My July series, Love: in a Jar, is fast coming to an end! For today’s post, we’ll be using baby food jars again (check out the tutorial on baby food jar candles if you missed it – it’s super easy and cute).
Today’s post is inspired and adapted from Frugal Decor Mom‘s idea of using baby food jars to store dried herbs.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Baby food jars, cleaned and dried
- Chalkboard paint (I found it at Lowe’s for about $15)
- A paintbrush
- Herbs – you can buy in bulk or make your own (see below for more)
To add some “extra” love, I decided to dry my own home-grown herbs! This is the third year of our garden and the first year I’ve really made space for lots of herbs. Why didn’t I do this sooner? I’m seriously kicking myself! Herbs are among the easiest edibles you can grow in your garden and they give you so much bang for your buck!
I’m slowly inching off my soapbox here, but if you had room enough to only grow one thing, herbs would not be a bad choice. Have you ever chopped up freshly picked herbs and tossed them in a salad or pasta? The flavor is incredible, plus I could go on and on about how much those small containers are of herbs at the store – eek!
This year I grew: cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, mint, as well as sage and oregano (from starts from my pal Susan’s garden – I swapped her for some raspberry starts). One of my goals with my garden this year has been to begin to learn to move it from hobby to something that is more sustainable. I understand this is going to be a real learning process for me, but I feel growing and preserving herbs is a step in the right direction.
A little more than a week ago, I grabbed a number of small paper bags, and marked them with the names of the herbs I wanted to collect. I then snipped and filled each bag and took them to the kitchen for processing.
Some of the herbs – cilantro, mint, and parsley – I finely chopped and added to ice cube trays, added a bit of water, and froze. This way, I can just pop them out and use them when I want. For instance, my vegetable stock recipe calls for parsley. I’ll just pop in a couple ice cubes when I go to make it now.
Anyhow, for the herbs I wished to dry, I first washed (if appropriate) and air-dried, then tied tightly with some thick thread. As you can see, I also decided to dry some lavender to make some potpourri.
Then I hung upside down in my pantry for about a week.
While the herbs and flowers were drying, I made my storage jars. Now for this post, I did follow Frugal Decor Mom‘s idea of using baby food jars, but really – you could use any size jar you wish! I was thinking this idea could be adapted to sort all sorts of small object including nails, craft or school supplies.
Now this next part of prepping the jars? Super simple. You’re simply going to paint the lids with chalkboard paint! This way you’ll be able to easily label them with chalk! I just gave these one coat of paint, but in hindsight, I think a second or even third coat would be helpful to keep the lids looking nicer longer.
Back to the herbs….
Here are some beautiful sage leaves, one week later.
And oregano. I think I should’ve dried a few more bunches!
And the lavender! Man oh man does this stuff smell good!
Now for the lids, I simply wrote the initial of the herb on top, but of course, you could do more than that.
And there you go! Again, there are many, many variations you could spin on this project from the jars you use, to the items you store. Frugal Decor Mom‘s idea was to store all her bulk herbs in a drawer neatly using this method. As for me, I think I want to go back out to the garden and clip some more herbs to ready my pantry for fall and winter cooking!
For more on this series, see my Love: in a Jar page. Watch for the last post to come tomorrow!
Bought at Fred Meyer for this post: Baby Food Jars, Chalk, Ice Cube Trays, Paintbrush
Disclosure: Fred Meyer has not compensated me to run this series, but has teamed with me by providing me with store credit to use to purchase and highlight items throughout this series. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information on how this site makes (and does not make) money, there’s no mystery there – just visit my Disclosure Policy.