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How to Decorate with Mason Jars and Plants

I’m in a fauna and floral mood. So I’m here today to show you how to decorate with mason jars and plants ~ specifically how to perk up your mantle with a simple and unbelievably inexpensive approach to decorating.

Although we have minimal flowers outside right now, we do have lots of green vines, ferns and herbs that are green.  One part “use what you have” and another part “use what’s free” from your garden.  This may be the easiest and fastest decorating project you tackle all year.

Do you love projects that are quick, easy and cheap. This one’s for you. This project for adding free fauna for some interior decor is so easy it will make your head spin and turn green.

Don’t have any mason jars? That’s O.K. Use whatever jars or bottles you have on hand.

Just make it easy, simple and inexpensive. But let’s pretend that you have a collection of mason jars, either old or new. Mason jars aren’t just for storing your forks and spoons or rice and beans or using as cute drinking glasses. I didn’t even mention using them for canning.

Are you ready to decorate with them? I’m going to show you how to decorate with mason jars and make your mantle look fresh and amazing.

How to Decorate with Mason Jars and Plants

I wish I had set the timer for how quickly this decorating project took to complete. I’ll estimate 20 minutes and I think that’s being generous. Start your engines.

DISCLAIMER #1: I must confess, I have used mason jars to hold rice and beans, chocolate chips and lentils and as cute drinking glasses. Glad that’s out in the open. I didn’t want you to think I never used them for something practical and just for decorating.

DISCLAIMER #2: I know that I saw a similar project like this on a blog within the past few weeks. I thought:

  • I have mason jars in a really cool blue
  • I have plenty of greenery in the backyard for clippings
  • I have water
  • I have clippers
  • this idea would look good on my mantle
  • this decorating project will be super cheap

Perfect. When I first saw this idea, I thought, it’s so simple that I don’t need to save it or Pin it. And then I saw it again and again. But now I can’t remember where I saw the idea. Does that happen to you? I’m so sorry to whoever thought of using mason jars and garden greenery. Think of it as decorating it forward.

My Mason Jar Story

It all started with one mason jar.

Several years ago I bought a mason jar at an antique mall. Not just any mason jar ~ but a BLUE one. I thought it was so pretty and since I love blue, I knew I could find a place for it. It might have cost $11. Later I saw another blue mason jar, different shape, different size, but BLUE. I bought it, of course. And then I saw another and another and another.

Blue mason jars were suddenly the rage. Had everyone’s grandmother died, the grandkids unearthed blue mason jars and flooded the flea markets with them? For awhile the price steadily went up to $13, $15 and then $18. I’ve even seen one for $24 that looked like one I bought for $15. I think the market has settled at around $18 for a nice blue mason jar. It you are so inclined, grab one now before the price goes up.

I now have 6 blue mason jars, but for this mantle decorating project I only used 5 ~ you know the odd number rule. Six would have been too many and 4 not enough. Each one of my jars is different in size and shape. I have 2 Ball, 2 Atlas and 1 called Swayzee which I had never seen before. All of them have galvanized screw tops except for the one with the wire clasp at the top ~ that’s the Swayzee one. It has a glass top that fits and locks in place.

First, if your mason jars are dusty or been storing food, rinse out really well. Wash them in the dishwasher and they will come out sparkling. Next, I filled the jars about halfway with tap water. Decide the order that you want your jars. From tall to small or high and low as I did.

blue mason jars

Time: Count this step as 5 ~ 10 minutes, depending on how accessible your mason jars are.

Gather Your Greenery

All you need is a pair of sharp garden clippers. Take a stroll through your backyard. Look high, look low. Clip branches, vines, ferns, herbs, anything that you think will look good in the mason jars. This is a good time to do any pruning or trimming ~ especially if you are lucky enough to one sunny day in winter. I am a multi~tasker at heart and I love to kill 2 birds with one stone. A range of color, shape and texture makes for a more interesting arrangement.

This greenery is obviously evergreen. or we wouldn’t have any this time of year. You could gather all of the same greenery or mix it up as I did. I clipped 6 different types of greenery for my 5 mason jars.

cut greenery from yard

Just like preparing flowers I determined the height of my greenery and then trimmed away as many leaves as possible that would fall below the water line. This step will keep your greenery fresher longer. Then it’s just a matter of placing them in the jars and arranging them to your liking.

I recently shared 6 tips how to make your flowers last longer that you should check out and Pin.

Time: 5 minutes to 1 hour, depending how much extra yard work you start doing.

Arranging Your Greenery in Your Mason Jars

In 4 of the jars I placed 2 or 3 stems of the same type of greenery.

This greenery is actually from a tall skinny shrub. We have 4 in one of our back beds. In the spring it will put on little flowers.

mason jar greenery

This is a vine that we have as ground cover. I’m constantly cutting it back so I have an never ending supply. You are welcome to come over and clip some to take home with you. I’ll provide the clippers and a bag.

mason jar greenery

This perennial fern has a heavier, greener leaf. I love the unusual shape of this mason jar, the one that is labeled Swayzee.

green in mason jars

We have several wood ferns in one of our backyard flower beds and I love their light and airy fronds. They come back every year. As I cut this fern, I could already see new growth ~ little curly tendrils ~ coming up.

green ferns in mason jars

Finally, in the last mason jar, I combined rosemary and chives. We have 3 large rosemary bushes in big pots so there is always plenty for cooking and smelling. Our 3 pots of chives always come back beautifully every year. Did you know that chives produce these pretty lavender  flowers? They are edible and have a hot spiciness to them.

green herbs in mason jars

Time: definitely 5 ~ 10 minutes, depending on your greenery arranging skills (HINT: none required.)

