This post is in partnership with Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products. All thoughts and words are my own.
Being a Fresh Preserving ambassador means I have quite the collection of Ball® Canning Jars in my kitchen (and my pantry, and my garage, and my laundry room)…. so much, in fact, that many of them are used for purposes other than canning and preserving.
If you open the kitchen cabinets, you’ll see plenty of jars alongside our highballs and mugs as I love using them as drink glasses. The pint jars are perfect for water (we sometimes even freeze them for frosty pints of beer) while quarts full of iced tea are a staple in the summer.
Mason jars are great for warm drinks, too, if you gravitate more toward the likes of coffee and tea. (I should add a disclaimer here that Newell Brands doesn’t recommend putting piping hot beverages in their Ball® Canning Jars, so wait for yours to cool off a bit before serving. You can also lessen the chances of thermal shock by swirling some hot tap water in your jars to warm them up first.) To buffer hands from the heat, I have a few sets of woolly koozies that wrap around my jars — just like those paper sleeves you find at coffeeshops, only the koozies are reusable and much, much cuter.
What seals the deal even more is how easy they are to DIY. No knitting or crocheting experience necessary, not even a sewing machine… all you need are wool socks, scissors, and needle and thread. (You’ll find the full tutorial below!)
Ball® Canning Jar koozies are great gifts because of their crafty and practical nature, not to mention how inexpensive they are to make. You can repurpose old, clean socks that may be worn through the heels and toes (thereby giving your favorite prints and patterns a second life) or pick up a pair of new socks on sale. I found mine at Ross Dress for Less for $4 for a pack of two pairs, so it came out to just a dollar per koozie.
When Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products, proposed the idea of a crafty Secret Santa exchange among a group of bloggers, I knew the koozies would be a fun gift for my recipient, Angie from The Country Chic Cottage. I paired the koozies with the Ball® pint-sized Sharing Jars, and because food is often my go-to gift for the holidays, I added my favorite mulled cider spice mix to each jar, along with the recipe (see below to make your own).
The Sharing Jars feel special because of their octagonal shape, and they promote a good cause as well. In partnership with Feeding America®, Newell Brands® will donate four meals for every package of Sharing Jars purchased. (Newell Brands® will donate $0.36 per package of Sharing Jars sold, up to $150,000 provided to Feeding America®. $1 helps provide 11 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.)
We sent out our Secret Santa gifts a couple weeks ago and I received mine in the mail from Haeley of Design Improvised. She painted two Ball® quart jars, added festive decorations, and turned them into a pair of vases. What a fun idea for a mason jar project! (And one you can easily DIY: check out the full tutorial on her site.) Once the holiday season is over, I’ll use the jars to store odd lengths of ribbon and twine (which I like to collect after unwrapping gifts) and stash them until next winter.
For more gift-worthy DIY inspiration using mason jars, check out the Ball brand’s Pinterest page. Or, search your closets for socks that need to be retired soon and make a few mason jar koozies for your favorite warm beverages!
DIY Mason Jar Koozie
Pint-sized mason jar
Crew-length wool socks
Needle and thread
Slide the sock over the jar (up to the rim) and cut to length, leaving 1 inch below the base.
Remove the sock and turn it inside out. Fold the raw edge over and stitch a 1/2-inch hem.
Turn the sock right side out and slide it back onto the jar.
Pour yourself some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, or proceed with a batch of vanilla and bourbon mulled cider…
(By the way, some of you may recognize this recipe from my book, The New Camp Cookbook — it’s a classic, whether you’re home by the fireplace or camping in the woods.)
Vanilla and Bourbon Mulled Cider
Makes 4 servings
1 quart apple cider
2 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 vanilla bean, split
1/2 cup bourbon (optional)
Add the cider and all of the spices to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and steep for at least 30 minutes on low to let the flavors develop. Stir in the bourbon (if using) before serving.
Brought to you by Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Fresh Preserving Products, for whom I’m a paid ambassador. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Garden Betty.