Category Archives: Glass Jars

Miniature bottles for wedding favours

image1Miniature bottles for wedding favours

Spring is just around the corner, which means that wedding season is almost upon us. Whether you are getting married in the coming months or your wedding is still a long way off, you are no doubt keen to learn simple ways to create budget-friendly special touches for your big day. Whilst it might be hard to take a homemade approach with your wedding dress or the wedding meal, some aspects of the event lend themselves perfectly to a little homemade flair. DIY wedding favours are a good example and in today’s blog post we come up with some great ideas for how to fill empty miniature bottles with all sorts of delicious things to create unique and inspired wedding favours.

Creative wedding favour ideas with miniature bottles

By filling empty miniature bottles with your own unique blends or infusions you can create your very own wedding favours that are tailor-made for your wedding theme. Simply decanting your favourite single-malt into empty miniature bottles is a great way to save money, but you can get a whole lot more creative with your own infusions. Rhubarb gin or vodka will have your guests clamouring for your secret recipe, whilst traditional sloe gin is always a firm favourite. Homemade limoncello with give your wedding a touch of the Mediterranean, whilst lavender gin will impart a real ‘country chic’ feel and work brilliantly for weddings in rural or outdoor venues.

As with many things, the devil is in the detail. To pull off these wedding favour ideas, you need to think about presentation. Gorgeous handwritten labels can look superb, while a short ribbon around the neck of the bottle will top everything off perfectly. We have seen some great ideas on Pinterest; for example, labels have been printed with the phrase ‘Drink Me’ just like in Alice in Wonderland.

Simple luggage label tags tied with string or twine give a chic but definitely homemade feel to your wedding favours, keeping costs down at the same time. If you want to jazz them up a little, look out for vintage-themed rubber stamps to add colourful designs to the labels.

Which miniature bottles to choose

We have an excellent choice of empty miniature bottles here at Wares for you to choose from. There are miniature whisky bottles, wine bottles, and bottles for spirit-based infusions. We even have some more unusual miniatures, including the cork-stoppered Gladstone bottle that looks like it has come straight from the pages of a Harry Potter novel. Why not browse our range today to find the perfect bottles for your wedding?

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Need lots of glass bottles – wholesale?

Need lots of glass bottles – Wholesale? 

various jars of fruit jam on wooden table

The foodie market in the UK is going from strength to strength, with increasing numbers of people wanting to learn about the provenance of the food they eat, to shop local and to support small-scale producers. Up and down the country, farmers’ markets and food festivals are thriving and more and more people are deciding to become artisan producers, selling their own unique ranges of chutneys, pickles, sauces and salsas.

If you are an artisan producer of preserves or juices, one of the biggest challenges you are likely to face is finding a reliable supplier of quality glass bottles and jars. Some suppliers source bottles and jars of inferior quality, whilst others have prohibitive trade terms or are unreliable when it comes to delivery timeframes. Here at Wares of Knutsford, things are very different, which is why our wholesale customers return to us time and time again for a consistent and professional service.

Buying glass bottles wholesale

If you are making large volumes of drinks, cordials or sauces, it makes sense to buy your glass bottles wholesale. The cost savings of buying in bulk are significant, and you can even order mixed pallets – subject to pack sizes – for each type of bottle or jar you want to buy.

To qualify for our wholesale terms, the minimum order value is £450, excluding delivery and VAT. Spread across a range of glass bottles and jars, this quantity is easy to achieve – our ‘mix and match’ approach means that you do not have to overstock or buy more than you really need to lock in the best prices.

Glass bottles wholesale delivery

Wholesale orders are despatched securely wrapped on pallets for safe and secure delivery and ease of storage once they arrive. We always telephone our wholesale customers to confirm the delivery date, so there are never any unexpected delays or unscheduled visits from the courier company.

Wholesale prices

We show a small selection of wholesale options on our website. If you would like a full wholesale price list or a tailored quote for a specific order, simply get in touch with us on 01477 537224 and we will be delighted to work through your requirements.

For customers who can take even larger quantities, the price savings are even greater for single item bulk purchases. A pallet contains just one size and style of bottle or jar, typically containing around 1,000 units.

If you are an artisan producer looking to take your business to the next level in terms of professional presentation, look no further than Wares of Knutsford.

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Have you considered hexagonal jars?

Have you considered hexagonal jars? 

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

The humble glass jar has taken many forms over the years, with many different shapes available that are quite distinct from the traditional 1lb jar with straight sides. From short, squat terrine-style jars to tall and slender chutney jars, there is a jar for every type of pickle or preserve. In today’s blog post we shine a light on hexagonal glass jars and offer a recipe for something seasonal that will look stunning in this style of jar.

Why use hexagonal jars?

Traditionally, hexagonal glass jars were most commonly used for honey. It is thought that their hexagonal shape mirrored the hexagons found in honeycombs, so there was a natural synergy between the honey’s starting point and the means of storing it for use in the kitchen. Nowadays, of course, it is sadly much less common to keep your own bees and jar your own honey, but hexagonal glass jars have been taken up for a wide variety of purposes. Here is a quick recipe for lime marmalade, which will look brilliant in these jars.