The Finished Look

I love the clean, light look of this mason jar and greenery arrangement. So simple but impactful. Pretty and natural. The blue of the mason jars is a great match with the colors of our living room and the greenery is always a nice addition to any decor.

green in mason jars on mantle

And the best thing? This project didn’t cost me a dime. Yes, I bought the mason jars over the years, but I’ve used them so much that they have more than paid for themselves long ago. And of course the greenery is free. I don’t know how long the greenery will last, but I know that there is an ample supply just outside my door. And as we plant more flowers and they come in bloom, I can add color and blooms if I want.

green in mason jars on mantle

If you don’t have a mantle suitable to decorate with mason jars and greenery, you could find another spot in your home:

  • window sill
  • coffee table
  • breakfast room table
  • kitchen counter
  • side table
  • nightstand in your bedroom
  • bathroom counter
  • entry table

Total Time for Project: 15 minutes to 1 hour

Look for blue mason jars at your flea markets, thrift shops and antique malls and you’ll find them everywhere. The greenery is free ~ for the pickin’.

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  1. Wow, I love this combination and how it turned out for you! Greenery is definitely timeless and looks stunning all year long, but I always associate it the most during my favorite spring season, so this blog post came exactly at the right moment for me. Your choice of greenery is lovely and it’s incredible how budget-friendly, simple and fast it is to create something this beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Katarina, I really appreciate your comments and taking the time to give feedback. I hope my content inspires, teaches and helps you create a lovely home. Hope to hear from you again.

  2. You know I love me some blue mason jars! I went to Canton today and purchased 4 more! LOL. Can hardly wait to get them out of the dishwasher and on the shelves. Love your greenery in them. I love clipping stems from the yard. I feel like I have fresh flowers all the time and they last like forever! Hope you have a great weekend.

  3. Oh, that’s so cute! I have been wondering what to put on my mantle, and I have a couple of mason jars just like those! Thanks for the idea!

  4. Fun, fun, fun idea!! I only have one ball jar but I love it and now, thanks to you and your wonderful idea, I have a plan!! We’re moving to Dallas (back home finally!) from Montreal, Canada the end of May and guess what one of the first things I’ll do is after we get unpacked? Right…your gorgeous idea! Can’t wait!!

    1. Lucy, oh happy day. Thanks so much for letting me know this idea was helpful. Glad you’re coming back to Dallas. It will be beautiful in May. I have been to Montreal a couple of times and it’s a beautiful city. Loved the French influence everywhere. Do you speak French?

  5. I think these are lovely and simple and clean looking as decor on your mantle. My only problem would be with symmetry and alignment because I just know that I would always notice the differences in the heights of the water and the exact spacing of the jars. But maybe I should do it to help me get over this – one small step to start with.

    1. Sandra, you are more observant than I am. I actually think having different heights of the water makes the arrangement look more natural. That’s my way of covering my tracks!

  6. You’re a girl after my own heart! I’ve been decorating with blue mason jars for years! Somehow I, too, amassed a whole collection:) You’re so lucky to have such lovely plants in your yard. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen|Our Hopeful Home

  7. Carol this is such a great look. The blue jars really make the whole look so special then if you were just using regular jars. And greenery instantly changes the atmosphere in a room.

  8. I love using mason jars for my flowers. Brings me back to simpler times. And — easy! Thanks for all the tips. I’m going to use them. Have a flower filled week.

  9. Carol,
    This is such a classy, pretty and refreshing arrangement and sings Spring! You share the loveliest projects and your instructions are always so well written too.

  10. Eilis, thanks for the comment. It was the easiest and fastest little garden project ever. But great impact. That’s the best kind of project.

  11. I love your jars and the mantle project and wish I had some that belonged to my grandmothers. I accumulated some while in the antique business and take them out every now and then.

    1. Tanya, oh, I wish you had your grandmother’s jars too. How special, but sometimes, we don’t realize it when we have the opportunity to save heirlooms. Antique business? Sounds wonderful.

    1. Patti, Thanks for the sweet compliments. No, I’ve never thought about making chive vinegar, but it sounds like a gret idea. Would be great for making summer vinaigrettes.

  12. This is one of my favorite looks in the house, Carol. I too have a collection of those jars – just added two a couple of weeks ago. Everything looks pretty in them.

    1. Stacey, Thanks sweet friend. I stopped buying the blue jars a few years ago and now I may start up again. They are so pretty and versatile. I actually had to empty some lentils out of one of them. BUt I love the look too.

  13. There is nothing better than mason jars – especially vintage ones. They look fabulous on your mantel. So pretty!!!!

  14. I adore Mason jars. Yours look fabulous with your free clippings. The vine is Winter Creeper. I have some too but I never thought to put it in a jar. I’m going to do it from now on. Thanks for sharing. I love this display. It’s so pretty.

    1. Katie, I meant to ask my husband the name of the vine and the tall bushes in our backyard and the second fern and then forgot. That vine grows like a weed and I’m always cutting it back, so no lack of pieces for decorating!