Shaped jars

Shaped jars

Tomato and chili sauce, jam, confiture in a glass jar on a grey stone background.

If asked to draw a jam jar, most people would draw the archetypal 1lb jam jar – clear glass, straight sides and a round metal lid; however, there are many different styles and shapes of jar and it can be hard to decide which is best for a specific job. In today’s post, we look at some of the shapes of jar we have available.

Shaped jars for specific tasks

Whether we buy our food in supermarkets or in the local delicatessen, we often take the jar for granted. On closer inspection, however, it is plain to see that there are some conventions when it comes to what type of food is presented in each shape of jar. If you are expanding your home preserves repertoire, using the right shape of jar can help to give your produce a professional touch.

Our 140ml clear yoghurt pots are perfect for homemade yogurt, fruit fools and chocolate mousse. They are also ideal for anyone who makes their own baby food, as they are a similar shape to most commercial baby foods. Our olive jars are the same tall and thin shape as jars of olives found in supermarkets. Even jars of pasta sauce have their own unique shape – like a jam jar at the base but tapering very slightly towards the neck. Using these jars to store your own pasta sauce or passata will give it an authentic Italian look.

Shaped jars to give as gifts

Whilst many of our glass jars are suited to a specific task, we also carry a huge range of fancy shaped jars that can really set off a gift to make it look extra special. Even a humble batch of jam can be turned into something altogether more elegant when presented in a set of our Trittico nesting jars or in our gourmet jars.

Our traditional sweet jars are brilliant for homemade macaroons or cookies. Along with our globe and gourmet jars, these are often used to hold wedding favours. Topped off with a pretty ribbon or a colourful label, these jars look appealing whatever the occasion.

Jars for themed parties

If you are hosting a themed party, it can be tricky to find the right accessories to set off the theme. We have a large range of vintage-inspired glass jars that will help to set the tone for any retro style party. For an even older look, our jars with stoppers conjure up images of Victorian doctors concocting potions and powders. These apothecary-inspired jars are perfect for quirky parties or for Harry Potter-themed events.

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Creative recipes to serve in milk bottles

Creative recipes to serve in milk bottles

Organic cold-pressed raw vegetable juices in glass bottlesOrganic cold-pressed raw vegetable juices in glass bottles

Who remembers the days when milk was delivered to your door in glass bottles? We would hear the whirr of the electric milk float as it trundled along the street and the clink of the bottles as the milkman delivered to each house. On a cold winter’s morning, the milk would sometimes freeze, pushing off the foil cap. For most people, those days have long gone; however, milk bottles are having something of a renaissance and are this year’s must-have container for serving fancy drinks. Here we look at some ideas for using a glass milk bottle to serve delicious drinks.

Alcoholic drinks in milk bottles

With Christmas fast approaching, it is well and truly party season, which means it is time to think of some creative cocktails to offer your guests. Any cocktail will work brilliantly served in a glass milk bottle, but milk-based drinks look particularly fabulous served this way. Here is a recipe for a warming Christmas cocktail that will work perfectly in a couple of our 250ml bottles:

Coconut Christmas cocktail

Ingredients

100ml vodka

140ml coconut milk or cream

1tsp vanilla extract

1tbsp creme de cacao

½tsp grated nutmeg

Method

Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly in a jug. Pop a couple of ice cubes into each milk bottle, then pour the cocktail mix over the ice cubes. Serve with a straw.

Non-alcoholic drinks in milk bottles

If a drop of the strong stuff is not for you, there are plenty of non-alcoholic creations that work brilliantly in these bottles. Why not make a delicious fruit smoothie in one of our one-litre bottles and store it in the fridge to drink throughout the day? Try a coconut and red berry smoothie; alternatively, for something a little more exotic, blend banana, avocado, fresh figs and pistachios with a little milk or water for a rich, slightly tropical taste.

For a more indulgent smoothie that is part drink, part dessert, try a chocolate banana smoothie. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

1 cup milk or coconut milk

1 banana

1tbsp cocoa powder

1tsp cinnamon

2tbsp honey

Method

Blend all the ingredients together to form a thick, smooth mixture. Pour into a 250ml milk bottle and chill in the fridge. Serve as soon as the mixture is fully chilled.

As you can see, these bottles can be used to serve all sorts of delicious drinks. For thick, creamy drinks, you can sip straight from the bottle; for other drinks, adding a straw is a nice touch. If you are making larger quantities, our one-litre bottles with screw-on lids are just the thing.

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Maslin Pans for Christmas

Maslin Pans for Christmas

Cooked homemade cherry jam in the bowl and in the jar, organic meal and dessert concept

With just a month to go until Christmas Day, it is time to get those thinking caps on, to decide what gifts to give your friends and relatives this year. If there is someone in your life who you find it incredibly difficult to decide on a gift for, don’t worry – you are not alone. We at Wares can help you to find some fabulous gifts that will truly be appreciated by the recipient. In this post, we start off by looking at jam making equipment.

Maslin pans make great Christmas gifts

The beauty of giving a maslin pan as a gift, or any jam making equipment for that matter, is that it can bring so much pleasure for years to come. Jam making is such an easy thing to get into and requires no special knowledge or any real culinary flair. If the bug bites and you find you love making jam, you can let your imagination take over and experiment with more complex recipes; however, for the absolute beginner, it is perfectly easy to rustle up some delicious homemade jam at the first attempt. If the gift recipient is keen to get started with their home preserves straight after Christmas, they can always start by making a batch of marmalade, as Seville oranges are in season at that time of year.

