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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mason Jar Kids' Cups

By Abby of Love Made the Radish Grow


Recently I was posed with a problem-my husband was fed up with the kids spilling drinks on the floor, but I had no good solution for them to be able to drink things like milk and juice in covered cups. Most mainstream sippy cups are all plastic, something we try not to buy if we can help it. Stainless water bottles are great for water and tea, but are terribly difficult to wash out if something like milk gets left in them. Sometimes, as we recently found, they can even form explosives as the milk ferments. I have rotten milk on the ceiling of my office from a stainless sippy-style cup that formed a vacuum and blew up when my son tried to open it. Gross.
Our other dilemma is storage space. Yes, I have a very large kitchen-I designed it that way intentionally, but that doesn't mean I want to store 50 different styles of glasses for every situation. We also tend to use the canning jars that get opened throughout the season as drinking glasses, making them dual purpose and meaning I need less storage space as they can do double duty.
One last issue that came to light only after I found my solution was that I could find a good use for leftover canning lids, as well. One use is the recommended lifespan, and though I keep them around so I can use them on jars I stick in the fridge for leftovers, or stock in the freezer or dry goods in the cupboard, there are always far more lids than jars. This solution found yet another use for the buggers.

The solution was so, so simple, so much so I wondered why I hadn't done it earlier. I used a punch I found in my husband's garage (now adopted so I make new lids whenever I need to) and my hammer and simply put holes in the lids. You don't need much force-don't swing too hard or you'll end up with broken glass. We keep straws when we might eat out or in various odd things we stumble across and the kids have covered cups that satisfy everyone in the house!


22 comments:

Myrnie said...

Brilliant! Especially now that my daughter is past the cup-throwing stage, this would be a great solution!

Abby said...

I forgot to mention that these lids are also great covers for glasses of iced tea on the patio. No bugs!

Missus said...

I love the way you solved a problem by finding a new way to use things you already had. Smart!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! And we're overrun with canning jars this time of year, with a birthday party coming up...

To avoid the broken glass problem, you might want to try laying the lid on a piece of wood & punching it there, or putting it on top of an old tin can (if you want the cut edges to point down/in). Aside from safety, canning jars are almost $1 a piece.

Abby said...

I haven't personally broken any yet, and I've done quite a few. I just wanted to make sure to note for those trying it, it takes barely any force to put a punch through a lid. They are pretty lightweight.

NoviceLife said...

Genius!

Ilene said...

I love things with multiple purposes. You have to store those jars whether they're being used or not, so why not make them work for their keep, I say! Heh.

Another thing you can do is poke quite a few small holes in a used canning flat and then the jar is a sugar- or flour shaker.

We have accumulated some pint jars with handles, that we bought jam in many years ago, when I was too busy holding down a full-time job to do much jam-making of my own. The handles made them easy for the grandchildren to manage. Hubs put cup-hooks under one of the cabinets so they could grab one whenever they needed it. Those are still in use today, even though the youngest grandchild is 19 now. I saved the twist-on lids and today I had Hubs drill a bunch of small holes in one of them because I needed a flour shaker while I was making noodles.

Laura @ Getting There said...

I love things like this that are so simple and yet make perfect sense. :)

Anonymous said...

Love this idea!! We also have stainless steel straws, they'd work great for this... http://www.amazon.com/Handy-House-Stainless-Drinking-Straws/dp/B0036ZH5KO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1273633987&sr=8-1

Joyful said...

That's a super idea!

soisses said...

great idea - looks fantastic!

Katie said...

I love this idea!!!

Abby said...

I will definitely need to look into those stainless straws. My kids are pros are breaking plastic ones, so we go through them unless I keep a close eye on them. Thanks!

Gremlina said...

i am so excited about this! i KNOW my kiddos will love it.

Anonymous said...

My only concern and some people dont know this, which is why i am mentioning it, is that the lids of mason jars contain BPA lining. Its normally not an issue unlike plastic because when canning your food doesnt typically touch the lid. But punching a hole in it seems like a bad idea in keeping the integrity of the sealant. Also i know kids and sippy cups they like to tip them all the time so every time that liquid sloshs up against that punctured lid you (though even slightly) are contaminating that drink with potentially harmful chemicals. Just a thought..

Anonymous said...

Since my comment i left about the BPA, i started thinking of alternatives, and found the perfect one...Instead of using the metal canning lids the plastic (BPA Free) screw on lids sold by ball would be perfect with a hole drilled in the middle, and they are dishwasher safe. They also come is regular and wide mouth size. I found them recently at the store for around $3.50 for a pack of 8 wide mouth. Hope this helps.

Sandy L said...

I love this blog but I've seen comments about BPA several times and I feel like I need to break my silence and publish an alternate point of view.

I'm a chemical engineer. I've read through most of the data and studies from both sides. At the end of the day, I am still using my PC baby and water bottles and I don't think I'm a bad mom because of it. I also still buy canned food and don't believe I'm slowly poisoning my family.

For years, the studies showed that the small amounts of BPA people are exposed to are metabolized and excreted in your urine within 24 hours.

Many of the recent studies linking BPA to everything under the sun were based on exposure levels that were several orders of magnitude higher than what a person would be exposed to in their lifetime. In some cases, the rats were even directly injected with BPA. I mean, is that really the same as having a parts per billion exposure level from a food lid? That's not good science if you ask me.

http://factsaboutbpa.org/what-are-the-bpa-myths

Oh and just because something is advertised as BPA Free doesn't mean that it's safer. It may just mean that not as much testing has been done yet to find the what the potential issues are with the next product.
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But since this article is about mason jars, I'll get off my soapbox and say, I love mason jars and have used them as drinking glasses as long as I can remember. Never thought of making sippy cups out of them..Brilliant!

Simply Authentic said...

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! :)

Annodear said...

Brilliant! I love the 'double duty' aspect of just using them as regular drinking cups, too :-)

Melanie Williams said...

I use mason jars for everything under the sun too, but if I were using them as sippy cups I would make sure my little ones always sat at the table to drink and didn't carry the jars around. I would be nervous about them tripping and falling on top of one and getting cut.

As to BPA linings, the Kerr lids don't have the white linings, while the Ball lids do--it's kind of odd since I think the same company now owns both labels.

Shawna said...

i was excited to see this post :O) we use mason jars for glasses at home. we don't make them into sippy cups, but what a great idea! i'm a clutz and i love how sturdy the glass is (hence they are slowly becoming our only cups left) and i love the look of variety on dinner table.

Amy said...

What a great idea!