Tag Archives: jam jars

Jam Jars For Everything

jam jars

Wares of Knutsford believes that it has kitchen storage sorted, mostly by using jars. Buy jars and line them up so that you can see the entire contents of your house – kitchen, bathroom, craft room, office, children’s bedrooms, man cave and anywhere else – at a glance. To this end we have separated all our jars into categories to help you work out what to use and where.

Jam jars

Wares of Knutsford believes you can buy jars for jam of every kind on our site. There are plain, competition standard jars and more deluxe versions in sizes ranging from miniatures to large 725ml options. There are also 192 jar bargain packs which offer excellent value for money.

Small and mini jars

Popular with business for giving out samples, hotels and guest houses for individual servings and with brides creating wedding favours, the small jars range again encompasses plain jars and decorative options such as heart shaped or hexagonal jars.

Shaped jars

Ideal for gift giving and adding a touch of luxury to home made produce, the decorative jam jars section contains models which are as pretty as they are practical.

Kilner, Mason and Leifheit jars

Well known names in the preserving world, these robust, high quality jars work for professional use or home cooks.

Clip top jars

More user friendly than screw tops, clip top jars work with both modern and traditional décor. The wide range includes miniatures, terrines, coloured glass, hexagonal and spice jars.

Faceted and hexagonal jars

Another decorative option for gift giving.

Drinking jam jars

A modern take on the hip flask, handled jars are a funky way to serve cocktails and iced drinks at outdoor events.

Spice jars

Available with grinder or shaker tops, organise your herbs and spices to suit your needs.

Aromatherapy and pharmacy jars

Make your home made cosmetics look professional with our smart jars in amber or clear glass.

Honey jars

Beekeepers recommend short, squat jars with wide necks and high quality lids.

Le Parfait jars

The famous French preserving brand includes various styles.

Pickle, chutney and pasta sauce jars

Using vinegar proof, heat sealable lids for long term preserving.

Terrines, verrines and dip jars

Sophisticated styles for pates and cream cheeses.

Plastic jars

A safer option to glass when children are around!

Sweet shop jars

Easy access, large volume storage for sweets and treats.

Storage jars

Covering volume storage for dried goods of all kinds. A serious kitchen essential.

Decorated jars and jam pots

Pretty jars for tabletop use or gift giving.

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Hexagonal Jars Perfect for Marmalades and Chutneys

Hexagonal jars

While Wares of Knutsford has expanded to include a wide range of kitchen goods and homeware, the company’s core business remains jars for marmalades, jams and other preserving equipment. Basic jam jars remain popular but there are now masses of other options – our jars for marmalades and jams now come in a number of sizes, shapes and with lots of different choices of lids and closures, while our bargain packs are particularly good value.

Hexagonal jars in many shapes and sizes

Hexagonal jars is a slightly smarter and more sophisticated choice than your standard, round jam jar. With their straight sides, they also stack very neatly side by side along shelves. The Wares of Knutsford hexagonal jar range includes sizes from miniature 45ml, 55ml, 100ml, 106ml, 110ml, 150ml, 190ml, 195ml, 205ml, 250ml, all the way up to 283ml. With such a variety of sizes, you’ll find a hexagonal jar suitable for all sort of needs – you can use them for wedding favours and cosmetics as well as food while the sets of glass stopper jars look very stylish on the worktop, organising crafting goods or dressing table paraphernalia. Styles include the basic screw top jam jar with lids in various colours, jars with glass stoppers, clip top jars and hexagonal sauce bottles.

Hexagonal jars bargain packs

Our customers love our bargain packs! Whether you are buying in bulk for your business, for an event or simply have a passion for preserving, our bargain packs are the simplest and cheapest way to obtain the quantities you need. There are bargain packs of hexagonal jars in six sizes: 45ml, 55ml, 106ml, 110ml, 195ml and 283ml. Each pack contains 192 jars with heat sealable and vinegar proof twist off lids with a choice of colours.