What else, besides maslin pans?

Apart from a good maslin pan, there is very little other equipment that is essential for successful jam making. You need jars and lids to store your jam in, of course, and there are a number of optional extras that can make life easier for the jam maker. A jam thermometer is one good tool, and a jam spoon that can be hooked to the side of the maslin pan is also very handy. If you are on the messy side, you might find a jam funnel helpful when it comes to pouring the jam into the jars.

If you plan on giving an extra special gift, why not choose a jam making kit? Our kits have absolutely everything you need to get started in home preserves, including the maslin pan, thermometer, funnel, jam spoon, recipe book and, of course, jars, lids and labels. Our deluxe kit also includes the rather lovely Preserves book from the River Cottage Handbook Collection.

On the subject of books, a jam or preserves recipe book could be just the ticket if you need to buy for someone who has already started making jam. Check our website for our full range of jam making books.

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Festive fun with large glass jars

Festive fun with large glass jars

If you think our jars are only used for making jams and preserves, you would be very much mistaken. Crafters have long recognised the potential of glass jars as vessels for their imaginative creations. In today’s post, we look at a few festive ideas for using large jars, such as our one gallon pickle jar.

Creative ideas in large glass jars 

Edible gift Idea: oatmeal cookies mix in the glass jar on a rustic wooden table.Toned image.Selective focus

It is easy to create unique Christmas decorations using large pickle jars. Try filling a jar one-third full with fake snow, or cotton wool, and then add pine cones, holly or tiny Christmas tree decorations to create a wintry scene. Pop the lid on and finish off with a colourful festive ribbon for a clever and very individual decoration for a sideboard or windowsill.

Another brilliant idea is to pop some fairy lights into a jar to create a Christmas lamp. Try using a glitter pen on the outside of the jar to add stars or snowflakes. The only limit here is your imagination!

If you are handy with a paintbrush, why not have a go at painting the outside of the jar to create a Santa’s face, or perhaps a snowman? A jar decorated in this way would make a great container for Christmas sweets or nuts; alternatively, a snowy scene painted on the outside of the jar would make a great tea light holder. Leave some of the glass unpainted to allow the candle light to flicker through.

One idea we really love is to use a 1 gallon pickle jar as a piggy bank. Cut a slot in the lid to add your coins and decorate the outside of the jar. If you are saving for a holiday, for example, paint travel-related items on the jar. Don’t paint too much, as you will want to see how your savings are growing!

Christmas gifts in large glass jars 

Homemade Christmas gift - ingredients for making hot chocolate with marshmallows in a glass jar on a wooden surface

One idea that is trending right now is adding all the ingredients for a recipe into a 1 gallon pickle jar and giving it as a gift. Add a packet of upmarket cocoa to a jar, then fill the rest with marshmallows. Seal the lid and add a bottle of Irish cream liqueur on the side for a gift that is sure to be well received. For a non-alcoholic version, layer all the ingredients for making chocolate chip cookies and finish with a stylish contemporary label and some ribbon.

We have only touched on a few ideas here, but it just goes to show that even a humble glass jar can be transformed into something amazing with a little imagination.

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Drinks dispensers for party time

Infused water bottles in party tent orange and lemon water with small taps wine in background

Drinks dispensers for party time

‘Tis the season to be jolly, with big Christmas parties and smaller, more intimate gatherings taking place across the country from now until the New Year. No matter what style of party you are planning, one thing is for certain – someone always gets the unenviable task of making sure all the guests have a full glass at all times. There is a solution to this perennial problem, however, and it comes in the form of glass drinks dispensers.

What are glass drinks dispensers?

Drinks dispensers are a great idea for parties. These glass dispensers typically hold between five and eight litres and come with a wide top opening and a low tap for self-service drinks delivery. The wide opening at the top makes it easy to add ice or fruit, while the sealed lid means less mess and no spills.

Our range of glass drinks dispensers

We stock a variety of drinks dispensers from Kilner and other suppliers. The Kilner dispensers all have the iconic Kilner styling for a vintage chic look and have the trademark clip-top lid with the familiar orange rubber seal. The five-litre clear glass Kilner dispenser has the ‘Kilner Original’ logo moulded on the front of the dispenser, while the larger eight- litre dispenser has a slight outwards curve in its design and a ridged effect to the glass, giving it a distinctive retro look. If a clear glass dispenser is not your style, the Kilner five-litre dispensers are also available in green, blue and pink for some pastel fun.

Our range of drinks dispensers is complemented perfectly by a wide variety of glass drinking jars. Match the two for an all-round vintage party feel.

What to serve?

It is all well and good deciding on the type of drinks dispenser for your Christmas parties, but you also need to decide what to serve in them. Straight drinks are fine, but a party is not a party without a little homemade creation in the form of a cocktail or a festive punch. Warm punch with spices always goes down well at Christmas; however, don’t forget to allow your punch to cool slightly before pouring into the dispensers, as these items can hold liquids up to a maximum temperature of 80°C.