Ingredients

1kg limes
1.5kg sugar
1.7 litres water

Method

Wash and dry the limes before slicing them as thinly as possible. Remove any seeds, put the lime slices and any juice into a basin, and cover and leave overnight.

Pour the limes and juice into a large maslin pan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 45 minutes until the lime rind has softened.

Remove from the heat and measure how much lime mixture you have. Put the mixture back into the maslin pan and add 200g of sugar for every 240ml of lime mixture.

Heat the mixture at a moderate heat, stirring continuously until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil and continue boiling for 10 minutes, then check the temperature for setting point. If the marmalade has reached 105°C/222°F, allow to stand for five minutes and then pour into clean, sterilised jars; if it has not reached setting point, continue boiling for another minute or two and test again. Seal the jars and label when cool before storing in a cool, dry place.

Our range of hexagonal jars

We have a wide choice of hexagonal jam jars available, ranging from individual portion jars at just 45ml up to 283ml jars. All jars are available with vinegar-proof lids in a choice of colours and patterns. These jars are available in pack sizes ranging from 12 jars right up to 500 jars to suit all types of preserving project.

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Create your own wedding favour jars

Create your own wedding favour jars

Custom and eco candle holders with jars and paper labels printed for a Christmas dinner

We might still be in dark and dreary January, with wet and windy weather at every turn, but spring is very definitely around the corner – and this means that wedding season will soon be upon us. If you are planning to tie the knot this year and intend to make your own wedding favours, today’s blog post may just be of interest to you. Read on for some creative ideas on how to use small glass jars to create unique and attractive wedding favours.

Creative ideas for wedding favour jars

Favours for weddings can take all sorts of shapes and sizes, from pretty scented candles to jars of sweets or miniature macarons. White chocolate Jazzies – those chocolate discs with coloured sugar sprinkles – make the perfect sweet treat to go in a small glass jar. Topped with a silver lid, a pastel ribbon and a cute and decorative label bearing the wedding details, you have a simple but effective wedding favour that does not cost the earth. Jelly beans are another firm favourite, along with homemade strawberry bonbons or fudge, and retro sweets such as Flying Saucers and Love Hearts.

If sweets are not your thing, why not fill a jar with salted popcorn, or even the actual popping corn so that guests can take it away and make their own popcorn at home? You could even fill your jars with your own pickle or preserve; after all, who can resist traditional strawberry jam? If you fancy doing something a little quirkier, go for something such as a hedgerow jelly or dandelion marmalade. This will certainly get your guests talking and will create a lasting memento of your special day for guests to take away and enjoy.

Choosing your wedding favour jars

Of course, the perfect jar for your wedding favours depends on exactly what you decide to create. Smaller jars are ideal for filling with sweets, for example, but you will need a standard 1lb jam jar or a stylish equivalent if you want to build a ‘bake your own cookies’ jar or something similar.

Clip top jars are popular with our wedding couples, as they look stylish and fun. With a cute-as-a-button label or sticker and a pretty ribbon that matches the colour scheme of the wedding, these jars look every inch as sophisticated as wedding favours bought from professional suppliers but come at a fraction of the price if you make your own.

Why not browse our online store to find your perfect wedding favour jars?

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Small glass jars at wholesale prices

Small glass jars at wholesale prices

various jars of fruit jam on wooden table

There is a common saying that the best things come in small packages, and here at Wares we see this frequently. From heavenly little DIY wedding favours created by enthusiastic brides-to-be to miniature preserves lovingly put together by artisan makers and home enthusiasts, smaller sizes sometimes suit a project perfectly. In today’s blog post we take a look at some of our small glass jars and reveal the kind of savings that are available by buying these jars on wholesale terms.

Our range of small glass jars

We carry a truly extensive range of small jars and bottles in every conceivable shape and size. Whether you are looking for jars that can be used to create unique and inspired wedding favours for your big day or are an artisan producer of exquisite homemade pickles and preserves, we have the jar that is just right for you.

In addition to our standard range of smaller glass jars, we have some exciting new lines currently in stock. Our 138ml squat preserving jars are great for small samples, specialist preserves such as spicy jellies, and more unusual jams and marmalades. These jars are available with a variety of different lid designs to suit your particular preserving project down to a T.

Also new to Wares is the classic German brand Weck. Weck jars feature a unique clip top system that uses a rubber seal, much like Kilner jars, along with two metal clips that form the seal. Jars start as small as 35ml and are available in a terrine-style shape or in a taller shape that resembles a rather stylish jam jar. For something a little out of the ordinary and guaranteed to catch people’s eye, this new range from Weck is highly recommended.

Buying small glass jars wholesale

As with almost all of our jars and bottles, our smaller jars are available in volume quantities for fantastic cost savings. As an example, the squat preserving jars mentioned earlier are available in pack sizes ranging from 12 jars right up to 500; the larger the quantity purchased, the better the cost savings. For producers who meet our trade terms, our jars are also available to buy on wholesale terms. Buying small glass jars wholesale cuts down on delivery costs and means that the risk of breakages is reduced, since the jars are delivered securely wrapped on a pallet.