If you would like a mixture of sizes or designs, we would be pleased to create a custom mixed pack for you.

Wares of Knutsford welcomes wholesale clients. Contact our staff to discuss prices, invoices and minimum order requirements. Wholesale deliveries are made on pallets, which can be made up of a mixture of jars in different shapes and sizes.

As usual, Wares of Knutsford charges a flat delivery price, so you can order as much or as little as you like without fear of postage costs mounting up. All our goods are carefully packaged to make sure they arrive in perfect condition.

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Jam Jar Covers

jam jar covers

Seasoned jam makers know that their jars need to be dressed in style. The dedication that goes into making your own jams, marmalades and other preserves can be a bit lost if they are presented in basic, unadorned jars. Pretty them up a bit with decorative covers, ribbons and attractive labels to elevate the gift of some homemade jam from something rather dull to something thoughtful and delicious.

Fortunately Wares of Knutsford has all you need to make your preserving efforts look pretty and professional. Apart from a huge range of jars and all the associated jam making equipment, there is also a wide selection of covers for jam jars, spare lids, ribbons and labels.

Fabric and paper jam jar covers

Wares of Knutsford stocks a colourful range of jam jar covers in fabric or paper. The patterns on the fabric covers range from traditional floral or fruity illustrations or gingham check to more modern designs with jazzy spotty and geometric graphics. The packs of eight include two copies each of four designs and come with bands to secure the covers and co-ordinating ribbons. The covers fit jars of 454ml and 907ml.

The paper covers for jam jars pack contains 30 covers in assorted designs and again fit 454ml and 907ml jars. Bands to secure the covers are included.

Jam jar covers kits

Wares of Knutsford also sells handy kits containing co-ordinated jar decorating accessories. There are 24 covers in four different designs with matching, self-adhesive labels, waxed discs and plastic circles and rubber bands for securing the covers. The kits are suitable for 454ml size jars.

There is a country themed kit with fruity and gingham patterns or a more modern, graphic printed set with bright, colourful fruit and vegetable designs. Another kit features the paper lids with waxed and plastic discs and rubber securing bands.

Other jam jar covers accessories

You can take your jar personalisation even further with our assorted jute ribbon selection or our glass labelling pens. The set of two includes one each of gold and silver and can be used on glass but also on metal, plastic and ceramic.

Packs of waxed discs can be bought separately and there are also packs of heat sealing, transparent covers with rubber bands, waxed discs and plain labels for both 454ml and 907ml size jars.

Wares of Knutsford operates a policy of a fixed delivery price no matter how much you order, so don’t forget to slip in a few covers and other accessories when you make your jar order.

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Jam Jar Vases for Wedding

wedding jam jars

They may have been designed to house preserves, pickles and other foods, but the humble glass jar has become one of the most versatile objects in any household, with a multitude of uses both practical and decorative. No longer just used for kitchen storage, jam jar vases make a popular centrepiece at weddings and other events.

The Wares of Knutsford selection started with the basic jam jar, now available in a range of sizes and with lids in a choice of seven colours, and has grown to include miniature versions,, sweet shop jars, clip tops, spice jars and versions suitable for aromatherapy and cosmetic use in clear or amber glass. Brands include Kilner, Mason, Leifheit and Le Parfait, while you can also buy spare lids and choose from a wide range of decorative labels.

Flowers in wedding jam jars

It’s the pureness and simplicity of jam jar vases that have seen them become so popular at weddings. Brides and grooms are opting for lower key, more intimate celebrations that focus on the marriage rather than the wedding, eschewing excess and showy affairs. The Wares of Knutsford jars range offers a number of options ideal for honest and pretty table decorations.

Fitting the modern theme of these weddings, jam jar vases are filled with posies of wild flowers rather than mounds of hothouse blooms as table centrepieces. You can go for one basic flower variety but find it in various colourways or choose 6-8 different kinds of flowers in a toning colour story. Make sure the heights of the blooms vary for a more casual look. Build a base with three main types of flower and add in odd accent flowers. Hold the shape of the arrangement with a bit of tape around the stems, which you can them trim to the same length. Dipped in wedding jam jars half filled with water, there’s nothing prettier or easier to achieve.