Prosecco cocktails are guaranteed to get the party swinging – add one part brandy to four parts prosecco, along with a splash of Angostura bitters and a little cane sugar. Alternatively, make a fruity prosecco cocktail by pouring the prosecco into the drinks dispenser and adding some clementine, pomegranate, lime, grapefruit and passion fruit juice.

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Storing end of season produce in preserving jars

Storing end of season produce in preserving jars

Winter stores, vegetables in jars

The first frosts have arrived, the nights have drawn in and the garden is looking tired. If you are lucky enough to still have a few late crops coming in, now is the time to gather up the produce remaining to preserve for use through the winter.

Using preserving jars to store end of season fruit

There are not many fruits that are still hanging on during November; however, if you have apple trees or pear trees in your garden, you might be surprised to find a few late fruits still available. Apples can be made into apple butter or apple jam, both of which are truly delicious. If you have vegetables left over in the veg patch, you could also put some apples into a batch of chutney.

Pears preserve well in Mason jars and are simple to do. You will need to add some lemon juice, but other than this you can follow a standard fruit preserving recipe, adding in spices such as star anise, cardamom and cinnamon. Don’t forget to sterilise your Mason jars before you start.

Using preserving jars to store end of season vegetables

Whilst end of season fruit might be a little thin on the ground, it is likely that most people will have a few vegetables that are still worth harvesting. Butternut squash, pumpkins, cabbage, kale, swede, beetroot and Jerusalem artichokes should all be available. The Christmas favourite, the Brussels sprout, is also well and truly in season right now. Chutney is the perfect way to use up all this end of season produce and the best thing about chutney is that you can more or less use what you have. Experimentation is the name of the game and you might just be surprised at the results.

If you fancy something different, why not try pickling some Brussels sprouts? Boil some vinegar and salt, and add peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic and chilli flakes. Pack the halved Brussels sprouts into Mason jars, then pour over your pickling mixture. Seal tightly and heat the jars in a pan of boiling water or a pressure canner for 10 minutes. Once cool, your sprouts are ready to store.

If you want to preserve some vegetables straight, this is also possible, although your choices might be a little more limited. Don’t forget that you will need to pressure can vegetables, as they have a much lower acid content than fruit. Pumpkin and squashes both can well, but cabbage, cauliflower and kale are not really suitable for pressure canning.

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Homemade face creams in cosmetic jars

Jar of white body care cosmetic cream, herbal oil extract bottle, fresh calendula flowers.

Homemade face creams in cosmetic jars

It is hard to switch on the TV without coming across another advert for a face cream, making wild claims about the rejuvenating properties of the cream and glossing it with talk of miracle ingredients with unpronounceable names. Taking a closer look at the ingredients list and the price tag is a good incentive to think about making your own unique face creams to put you 100 per cent in control of the ingredients you add to that clear glass cosmetic jar. Here we take a look at a simple homemade face cream recipe to get you started.

Fill those cosmetic jars

Before you embark on creating your very first homemade face cream, don’t forget that you will need jars to store it in. We have a range of suitable jars, from our 15ml clear glass cosmetic jar up to a 500ml jar. Our Laurence frosted jars are every inch as stylish as shop-bought cosmetics; therefore, there is no need to compromise on looks.

Ingredients

¼ cup cocoa butter
7 tbsp almond oil
4 tbsp shea butter
1 tbsp beeswax
½ cup aloe vera gel
½ cup hydrosol (floral water) or distilled water ½ tsp vitamin E oil
6 drops essential oils to suit your own tastes

Method

– Sterilise the jars.

– Melt the cocoa butter, shea butter and beeswax in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.

– Separately, combine the aloe vera gel with the hydrosol. You can use distilled water rather than hydrosol if preferred.

– When the oils have melted, pour them into a bowl with the almond oil and blend well using a mixer or blender. Slowly pour in the aloe and water mix, continuing to blend thoroughly until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. Add the vitamin E oil and essential oils, ensuring they are mixed thoroughly.

– Pour the cream into the sterilised jars and seal with the lids. Any cream not likely to be used within one month should be stored in the fridge, where it will keep for up to six months.

The essential oils you use for this face cream can be varied to suit your own tastes. Orange and lemongrass give a fresh, zesty scent, whilst frankincense will add a deeper, more opulent note. Experiment to find what suits you best.

More ideas for cosmetic jars

Once the homemade cosmetics bug bites, it will be hard to stop; for example, you can also try homemade hand creams and body scrubs. Soon you will be ditching those expensive high street brands in favour of your own unique skincare range.

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Choosing and using food jars

Choosing and using food jars

It might sound strange, but the jar you use can be just as important as the recipe you follow when it comes to making the best impression in home preserves. From miniature jam jars for breakfast jams and marmalad

Jars of jam and basket with cherry on background.

es to chunky jars in iconic shapes, there really is a jar for every occasion. Whether you are making preserves to eat at home, creating homemade gifts or even entering competitions at the local village fair, choosing a quality food jar will really lift your finished product.