If you would like to find out more about buying in bulk or about opening a trade account with us, simply get in touch by email or call us on 01477 537224.

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Jam jar craft ideas

Jam jar craft ideas

Pink roses in jars on rustic wood shelf for Valentines DAy.

January can be such a tricky month. After the expense of Christmas, the next payday can seem such a very long way off; in addition, with the weather distinctly chilly and the evenings still dark so early, it can be difficult to know how to fill these evenings – especially if you have children. Fear not, as in today’s blog post we have come up with some budget-busting ideas for how to transform some old jam jars with fun and inspiring craft projects.

Turn a jam jar into a fairy house

Our first idea, which children will absolutely love, is to transform a humble jam jar into a tiny fairy house. For this project you will need polymer clay, such as Fimo, in several colours, which many children already have; if not, you can source this from craft stores or toy shops. Of course, you will also need an old jam jar. First, roll out a flat panel of polymer clay and shape it around the jam jar, cutting out a panel for the door and two small windows. In brown clay, cut out a shape for the door, with a tiny heart-shaped window, and fix this into the gap you left for the door. You can score lines in the door to give it a wooden effect, and stick on a tiny button as a doorknob. Decorate the sides of the fairy house with Fimo, shaping it into trees, flowers, or anything else you wish.

Next, take the lid and build up a roof for the fairy house, again using polymer clay. If you make the roof pointed, you will be able to lift the roof easily to pop in a tealight. Again, decorate the roof using Fimo and scoring the clay in whatever design you wish. Shaping and colouring the roof to look like a toadstool can be a fun idea. When you have decorated the jar and added any finishing touches, leave the clay to harden in accordance with the instructions on the pack. Once it is fully set, pop in a tealight for a cute and whimsical effect. For safety reasons, never leave a tealight unattended or in a child’s bedroom.

Turn a jam jar into a pincushion

If your children love sewing, why not help them to create their very own pincushion and sewing store? Fill the jam jar with needles, thread, buttons and other bits, then glue a piece of foam onto the top of the lid and cover it with pretty fabric for an instant pincushion.

Who knew jam jars could be such fun!

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Kilner jars for marmalade

Kilner jars for marmalade

Pumpkin butter on concrete background, selective focus.

The new year always brings with it a sense of optimism and excitement for the coming year. We start to plan what we might grow in our vegetable gardens and think about all the things we would like to make in the kitchen. With Seville oranges in season at this time of year, making marmalade is the perfect way to kick-start all those good intentions for your home preserving activities, so today we take a look at what is involved and what equipment you need to make some amazing marmalade.

Why Kilner jars are the perfect choice

With Seville oranges only available for a limited time each year, it is important to get cracking if you want to make some marmalade. It is essential to get it right first time, as these oranges will not be in the grocery stores for long. This is why a Kilner jar is ideal for this task – the airtight seals and trusted quality of these jars will keep your marmalade safe and away from harmful bacteria that could cause it to go bad.

Aside from a good supply of jars, the equipment you need is the same as for making jam. You will need a good-quality maslin pan, a jam thermometer, and a wooden or silicone spoon for stirring. As marmalade contains shreds of peel, you won’t need a muslin cloth or strainer for this preserving project.

Show off your produce in Kilner jars

When you have put in the time and effort to make your own delicious marmalade, it makes sense to show if off to its best advantage. By choosing a Kilner jar for the job, you will have homemade marmalade that you can be proud to display on the breakfast table. The iconic Kilner jar just oozes quality and will help show off the quality of your marmalade and other preserves; in contrast, if you reuse an old jam jar from the supermarket and just stick a plain white printer label on the jar, it will suggest that you have not made the preserve with love.

Why not check out our range of Kilner jars to see which fit your project best? Choose from screw cap jars or clip top jars, and be sure to select enough jars for the quantity of marmalade you intend to make.

If you plan to make your own marmalade this year, why not share photos of your efforts with us on Facebook or Twitter? Feel free to share your recipes and triumphs – or failures! – with us, and feel free to ask for tips or advice.

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Buying wholesale glass jars

Buying wholesale glass jars

various jars of fruit jam on wooden table

From super-keen home preserving enthusiasts and competition jam makers to artisan producers and kitchen businesses, people up and down the country are switching on to the benefits and cost savings of buying their jars wholesale. In today’s blog post, we examine these benefits in detail to help you decide whether buying in wholesale quantities is right for you.

Why buy wholesale glass jars?

The most likely group of people to buy larger quantities of jars at one time is the small army of makers who run cottage industries at home, selling their produce at markets, craft fairs and local outlets throughout the country. These small-scale producers create delicious jams, pickles and preserves that outclass even the most expensive shop-bought equivalents in terms of taste, food miles and value for money. The quality of the produce comes from the quality of the ingredients, the careful attention to detail in the recipes, and the love and care that goes into making each jar of jam or chutney. The value for money comes from a sound business head behind the company, which means sourcing all the component parts – jars included – at the very best prices. By buying in bulk, artisan producers can keep costs low and compete with the well-known labels.

