Baby food jars are the perfect size for a number of craft projects. You do not need to be able to re-use the lids, which often do not fit securely onto the jars once opened. Give the used jars a good wash in hot soapy water to remove all food and grease from the surfaces inside and out and then you will be ready to reuse them.
Because baby food jars are small and made from relatively thick glass, they are good surfaces for children to paint on. You will need to use special glass paint that can be bought from any craft shop, as this kind is transparent and sticks to the surface much better than ordinary paint. You can paint your design onto the glass free-hand, or alternatively you can draw your design first.
Measure the height of your jar and the circumference (all the way around the outside). This should give you a rectangle shape. Draw this onto a piece of paper and then draw your design inside the rectangle. Cut the rectangle out, roll it up with the design on the outside, and slip it in to the jar. It will unfurl to fit the jar snugly, and you will be able to see the lines through the glass.
Once you have painted your design on the jar, you will need to leave it to dry completely. Then the jars can be used as little vases or as pen and pencil holders. You can tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar as an extra decoration if you like.
If you have some baby food jars with lids that fit snugly, then making a snow globe is a fun idea for older children and adults. You will need a jar with a lid that fits securely, some glitter, some water, some non-water soluble adhesive, and a plastic figure. Wash and dry the jar and lid thoroughly. A plastic snowman is a traditional figure to use, but you can use any kind of small plastic animal, human or vehicle; anything that comes out of a cereal box is ideal. Fix the base of your figure to the inside of the lid with the adhesive and then leave until it is completely dry.
Once the adhesive is dry, take the jar and add a layer of glitter approximately a quarter of an inch (1cm) deep of glitter. Fill the jar with water to just below the rim, so that there is enough room for the water to be displaced when you add the figure. Carefully screw the lid onto the jar tightly; you may want to add a little of the adhesive to the rim of the jar for extra security. When you stand the jar upside down with the lid on the table top, the glitter will swirl around in the water and eventually settle around the base of the figure.
Both of these craft ideas make great gifts, particularly for Christmas.