Food jars for gifts

Our deluxe range of food/jam jars includes jars in five different sizes. Combining stylish good looks with tough practicality, these jars are solid and reliable. In sizes from 110ml to 500ml, these jars can showcase all sorts of preserving delights. Use the small jars to create gift sets of mixed preserves, or fill a big 500ml jar with preserved lemons to create a fancy gift. Our vintage glass jam jars and Bonne Maman-style jars both exude a certain rustic charm and can turn a humble pot of jam into a chic gift when teamed with a cute gingham checked lid.

A quality food jar does not have to hold food. An elegant jar with a colourful red or blue checked lid can make an ideal container for a non-food gift. Making your own bath salts, for example, is a fun way to spend time doing something creative and the result makes a lovely, eco-friendly gift. Filling a jar with decorative stationery items, such as fun paper clips, erasers and other desk accessories, is a brilliant gift idea for anyone who loves old-fashioned stationery.

Food jars for specific preserves

For some reason, certain preserves seem to suit certain styles and shapes of jar more than others. Honey, for example, is very often put into hexagonal jars, perhaps because the hexagon shape mimics the honeycomb inside the bee’s hive. Our 106ml globe jam jars, on the other hand, are perfect for lemon curd. As lemon curd contains fresh eggs, it does not have such a long life as jam; therefore, a smaller jar size is a good idea. If you are creating an old-fashioned or traditional preserve, such as hedgerow jelly, you might want to use a very traditional-looking jam jar to continue the slightly vintage theme.

Whatever you want to put in your jars, we are sure to have the perfect jar for you here at Wares. Check out our extensive range today and get busy making those Christmas gifts.

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Using a lattice pastry cutter

Getting to grips with lattice pastry cutters

Delicious Homemade Cherry Pie with a Flaky Crust

There is no denying that a lattice pie adds a certain sophistication to your home baking efforts. No one will be in any doubt that you have really worked hard on your baking when you show off your beautiful lattice pie. If you are not confident in your lattice-making skills, don’t worry – there is an easy way to get perfect results every time. Whether you are making a lattice pie with apples, cherries or even strawberries, we will show you how to achieve a perfectly-spaced lattice pie crust to top it off.

Using a lattice pastry cutter

There are different types of pastry cutter available for making lattice pie tops; however, we recommend the roller type. These are much easier to use and give a much more consistent lattice. This type of pastry cutter gives a nice, even criss-cross pattern on the pastry.

To create your lattice pie top, first roll out the pastry on a flat surface to the desired thickness. If your pastry is too thick, the pie crust will dominate and will prevent the taste of the fruit shining through; if your pastry is too thin, you risk it breaking as you lift it onto the pie or during cooking.

When you have spread the pastry out to the required size, press the cutter into the pastry and roll it firmly across. Lift the lattice pastry up very carefully and place it gently onto the pie base and filling. Trim off any surplus and gently seal the edges using your fingers to crimp all round.

That’s all there is to it – your pie is now ready to go in the oven. Don’t forget that you can always use up the pastry trimmings by squashing them into a ball and re-rolling them with the rolling pin to make a few jam tarts, for example.

Our lattice pastry cutter

Made from tough white plastic, our pastry cutters are dishwasher safe and easy to clean. They even come with a 12-month guarantee. Manufactured by premium kitchenwares company KitchenCraft, this little tool will no doubt become a favourite gadget and will earn you admiring comments whenever you serve a delicious, professional-looking lattice pie.

More lattice pie ideas

Pretty much any fruit can be used to make a lattice pie, including apples, cherries, peaches and even blueberries. A strawberry and rhubarb lattice pie would work brilliantly. For savoury lovers, try a chicken and mushroom pie or go vegetarian with a leek, potato and blue cheese pie. Whatever recipe you choose, you are sure to have a lot of lattice fun.

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Traditional pie dishes and their uses

Traditional pie dishes and their uses

If you yearn to do more home cooking and to rely less on processed foods from the supermarket, the humble pie dish may well be your new best friend and closest ally. It is actually very easy to prepare your own ‘ready meals’ using fresh, local produce and to store them in the freezer for later use. Let’s take a look at some traditional pies and the dishes to make them in.

Cottage pie in a rustic baking dish

Pie dishes for all sorts of recipes

The type of pie dish you choose depends on what kind of pie you would like to make. Deep dishes are suitable for pies that only have a top crust or pies that have a lot of juice or gravy, such as steak and ale pie or cottage pie. Shallow, oblong dishes work brilliantly for fish pies or perhaps a chicken and mushroom pie. Plate-style dishes suit fruit pies and other flatter-style pies – check online for ‘plate pie recipes’ to find more ideas for different pies.

Traditional pie dishes for sale

We have quite a range of traditional pie dishes for sale at Wares that are suitable for all sorts of pies, crumbles and bakes. The round, enamel dishes from Falcon are perfect for things such as apple pies and savoury cheese and potato pies.

The traditional brown earthenware dishes from Mason Cash will be familiar to many, as they go back a long way and were at one time a regular feature on dining tables up and down the country. Often used to serve hearty winter warmers, such as shepherd’s pie or lamb cobbler, these dishes are versatile, practical and long-lasting. Their simple styling gives them a timeless appeal and they fit just as well in today’s kitchen as they did all those decades ago. Today, the dishes are dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe; therefore, they make a great addition to the modern kitchen.