Buying wholesale is not just for people who sell their produce commercially. Subject to meeting minimum order values, anyone can take advantage of our wholesale prices. Whether you are a keen cook who likes to make all manner of jams, chutneys and other preserved delights or you are part of a WI group or a local cooking club, you can still take advantage of the savings and convenience of buying in bulk.

Our extensive range of wholesale glass jars

Most of our jars are available in pack sizes ranging from six right up to 300. Pallets can be mixed across different styles of jar, as long as pack sizes are respected. If you wish to buy a full pallet of jars that are all the same size and style, further discounts are available.

We always phone our wholesale customers to discuss delivery to ensure that the order is received at a time that suits.

It is not just our jars that are available to buy in wholesale quantities; in addition, we offer wholesale bottles, again in a range of pack sizes for mixed pallet orders. A pallet comprising a range of different jam jars, chutney jars and bottles suddenly does not seem quite such a large amount!

To discuss wholesale bottles and jars, simply give us a call.

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Blending spices at home

Blending spices at home 

Health Food - seeds and pulses in jars, with reflections - lentils, split peas, pearl barley, coriander seed, black pepper, cous cous, corn, and rice - panorama.

When it comes to cooking sensational meals, lots of people think that they ‘just can’t cook’, assuming that there is some secret art to good cooking skills or that you are somehow born a good cook. Whilst we don’t pretend that everyone can reach the dizzying heights of MasterChef, or can rival the very best Michelin-starred restaurants, there is something simple that you can do to make most meals much more delicious: season and spice your dishes effectively. In today’s blog post, we take a look at how to make a few great spice blends to have to hand for any meal.

Fill those spice jars with aromatic flavours

Once you realise just how much of a difference good spices can make to a dish, it is easy to buy readymade sauces and spice mixes from the supermarket; however, homemade spice blends will always win out over a supermarket spice mix, so it pays to do some research and blend your own.

Start by assembling a good range of quality spices from which to create your blends. Try to find an Indian or Chinese supermarket or food store, as these usually have a superb range of spices that are much fresher and much cheaper than conventional supermarkets. They also come in bigger packs, so you may need to stock up on plenty of glass spice jars to store all your new spices in.

Once you have all the basic spices in place, it is time to get creative and mix some blends yourself. A Cajun spice mix is a good blend to start with and can be used rubbed on chicken wings or thighs, for example, to create a mouthwatering dish. Blend together salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme, with a little more salt and garlic powder than the other ingredients. Store in a spice jar and simply rub onto whatever meat you would like to try it on.

Another great blend to try is homemade curry powder. This contains ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, ground ginger, cinnamon and cardamom seeds. It is guaranteed to taste a whole lot more authentic than a readymade sauce that comes in a jar from the supermarket!

Our range of spice jars

If you are inspired to create your own spice blends, why not check out our range of glass spice jars to get your spice collection off to the very best start? We have an excellent range to choose from and the jars are even available with different coloured lids for colour coding your collection.

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Marmalade season recipe ideas

Marmalade season recipe ideas

Citrus jam in glass jar, selective focus

As the end of the year draws closer, you could be forgiven for thinking that there is little on offer for the keen home preserves enthusiast. Fresh fruit and vegetables are in short supply, so there is little left with which to make any pickles or preserves; however, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The marmalade season is almost upon us; in fact, the first of this year’s Seville oranges are already starting to make an appearance in the grocery stores. Now is the time to hunt out some glass jars for marmalade making, think about some new recipes, and look forward to the new year with a batch of delicious marmalade. Read on for a tasty marmalade recipe idea and some tips for choosing the right jars.

Choosing your marmalade jars

We are big fans of marmalade here at Wares, so we always heartily recommend making a lot of it. Not everyone is such a fan, however, so you might want to choose some of our smaller glass jars for marmalade making so that each jar is not open for too long once it is in use. Indeed, many people opt for making individual jars of marmalade in our miniature jars in the style of a hotel or B&B breakfast. For us, however, the 8oz jam jars are perfect for marmalade, along with the Bonne Maman-style jars.

A recipe for those marmalade jars

Ingredients

1kg Seville oranges
4 lemons
2kg granulated sugar
125g root ginger

Method

Peel the oranges and slice the peel into very thin pieces.

Squeeze the juice from the oranges and add to two litres of water. Put the orange pulp and pips in a muslin cloth and place in the juice/water overnight, along with the strips of orange peel.

In the morning, tip the juice into a maslin pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and add the ginger, chopped very finely. Simmer on a medium heat for about one hour.

Remove the muslin cloth and leave the pan to cool slightly.

Add the sugar to the pan and bring to the boil again. Squeeze any remaining juice from the muslin cloth into the pan. Whilst the marmalade is boiling, remove any froth or scum that forms on the surface to ensure a clear preserve. Keep boiling for 15 minutes, then test for a good set. You can use the cold plate method or a jam thermometer, which should reach 105°C.

Once setting temperature is achieved, carefully spoon the marmalade into sterilised jars. Label and store in a cool place.

