • Reply Inspire Me Heather May 20, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Oh great idea and I linked this to my Mason jars post too – it’s fabulous!

  • Reply Rebecca @ A Daily Dose of Grace November 8, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    I found you through a link up on IHeartOrganizing and then clicked through to your pretty jars. I love this idea. I get teased all the time about my love of jars – in particular, Ball Mason half-gallon jars for my pantry goods. 🙂

    Thanks for the info about Michael’s and the chalkboard paper!

  • Reply 2drifters May 4, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I love these. Thanks so much for the post–I’m not much of a crafter so I never would have known about these products. I couldn’t find the paper at our local Michaels, but Office Depot had it in their teacher’s department. The paper is self-adhesive, so it makes the project super easy! Now my grains will be all organized in my pantry & I can find what I need. Thanks!

  • Reply Heather Stauft August 11, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    I did this with my pantry last year, but struggled with the chalk always rubbing off. I did some research and finally found a liquid chalk pen on Amazon (a little pricey, but well worth it). I absolutely love love love the look! It comes off with soap and water but not to the touch! Just thought I would share 🙂

  • Reply Cindy Evans September 9, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Jo-Anna, I went to Michael’s and purchased all of the supplies, but am unsure how to affix the labels to the jars? I’m excited to get started! Thanks.

    • Reply A Pretty Life in the Suburbs September 12, 2012 at 2:22 AM

      Hi Cindy! The chalkboard paper I used on these is actually a sticker, so I was able to just peel off the back and apply them. If yours is paper, then I would use any type of household glue. Hope that helps?

  • Reply Cindy Evans September 12, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Hi Jo-Anna, I’m not feeling very smart now…I just checked and mine is the same! Thanks so much for the response. I love your blog!

  • Reply Joanne October 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I do not live close to a Michaels, but found the blackboard labels from the Martha Stewart Collection at Staples last weekend. I had fun filling my jars and labeling them. I love the look! 🙂

  • Reply Teri December 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    I am a lover of jars too! I’ve gotten some great square canning jars from my nephew as a gift and I am in love!

  • Reply Sarah January 7, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    This is such a pretty idea and easy with the roll of chalkboard paper. I am soon to have a new pantry and using these on my jar collection would be so pretty! Thanks 🙂

  • Reply Connie March 28, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    I have though about using the big plastic containers that coffee comes in to make kitchen canisters. I was planning to cover the labels, with fabric material, or shelf paper that would match the color scheme of the kitchen. And give them as gifts. I was planning to use fabric paint to write the names of the contents. After reading your idea about the mason jars. I am planning to redo my pantry. This is a great idea, and you can see at a glance, what’s in each jar. Great idea. Thanks

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife March 29, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      You are so welcome Connie! I love using the glass for that exact reason – you always know what you have in your pantry! Happy organizing!

  • Reply albertmay March 31, 2014 at 5:38 AM

    Great idea. I have old jars that were my grandmas. My husband also has jars. When my sister- in- law moved she gave us her jars and when we moved to a new house the old owners left us their jars!! Now I have another use besides canning. I have a large pantry in my house and also love the look of the jars, and the blackboard label is a great idea. Thank you

    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife March 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      Wow! Now you can definitely have some fun getting all those jars filled and organized in your pantry! Happy organizing!

  • Reply PeteS June 25, 2014 at 1:22 AM

    Wow! very creative indeed! An ordinary jars turned to an extra ordinary jars. Nice work Jo-Ann!

  • Reply Ivory March 6, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    Love your jars display. Getting it tomorrow. Thank you!

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