The round dishes from Mason Cash have more depth and are great for deep-dish pies, such as deep-dish apple pie. You don’t have to use apple in your deep-dish pie, of course – cherries or any other fruit would work just as well to produce a truly mouthwatering dessert.

Next time you find yourself browsing the supermarket aisles for quick and easy meals, why not opt to create a few of your own ready meals instead? By cooking up a batch of pies and storing them in the freezer, you will find you have prepared lots of tasty meals in no time at all.

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Getting creative with jam jar packaging

Getting creative with jam jar packaging hamper packing box

Whether you are making jam to give as gifts to friends and family or you are a small-scale food producer selling at farmers’ markets and food fairs, presentation is everything. Your jams, chutneys and preserves might taste divine; however, if you don’t think about your jam jar packaging, your jars will look unappealing and dull. Here we look at ways to package your home preserves to make them look just as professional as any shop-bought offering.

Jam jar packaging for Christmas gifts

If you are planning on giving your jams or chutneys as gifts this Christmas, think about presenting them in a three-jar presentation bag or box. These boxes really lift the gift to a new level, making it look very special indeed. If you are a jam producer, offering gift packs like this could increase sales, as customers will buy your produce to give as gifts themselves. For added festive cheer, we have a range of decorative Christmas ribbons to add a splash of colour and fun. Designs include colourful holly, a red deer and trees, and a stag and Christmas tree graphic.

Making hampers

If you make more than just jams and chutneys, another gift idea is to build up a small hamper of your homemade goods. Who could fail to be delighted by the gift of a hamper containing pickles, marmalade, raspberry vinegar, sloe gin, fudge and biscuits, for example? We have hamper trays and boxes in a variety of sizes, along with paper shred in which to nestle your homemade goodies. Again, if you sell at markets and Christmas fairs, gift trays could be a great way to boost takings during this busy season.

Gift tags – the finishing touch

In addition to presenting your produce in a lovely gift bag or box, there are lots of other small details that can make your jars stand out; for example, a carefully-chosen gift tag makes a world of difference to a gift. We have tags to suit all occasions, including a variety of charming, vintage-inspired Christmas tags and more contemporary designs including florals, animals and decorative luggage-style tags.
As you can see, it is easy to take a few simple jars of jam and turn them into a unique and thoughtful gift with a little time and creative inspiration. These gifts will delight the recipient and look just as sophisticated as the gift packs that line the shelves of department stores and gift shops. The difference is that your gift sets will be 100% homemade, 100% unique, 100% made with love, and given from the heart.

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Wholesale Glass Jars

Wholesale Glass Jars

Wares of Knutsford has built a reputation for having the widest choice of jam jars and bottles in the country, with a jar or bottle to suit every conceivable recipe or use. Whilst many of our customers come to us looking for just a few jars for their home preserving projects, others have much larger-scale requirements. Bulk Jam JarsWhether you want a single jar or 1,000 jars, we are happy to help!

Sourcing glass jars wholesale

Are you an artisan producer selling your jams, pickles and preserves at farmers’ markets and independent food stores? Do you own a kitchenwares store with customers searching for a full range of jam jars, bottles and preserving equipment? Whatever your business, Wares of Knutsford is ready to help if you are looking to buy large or small glass jars wholesale.

As a small-scale producer, having a clean and consistent approach to your jars gives your enterprise a much more professional look. Whatever type of business you run, it is important to find a supplier that always delivers on its promises; for example, if you are scheduled to produce a fresh batch of jam or chutney, you need to be confident that your jars will arrive on time and in perfect condition. Our loyal and long-standing customers, both trade and direct, demonstrate our commitment to delivering excellent service with every order.

Buying glass jars wholesale

If you are looking to source jars for your business, get in touch with us to find out about our wholesale pricing. Wholesale orders are delivered on a pallet at a time to suit. A minimum order value of £450 applies, excluding VAT and delivery. A pallet can contain just one line item or a mix of different jars and bottles, provided these are ordered in box quantities and not as singles to ensure packing and delivery safety.

Not just for businesses

You don’t have to be a business to benefit from our amazing bulk buy deals. We supply all sorts of customers who, for a variety of reasons, need to source a huge number of jars or bottles. Whether you are a bride-to-be looking to buy small glass jars wholesale to use as wedding favours or you are in a cooking club and want to save money by buying as a group, we can handle all bulk requirements. Our bulk buy deals offer great savings on our regular prices for those who want to order a large quantity of jars but don’t meet our minimum order value requirements for wholesale pricing.

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Modern and traditional kitchenware

Modern and traditional kitchenwareM & C Mixing Bowl

Cooking and home baking are pastimes in their own right alongside providing food for our families. The huge popularity of shows such as The Great British Bake Off and MasterChef and the celebrity status of chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Marco Pierre White have helped to make the kitchen a fashionable place to be. Anyone who is serious about their hobby likes to invest in new gadgets and equipment, with cooks no exception. With everything from traditional kitchenwares to modern kitchen gadgets, the keen cook is spoilt for choice here at Wares.

Stylish kitchenware for Italian cooking

Our Italian collection is one of the most popular ranges in our kitchenwares department. Everyone loves a good meal in an Italian restaurant; however, all too often we settle for ‘packet pasta’ when we cook Italian meals at home. Investing in some traditional Italian pasta-making equipment could change this, as making pasta at home will make a huge difference in terms of taste and is a lot of fun! Our pasta machine can make all sorts of pasta, including lasagne, fettuccine and tagliatelle, with optional extras available for making ravioli.