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Le Parfait jars and their uses

Le Parfait jars and their uses 

Homemade granola muesli with nuts and dried fruits and yogurt in glasses on rustic wooden background. Healthy breakfast.

It goes without saying that we love every sort of jar here at Wares of Knutsford, from traditional jam jars to fancy jars for pickles and chutneys and decorative jars that make great gifts. We have to confess, however, that over the years we have become quite fond of one of France’s best-kept secrets – Le Parfait jars. In today’s blog post, we look at these great little jars and offer some advice on uses for them.

What are Le Parfait jars?

These jars have been firm favourites in French households for decades. In a way, Le Parfait could be said to be the French equivalent of Kilner – an iconic brand known and loved by families of all ages. Nowadays, Le Parfait has branched out overseas and its range of jars is now available here in the UK for discerning home preserves enthusiasts to discover.

The basic jars from Le Parfait are clip top jars, suitable for use in home preserving projects. Like Kilner’s clip top jars, they contain a distinctive orange rubber ring to make a good seal on the jars and keep the contents fresh and airtight, and a strong metal clip to hold the lid in place. The jars range in size from 500ml right up to three litres, so there are plenty of preserving options open to anyone who wants to try these jars.

Preserved fruits and vegetables work brilliantly in these jars, from preserved cherries in the smaller jars to preserved lemons or apricots in the big three-litre jars. If you are looking for savoury ideas rather than sweet ones, pickled red cabbage would work well in the smaller jars, whilst pickled eggs and pickled onions would be ideal stored in the larger jars.

In addition to the clip top jars that we have described, Le Parfait produces a range of charming storage jars with eye-catching orange lids. Use these for storing dried kitchen goods such as pasta, flour, rice and dried fruits, or even as a cookie jar to stand on the kitchen counter. These storage jars are available in one-litre, two-litre and three-litre sizes.

Le Parfait jars from Wares of Knutsford

If we have tempted you to investigate what all the French fuss is about over Le Parfait, head over to our online store to check out the gorgeous range of jars we stock. We are sure that you will soon find yourself falling in love with this brand, just as we have!

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A Christmas punch recipe for drinking mugs

A Christmas punch recipe for drinking mugs

ice tea with slice of lemon in mason jar on the wooden rustic background

If you have rashly invited all your friends and neighbours around for Christmas drinks this year and you are now wondering what on earth you are going to serve them, fear not. We have the perfect solution – a deliciously warming fruit punch that gets the party moving and leaves everyone full of festive cheer. If you are also wondering what you are going to serve your Christmas drinks in, we have this covered too. Read on to find out how to make a sensational Christmas punch and how to serve it in the most charming of ways.

Drinking mugs are the answer

Let’s start by tackling the question of how to serve your festive drinks at your party. Instead of a ramshackle collection of wine glasses and other drinking glasses, why not invest in glass drinking jars this year? These are essentially jam jars with lids and handles that are designed to be used for drinks. Handles make warm drinks easier to hold, and the lids – with straws – mean that you don’t have to worry about fruit punch making its way onto your lovely carpets and sofa. You could use simple jam jars instead, of course, but we think the advantages of lids and handles make special drinking jars well worth the investment.

There are all sorts of Christmas punch recipes available; however, for us, this kind of punch has to have a rich, deep red colour and a spicy kick. Add a bottle of full-bodied red wine, 500ml of cranberry juice, 100ml of brandy, 150ml of elderflower liqueur, 150g of blackberries, 150g of sliced black grapes and three sliced plums to a large bowl or jug. Add two teaspoons of allspice and a stick of cinnamon. Put in the fridge for at least two hours to allow the flavours to blend. Just before you are ready to serve the punch, heat it gently in a pan for a few minutes. The purpose of heating is simply to warm the drink – not to boil off the alcohol or make the punch too hot to drink!

Our range of drinking mugs

Over in our online store, we have a comprehensive range of drinking jars and mugs to choose from. Some are available just as they are, and some have lids and straws to suit your personal requirements. We love the basic Mason jar types; however, we are also charmed by the more decorative jars, such as the pretty coloured Kilner jars and the ones with the bunting design. There is even a jar shaped like a little owl – how cute is that?

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Christmas scenes in jam jars

Christmas scenes in jam jars 

Christmas tree in jar. Christmas concept illustration for web, cover, postcard.

December is almost upon us, which can only mean one thing – it is time to start thinking about decorating the house ready for the festive celebrations. We all have our favourite, much-loved decorations that have been in the family for years, of course, and these always have pride of place in every home; however, it can still be fun to spend a day on Christmas crafts to create some new decorations that show off your talents and add a homemade touch to Christmas. Today, we are tackling Christmas ornaments that use glass jars, so get your craft kits ready!

Jam jars for creative crafts

If you read our blog regularly, you will know that we are big fans of using glass jars for creative craft projects. They are just so handy and versatile, and the sheer range of sizes available makes them perfect for craft ideas. From the tiniest jars that hold just a single tealight to gallon jars that you can really go to town with, jars really are your crafty friend at Christmas. Check out our range today to see what type of jar takes your fancy for your Christmas decoration project.