Contemporary kitchenware for a clean look

For the cook who prefers a modern look in their kitchen, we have plenty of choices. Stainless steel offers a timeless look that is easy to keep clean. Our magnetic knife racks will keep all your sharp knives safely stored on the wall, while our hanging S hooks can take care of larger items such as colanders and cooking spoons. If you struggle with how to store your fresh fruit and vegetables, consider a steel-framed trolley. This helps to keep produce fresh for longer and make it easy for you to see exactly what food you have left, minimising food waste.

Traditional mixing bowls

When it comes to mixing bowls, Mason Cash is the name to look out for. Few people can have grown up in the UK over the years without seeing the familiar brown mixing bowls and pie dishes in the family kitchen. The Mason Cash brand continues to thrive and has extended its range of traditional kitchenwares to include some more colourful variations of its classic lines. These pudding bowls and mixing bowls are now available in a range of bright colours and with various decorations adorning the outside of the bowls. The firm has also released a terracotta range, which includes casserole dishes, a bread form, and even a clay tagine for authentic Moroccan cooking.M & C Mixing Bowl

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Choosing the best bakeware to make mince pies

Choosing the best bakeware to make mince pies 

There is no denying it – Christmas will soon be here and this means mince pie season is now officially underway. Universally loved, the humble mince pie is a staple feature in British homes for the best part of two months as the festive period approaches. Here we take a look at how to make the perfect mince pie; in addition, also have some unusual ideas to add a twist to your mince pies.

Choosing your bakeware

Before you start making your mince pies, you need to ensure you have the right baking pans. Standard 12-hole baking tins are generally used; however, if you want to make mini mince pies for drinks parties, our 24-hole mini tart tin is the perfect size. If you want to do something different, there is nothing to stop you making giant mince pies using our six-hole baking pans or even making open-top mince pie tarts in our Yorkshire pudding baking pans.

Woman making small pies

Our mince pie recipe:

Ingredients

250g butter, cubed

375g plain flour

110g caster sugar

320g mincemeat

1 egg

icing sugar for dusting

Method

Make the pastry by combining the butter and flour and then adding the sugar. Knead it slightly to form a ball.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Use a glass or pastry cutter to cut circles of pastry and use these to line your baking tins. Spoon mincemeat onto each pastry base.

Use a slightly smaller sized glass or cutter to cut out lids for your mince pies. Place a lid on each pie and press down gently to seal the lids to the bases.

Beat the egg and brush the mince pies with it. Bake the pies for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden. Allow to cool before transferring to a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.

Caring for your bakeware

Our bakeware is all dishwasher, freezer and oven-safe and comes with a five-year non-stick guarantee. When washing, use a hot, soapy cloth – do not use scouring pads or other abrasive materials. With a little gentle care, these baking tins will last a lifetime and will produce dozens of delicious mince pies and other delights year after year.

Alternative mince pie ideas

If you fancy doing something different with your mince pies this year, why not make small meringues to top them with? For something very unusual, try adding a little grated cheese on top of the mincemeat before baking. This is something of a love it or hate it idea, but one you should at least try!

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Baking for a delicious Christmas

Baking for a delicious Christmas

Cropped image of hand removing cookie tray from oven in kitchen

Christmas is just a few short weeks away and soon the house will be full of friends and family, dropping in to exchange gifts and Christmas good wishes or perhaps even staying for a few days over the festive period. With all these extra visitors, it is wise to get organised with a few baking sessions so that you always have a tasty treat to offer around whenever someone calls to wish you a Merry Christmas. Here we look at a few ideas for festive baking success, with some old favourites and some ideas you may not have thought of.

Savoury baking ideas for Christmas

Sausage rolls are, of course, a firm favourite at Christmas-time and are so easy to make. Don’t feel you must make the puff pastry yourself, as shop-bought pastry is very good. For a luxury twist on the humble sausage roll, try pheasant sausage rolls, replacing two-thirds of the sausage meat with minced pheasant breast and adding a small amount of grated carrot and onion, some fresh thyme and a tiny pinch of chilli flakes.

When it comes to savoury treats, we don’t often think of muffins; however, mini muffins do make exceptional party nibbles. Try goat’s cheese and rosemary muffins, or cheddar cheese and bacon muffins. Our 12-hole mini muffin baking tins are the perfect size for canapé-style muffins.

Sweet baking ideas for Christmas

When it comes to sweet treats for Christmas, the mince pie has to top the list. If you really want to go all-out homemade, make your own mincemeat now and it will be ready to use in time for Christmas. Again, we have a range of non-stick baking pans, which are ideal for mince pies, in either traditional or deep-fill sizes.

Muffins also make brilliant sweet treats at Christmas. Try cranberry and orange muffins with a dash of cinnamon or allspice, sprinkled on top with demerara sugar. Make perfect chocolate and cranberry brownies in our 12-hole brownie pan, or go for a traditional Christmas fruit loaf with cherries, mincemeat, almonds, cranberries and just a small splash of rum for festive cheer. We have a wide range of loaf tins for this type of cake, including the latest silicone-based flexible baking tins.

As with everything in life, planning and preparation make everything go smoothly. By getting organised now, and perhaps trying out a few recipes in advance, you can be confident that you will be able to create some spectacular baking creations when Christmas comes around.

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Milk bottles are trending

Milk bottles are trending

Organic cold-pressed raw vegetable juices in glass bottlesOrganic cold-pressed raw vegetable juices in glass bottles

Everyone of a certain age feels a little nostalgia for those old-school milk bottles that were handed out every day in infant school. Some loved the daily drink of slightly warm milk, while others loathed it; however, thinking back to those days tends to stir up fond memories of childhood for everyone. The good news is that vintage-inspired milk bottles are in fashion right now and are being used for everything from crafts to chic drinking vessels. In today’s post, we take a look at some clever ideas for using these cute glass milk bottles.

Craft ideas using glass milk bottles

We have recently seen some very cute Christmas craft ideas using dinky glass milk bottles. Try painting the insides of the bottles white and adding sprigs of holly with berries to the bottles. Decorated with ribbons and grouped in threes, these make simple but effective Christmas decorations.

Another great idea is to again paint the insides of the vases but this time use decoupage to decorate the outside. Once complete, these bottles make gorgeous vases for a single flower stem or perhaps a small posy of wild flowers.

Small milk bottles also make lovely containers for gifts. Fill these bottles with sweets, homemade bath salts or dried herbs, such as lavender or rosemary, for a simple gift that looks right on trend.

Party serving ideas using glass milk bottles

These cute little bottles are not just for crafts. Just as Mason jars have become very popular as drinking jars, the humble milk bottle has also had a new lease of life as a drinking vessel. We have some great bottles with polka dot lids and colour-matched drinking straws that are perfect for parties – children and adults alike love them! These bottles are even available in a set of four, all neatly contained in a cute metal milk bottle holder just like in the old days.

Using these small milk bottles would work brilliantly at a wedding reception, either to hold wedding favours or to serve a toast of elderflower champagne, for example. If you are holding a grown-up party, they would also suit cocktails or liqueurs, especially if these drinks were milk or cream based.

Try a homemade milk liqueur using milk, vodka, oranges and a lemon for something quite out of the ordinary! A homemade Irish cream liqueur is also easy to make using whiskey, condensed milk, coffee, vanilla extract and almond extract. This could become a firm favourite at Christmas parties this year and it is a great excuse for ordering some of our cute milk bottles.

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Creative gift ideas using glass bottles with corks

Creative gift ideas using glass bottles with corksgladstone with sloe gin

The year is creeping on and whilst we don’t want to mention the Christmas word too soon, it really is time to start thinking about gift-giving – especially if you plan to give homemade gifts. This type of gift needs time to plan and create, so why not start right now?

Using glass bottles with corks

The brilliant thing about creating infused spirits such as sloe gin, rhubarb gin or plum vodka is that they take very little time to make; in fact, they must be one of the easiest home preserving things you can create. Just add your chosen fruit and sugar to the tipple of your choice and pop it into a dark cupboard for a couple of months, shaking occasionally. You need to follow a recipe, of course, to ensure that your end product is not too syrupy, but there really isn’t much more to it.

It can be a good idea to use a larger bottle for the infusing and then decant the finished spirit into smaller bottles for gift giving. Our 700ml Howarth glass bottle will make your creation look every inch as if it has come from a boutique distillery; alternatively, if you would like to give smaller bottles, the Howarth is also available in a 250ml size.

Crafty gifts in glass bottles with corks

It is not just drinks-based gifts that you can create using small bottles with cork stoppers. There are endless craft ideas that you can try out using our range of corked bottles; for example, our chunky Gladstone bottles would look fabulous filled with homemade bath salts.

Needle felting is so easy to get the hang of, with tiny needle felted scenes looking superb when set carefully in a glass bottle. We have seen gorgeous examples with needle felted sheep grazing on a lush green hillside as soft, wispy clouds roll overhead. Use long tweezers to glue your needle felted items into position. When you are happy, seal the bottle with the cork and you are good to go with a personal gift that shows you have really taken time over it.

Another great idea for small bottles with cork stoppers is to make a tiny snow globe. Check online for tutorials on how to do this and then let your imagination loose to decide what to add into your snow globe. The only problem with this idea is that you might find the finished item is just too cute to give away!

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Wedding favours in jars and bottles

Wedding favours in jars and bottleswedding favour jars

The tradition of giving wedding favours has a rich history dating back to 16th century France, where the aristocracy would give ‘bonbonnieres’ to their guests as a symbol of care and wishes for good health. Giving small favours to wedding guests is just as popular today as it has ever been, with many people now choosing to make their own wedding favours for a uniquely personal touch.

Wedding favours in jars

When it comes to deciding what favours you would like to create for your wedding and what jars to use, the sky really is the limit. Tiny bite-sized macaroons in bright colours look fantastic in our 125ml deluxe jam jars and are hugely popular right now. If you are a little more adventurous, why not bake your own homemade cookies and decorate them with icing that matches the colours of your wedding theme? Simply pop the little cookies in our globe jam jars or our clip top jars and add a label. Using jars in this way and labelling them with a simple gift tag means the wedding favours can double up as place name settings, which is one less thing to worry about!