Jam jars make great ornaments

You don’t have to be an accomplished artist or designer to make effective and stylish decorations with glass jars; for example, here is a simple idea that anyone can make. First, choose a jar and make sure that it is spotlessly clean, inside and out. Take a piece of white paper and cut it to the size of the jar – wrap it around the jar to get the width, and make the height the same as from the base of the jar to start of the neck. Using a sharp craft knife, carefully cut out a scene along the bottom edge using basic paper-cutting techniques. Fir trees are easy to start with, or why not add a house, or an animal such as a donkey, if you are more accomplished? When you have cut out the scene, carefully paste the paper onto the inside of the jar using spray mount, pressing all the cut edges into place to make sure they stick down, and add a little snow powder or glitter whilst the spray mount is still tacky. Add a tealight candle and you have your very own magical Christmas decoration.

If paper-cutting sounds too complex, simply take a walk outside and find some festive greenery, such as holly, fir cones or pine branches. Carefully place them in a jar, surrounding a candle. This is so easy, but so effective!

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Grow your own to fill your jars

Grow your own to fill your jars 

Fresh picked rainbow carrots including different coloured carrots. Colourful carrot varieties that are fashionable now.

With the current chilly days and long hours of darkness, you could be forgiven for not thinking too much about gardening; however, now is the perfect time to start planning for next year, perusing the seed catalogues at leisure and deciding what you might like to grow next season. In today’s blog post, we take a look at growing your own fruit and vegetables to give you your very own year-round supply of fresh ingredients for your jams, pickles and preserves.

Grow the ingredients to fill your jam jars

Growing your own fresh and tasty fruit and vegetables is the ideal thing for anyone who loves home preserving. From jars of classic strawberry jam to homemade chutney and bottles of rhubarb gin, you will save money and have the satisfaction of knowing that you were responsible for absolutely every stage of the process.

If you only have a small garden, or even no garden at all, don’t be put off having a go at growing your own. There are all sorts of options for gardening in a small space, with plenty of fruit and vegetables suitable for even the tiniest window boxes. There are even varieties of strawberries and cherry tomatoes that grow brilliantly in hanging baskets, so you really only need an outside wall!

Another option for those who do not have any space at home to grow fruit or vegetables is to get an allotment close to your home. As growing your own food is so popular right now, allotments often have long waiting lists; therefore, if this is something that appeals, make it your early New Year’s resolution to get your name down for one as soon as possible. If the thought of a full-sized allotment is a little daunting, why not team up with a friend or neighbour to share the allotment?

Having decided that you want to grow your own, it is time to start thinking about what to grow. The key here is to grow things that you know you will love eating and that will thrive in your local climate. It is no good deciding to grow melons unless you have a greenhouse, for example, and carrots won’t do well if your soil is very stony. Take some time to prepare a plan of what you would like to grow, along with the harvesting dates for each crop.

Jars and bottles to the rescue

Every gardener has a glut at some point, of course, so make sure you have plenty of jars and bottles ready to turn your produce into delicious pickles and preserves.

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Kilner for Christmas

Kilner for Christmas kilner bottles lemonade 2

Ho, ho, ho – tis the season to be jolly! If your Christmas gift list is long and complicated, and you hate having to trudge around the shops looking for the perfect gift for each friend and family member you have to buy for, we may just have the answer – at least for those who love cooking or making things, or those you feel could be persuaded to take up home preserves or other kitchen activities. In today’s blog post, we take a look at all things Kilner, highlighting the best Christmas gift ideas from the range.

Christmas gift ideas from Kilner

Everyone has heard of the Kilner jar, of course. These ubiquitous jars are instantly recognised by many, even if they have never made a jar of jam in their lives. In recent times, however, the firm has branched out to produce a much wider range of goods, all staying true to the original design aesthetic and quality standards that the brand has come to epitomise.

In addition to the standard Kilner jar range, there is a huge assortment of more unusual items to choose from, with many of these making superb gift ideas. The nine-piece drinking mug and straw set is a great idea and will go down well with those who like making homemade drinks. Mulled wine around the Christmas tree will be extra special when served in these great mugs. There is also a lemonade set, which includes decorative drinking mugs with lids, straws and a recipe booklet to help set you on the road to making your own refreshing lemonade.

The Sloe Gin Kit contains everything needed to get started making sloe gin, including a two-litre clip top jar to make the gin and four 250ml sloe gin bottles to decant it into once it is ready. There is also a funnel, a muslin cloth and a recipe leaflet, with everything presented in a delightful gift box.

Make your own Kilner gift set

If one of the ready-made gift sets from Kilner does not appeal to you, you could always put together your very own gift set, tailored exactly to the recipient you have in mind. If you think someone would like to get into jam making, for example, why not buy them the gorgeous red enamel jam pan from Kilner and fill it with additional jam-making equipment, such as a thermometer, funnel, muslin cloth and one of the delightful chalk labelling sets? Browsing through the range in our online store will be sure to give you more great ideas to build customised gifts that are well received and appreciated.

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Candles in glass jars

Candles in glass jars

Custom and eco candle holders with jars and paper labels printed for a Christmas dinner

Can there be a more cosy and romantic image than sitting by an open fire on a cold, wintry evening, with music in the background and candles flickering gently on the hearth? As Christmas approaches, it is time to start making our homes warm and inviting to charm our Christmas guests and get the whole family in the festive spirit. In today’s blog post, we talk about how to use jars for candles to create unique and charming displays. Follow our tips and you will be well on the way to filling your home with festive and romantic good cheer in no time at all.

Glass jars make great candle holders

When they want to add a few pretty candles to their home, many people simply head out to a homewares store or department store and buy something off the shelf; however, using simple jars for candles is a much better idea, as you can create your very own display that shows you have put love and care into it.

One great idea for homemade candle displays is to invest in a can of snow spray. This clever spray can be applied to the outside of your jars to give a wintry effect. Add a candle inside the jar and the effect of the flame flickering through the snowy coating will be magical. To get your candle to stay in position in your jar, drip a few drops of hot wax into the bottom of the jar and then press the candle down onto the wax. You will obviously need to use two candles for this – one for the melted wax and one to place in the jar!

Another fabulous idea is to take some sheet music or a page from an old book and cut it to size to go around your jar. Carefully cut out a couple of small shapes in the paper, such as hearts or stars. Paste the paper around the outside of the jar, and again add a candle in the jar. If these candles are for Christmas decorations, you could choose the music for Jingle Bells, or perhaps a Christmas carol, a festive poem, or a page from Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

Our range of glass jars

At Wares we have jars in every conceivable shape and size just waiting for you to get creative ready for the festive period. Why not browse our range today to see what inspires you? Don’t forget to share your creative ideas with us on Twitter and Facebook, as we love seeing your photos.

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The history of the Le Parfait jar

The history of the Le Parfait jar

Chicken liver parfait with apple and date chutney on a stone plate

When we think of preserving jars, the number one brand that most people mention is Kilner, possibly followed by Mason and Ball. These iconic brands have rightly earned a place in preserving history; however, there are a few other names in the world of home preserves that are less well known – at least in the UK – but are just as worthy of recognition. One such company is Le Parfait. We have decided to turn the spotlight on this premium brand in today’s blog post to highlight how the brand has developed over the years and what it has to offer.

The origins of Le Parfait jars

Founded back in the 1930s, in Reims, France, Le Parfait has been a household name in France for decades. Building up a loyal customer base over the years through France’s traditional grocery stores and artisan food producers, the firm has much the same reverential following in France as Kilner has in the UK and Ball has in the US. Le Parfait jars typically include an embossed logo on the front of the jar and a distinctive bright orange rubber seal on the clip top jars; in addition, the company produces a range of screw top jars under the Familia Wiss name.

Over the years, the range has evolved to meet the needs of a changing customer base and to stay on trend whilst retaining the iconic good looks and superb functionality that made these jars so well-loved. More recent additions to the range include striking ‘orange top’ jars for storing tea, coffee, pasta or rice.

Our range of Le Parfait jars

We stock a range of Le Parfait and Familia Wiss jars in both traditional and contemporary styles. The smallest clip top jar is a 500ml jar, with jars in the clip top range varying in size right up to a whopping three-litre jar perfect for larger pickling projects such as pickled onions or preserved lemons.

There are some quite distinctive shapes in the Familia Wiss range, making these jars perfect for terrines and more unusual preserves. The smallest Familia Wiss jar is 200ml, with other sizes including 350ml, 500ml, 750ml and 1,000ml. If you like the vintage French look, these jars are perfect for you.

The orange top jars we mentioned earlier are available in sizes ranging from one litre up to three litres. These will look fabulous lined up on an open kitchen shelf displaying dried goods such as pasta, rice, flour and oats.

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Presenting your produce in jam jars

Presenting your produce in jam jars

PROVENCE, FRANCE - JULY 15, 2014: Jars ofa different french marmalade at the rural market. Street markets very popular in Provence

Good things come in small packages. First impressions count. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. There are so many sayings that point to the fact that, in everything we do, presentation is important. If we want to create the very best impression, we need to take care with the details and the way in which we show off our efforts and creations. Nowhere is this more true than in home preserves, where a reused jam jar with a grubby printer label can make a delicious jar of jam or chutney look distinctly unappealing in no time at all. In today’s post, we look at how to present your jams, pickles and preserves in the best possible way to garner admiring comments from all who see them.

Jam jar labels are key

As we mentioned above, a plain white printer label just won’t cut it when it comes to labelling your home preserves. Even worse is a piece of paper sellotaped to the jar! If you have gone to the time and trouble of making your own unique preserves, it makes sense to continue this care and attention in the labelling of your jars. At Wares, we stock a huge range of labels for all sorts of pickles and preserves. From colourful labels with gorgeous fruit or vegetable designs to cute oval labels that look fabulous on all sorts of jars, there is a label in our collection to suit your needs. The oval labels in the Grandma’s Pantry range are exclusive to Wares of Knutsford and are easy peel, making them a cinch to position on the jar.