If you would like to give a favour that is not food-based, why not consider planting succulents in jam jars? These easy-to-grow plants will give your guests a lasting reminder of your wedding day. Another popular idea is to fill a favour jar with wildflower seeds so that your guests can sow the seeds at home for an environmentally-friendly memory of the day.

Wedding favours in bottles

Wedding favour miniatures are also very much on trend, with brides and grooms choosing to fill miniature bottles with all sorts of tempting delights, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. If you are keen on homemade drinks, elderflower champagne is guaranteed to be a big hit at any wedding, whilst infused gins and vodkas are easy to make and taste sublime. Rhubarb gin looks and tastes superb, with its pinkish tint and hint of sharpness, and homemade limoncello can add a zesty touch.

If you do not want to give a drink as a wedding favour, there are plenty of other creative ideas for wedding favour miniatures. One couple, who got married on a beach, filled tiny bottles with a small amount of sand and a seashell, along with their names and the date of their wedding on a small tag inside the bottle. Our Gladstone bottles would work perfectly for this idea.

With imagination and the right jar or bottle, you can create your own amazing wedding favour miniatures.

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Alternative uses for Kilner Jars

KilnerAlternative uses for Kilner Jars

If you think that Kilner jars are just for jams, chutneys and home preserving, think again! These iconic glass jars with their uniquely-designed lids are perfect for all sorts of other uses; for example, you can use them for everything in interior design projects, craft activities and even serve food and drinks in them. In today’s blog, we share some of our favourite alternative ideas for Kilner creativity.

Making gifts using Kilner jars

There are so many easy ways to create a lovely homemade gift using Kilner jars. Fill a jar with delicious homemade cookies or shortbreads and top it off with a festive gift tag for a charming Christmas gift; alternatively, add a tealight and some fresh or dried sprigs of herbs, such as lavender or rosemary, for a seasonal gift that could not be easier to make. You could even make your very own snow globes using plastic toy animals, distilled water, glycerine and glitter. Glue the animal in place in the jar, fill the jar with water and a tablespoon of glycerine, and pour in the glitter. Seal the lid tightly and hey presto, you have your snow globe!

Kilner jar storage ideas

Using these jars for storage is a great idea for the kitchen or pantry. Using the larger sized jars for flour, pasta and oats will keep everything tidy and fresh, while smaller jars are perfect for herbs and spices. For a rustic look in the kitchen, why not create some shelves using reclaimed scaffold planks and line up your Kilner jars on them for a really stylish feel.

It is not just the kitchen that can benefit from Kilner jar storage. Small Kilner jars are perfect for organising sewing items such as pins, needles and buttons; meanwhile, paperclips, drawing pins and loose change can all be tidied up stylishly in a small jar in the home office.

Kilner jar crafts

If you enjoy craft projects, there are so many ways you could use a Kilner jar. Try painting jars using Annie Sloan chalk paint to create a rustic container, or decorate a jar using pretty Japanese washi tape. From tea light holders to soap dispensers, pen pots to plant pots and bird feeders to pincushions, the only limit is your imagination!

From small Kilner jars to giant jars, our extensive range covers every shape and size to suit all types of creative application. Why not take a look now and get busy with your own creative Kilner jar ideas?

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Making healthy meals in Mason jars

Making healthy meals in Mason jars

healthy vegetable salad in mason jar

When people think of the humble Mason jar, it is easy to assume that its sole use is for jam making and home preserves; however, there is so much more to these traditional glass jars. They make amazing serving dishes, for example, as they show food off in all its colourful glory. In today’s blog, we look at some ideas for healthy meals that work brilliantly in Mason jars.

Techniques for serving food in glass jars

Using Mason jars to serve food in is a fabulous idea, as you can see all the ingredients through the glass. Recipes that involve layering different ingredients, one on top of the next, work particularly well and look visually appealing. These jars are also heatproof; therefore, you are not limited to cold salads and desserts. Single portion pies work well, as do soufflés, baked egg dishes and mini puddings.

Healthy lunches in Mason jars

Mason jars are fantastic for packed lunches, as the screw top lid keeps everything safe. If lunchtimes have become a little dull, why not ditch the boring sandwich and take a jar full of healthy salad and noodles to work instead? Try a prawn and feta cheese salad, or perhaps a pesto and pasta salad, with succulent cherry tomatoes and a splash of olive oil. The beauty of the ‘salad in a jar’ approach is that you can experiment, throwing in whatever vegetables and salad items you have to hand for a unique concoction. It is hard to go wrong and your lunch will always look more appetising in a glass jar than in a plastic container!

Buy Mason jars online

If we have inspired you to start preparing a few tasty and healthy meals in Mason jars, you may need some jars to get started. Look no further, as you can buy Mason jars online from our comprehensive range. We have jars of every shape and size, including traditional Mason style jars and jars from Kilner and Le Parfait. The 250ml jars are perfect for breakfast dishes or desserts, whilst the larger 500ml jars work well for salads and lunch dishes.

We hope we have inspired you to have a go at some tasty meals served in glass jars. Whether a simple salad or a sumptuous berry and creme fraiche dessert, showing it off in a glass jar will make your meal look really special. Why not try this approach at your next dinner party?

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