Jam jar labels are just one part of effective presentation

A lovely label is, of course, the most important part of presenting your preserves in their best light; however, if you are giving them as gifts, selling them or entering them in competitions at country shows, there are other details you can add to boost the overall effect. With Christmas just around the corner, now is the time to explore our range of display bags and gift boxes. These are just perfect for homemade preserves, holding either two or three standard jars of jam or chutney. It is a great idea to make several different jams or pickles and to include three different flavours in your gifts, with each labelled clearly to show through the display window at the front of the bag or box.

Why not browse our range of labels, tags, ribbons and gift bags today to ensure your preserves are presented professionally?

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Spices for spice jars!

Spices for spice jars!

Glass bottles with colorful spices on the white shelfs

As a nation, we tend to be a little cautious when it comes to adding spices to our meals. Whilst chicken tikka masala may have toppled roast beef and Yorkshire pudding from the top spot as the nation’s favourite dish, we still seem to be a little reserved about experimenting with herbs and spices to create fresh, authentic and inspiring dishes at home. In today’s blog post, we take a look at some of the key spices that every cook should be familiar with and should feature in every kitchen spice rack.

Which spice jars to choose

It might be tempting to pop along to the supermarket and simply grab a selection of spices from the shelves to set yourself up with a basic spice rack; however, you will get better value, and fresher and more authentic spices, if you buy in loose packs from an ethnic supermarket. Indian, Asian and Chinese supermarkets can all be found in most cities and really are a treat for the keen cook, with shelves stacked with the most amazing spices, sauces and other delights to help you rustle up some sensational meals.

To keep these spices fresh once you have bought them, it makes sense to invest in a batch of spice jars. We have a wide range of jars suitable for spices, including jars with a grinder in the lid. If you already have a space in your kitchen where you would like to store your jars, opt for standard jars; if not, we also have a magnetic spice rack set and a 20-piece spice jar set from Kilner. Don’t forget that you will also need spice jar labels to avoid any unfortunate spicy mix-ups.

Filling those spice jars

Whilst most kitchens are home to a jar of chilli powder and curry powder, a well-stocked spice rack will include cayenne pepper, turmeric, cumin, paprika, ground ginger, cardamom pods and allspice. Cinnamon sticks are great for curries, while chilli flakes are useful to add to stir fries and oriental dishes to add a little heat. Cloves, star anise, mustard seeds and sesame seeds are also very useful.

You also need a good stash of herbs, of course, and we will cover these in a future blog post. For now, find out where your nearest Indian or Chinese supermarket is and head off to stock up on all the spices you could possibly need, ready to get creative in the kitchen. An enjoyable and aromatic afternoon awaits as you fill your jars, write out your spice jar labels, and decide what you are going to cook first.

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Glass preserving jars for the autumn harvest

Glass preserving jars for the autumn harvest

Autumn recipes, dishes from a pumpkin. Sweet spicy pumpkin jam in a serving jar, with a spoon, on an old rustic wooden table decorated with pumpkins, autumn leaves, a blanket.Copy space

If you have an allotment or a vegetable patch in your garden, no doubt you have been busy picking the literal fruits of your labour over the last couple of months, with crops of all sorts of tasty things coming in thick and fast. From autumn-fruiting raspberries to plump marrows and a seemingly endless supply of green beans, it seems like the harvest will never end! For those of you who are lucky enough to have a greenhouse or polytunnel, the growing season continues apace and you may still be picking tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and other delights. With this inevitable glut, it is both a pleasure and a necessity to get busy with the maslin pan and some jars to preserve as much of the bounty as possible.

Preserving jars to the rescue

To get the most from your fruit and vegetable harvest, it is essential to have enough jars for preserving. From small jars for making jellies to much larger jars for pickling onions or gherkins or preserving apricots, peaches or other soft fruits, always ensure you have the right type of jar for the project and that you have enough jars and lids to tackle all the preserving you plan to do.

One autumn treat that is a great project to try is pickled red cabbage. Finely shredded red cabbage pickles brilliantly with cider vinegar, red wine, mustard seeds, sugar, bay leaves, and a little ground black pepper. It tastes delicious with cheeses and cold meats, and works perfectly as a Christmas gift.

Our range of preserving jars

We are proud of our extensive range of bottles and jars for preserving enthusiasts. Most of our jars have a choice of vinegar-proof lids, so you can choose the colour that suits your project. From tiny portion-size jars for jams and marmalades to standard 1lb jam jars and even much larger jars, we guarantee that we can supply the perfect jar for any preserving project. With traditional jam jar lids, screw top lids from Kilner and Ball or clip-top jars for a vintage look, the world is your oyster as to which type to choose.

Don’t forget that we also offer some amazing bulk buy deals if you need a larger quantity of jars to cope with your autumn glut. Most of these bulk packs are available in 200 or 500 jar quantities, which should satisfy even the most committed home preserves fan. If you have plenty of jars but not enough lids, we also have some incredible lid-only offers to tempt you.

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