Accessorise with other wedding jam jars

Stick with the theme of simplicity by offering wedding favours in miniature jars – think colourful selections of sweets such as jelly beans or sherbet pips. If you have the time (and the budget!) you could personalise the jars by filling them with little gifts for individual recipients. Present female guests with a miniature glass jar housing trinkets such as jewellery, children can have little jars of marbles or beads and male guests could be given miniature car models.

Just use your imagination for a really special and personal wedding celebration.

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Glass Jam Jars with Lids

jam jars with lids

Wares of Knutsford’s core business always has been and remains jars and bottles. We are a preserving emporium. Over the years we have expanded our range to include a wide variety of other kitchen goods but remain the first and last stop for customers looking to buy jars and bottles online.

Different shaped jam jars with lids

The main concerns when choosing your jars are the shape and size, and the method of closure. The Wares of Knutsford range starts with basic glass jam jars with lids but encompasses a huge number of fancier options. Whether you are doing some home preserving for yourself or to give as gifts or are buying wholesale for commercial endeavours, give some thought to how you want to present your product. For a traditional or rustic look, plain glass jars or bottles can be the most appropriate, and can be dressed up if required with pretty labels, ribbons and tags. However there are also different shapes of jars – globes, squares, embossed, faceted or even tilted, sweet shop style jars that may be more appropriate for your needs.

Sizes range from miniatures up to large, litre size Kilner, Mason and Leifheit jars for more serious storage.

It’s not all about the cooking either, with a variety of cosmetic and aromatherapy jars in clear of coloured glass.

Sealing options for jam jars with lids

Closures can be functional or decorative. Most of our jars and bottles are supplied with lids but we also have a separate section of the website just for buying extra lids. Each individual product page gives details of the size of lid you need, which you can take to the easy lid selector page to help you choose. We offer a range of different colours. If you have any questions about buying lids, do not hesitate to contact us as we will be happy to talk through your requirements.

However do spend some time investigating the different jar and bottle options first, as there is a huge range of sealing options depending on which jar you choose – apart from basic screw tops, our bottles and jars can be bought with clip tops, glass stoppers, knobstoppers, sprays, corks, press caps, pouring spouts, swing tops and even dropper tops.

Having selected the size, shape and closure method for your jars and bottles, pay a visit to our label shop for gift tags and self adhesive, decorative labels in plain, traditional or modern styles.

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Mason Drinking Jars Perfect for Summer

mason drinking jars

Mason Drinking Jars Range

The Wares of Knutsford Mason jars range has always been excellent for an extremely wide variety of uses, but now features some new additions. These jam jars with handles were inspired by the way people use jars to hold drinks at events such as picnics and BBQs, thanks to the tight fitting lids that help to keep the contents safe. The new Mason drinking jars with handles make the process that much easier, coming in a 450ml size, heavyweight clear glass with a chunky handle. You can buy the jars with a choice of two different coloured lids or without a lid and in four different pack sizes for bulk buying economy.

Mason drinking jars for a picnic

The temperature is rising and summer picnics and BBQs will be starting soon. These jars are a far more elegant and stylish alternative to plastic bottles and cups and seal tightly to avoid any spillages. Add a quaint, Famous Five-esque touch to your outings with this refreshing, summery ginger beer based drink served in Mason drinking jars:

Ginger beer, apple and vanilla punch

  • 1 litre ginger beer
  • 500ml apple juice, chilled
  • 500ml vodka
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the ginger beer, apple juice, vodka, vanilla extract and lime together and stir well, then pour into the jam jars with handles. Add a lime wedge, a couple of apple slices and a couple of thin slices of fresh ginger then screw the lid on tightly and keep chilled before serving.

Peach and citrus cooler

This refreshing, non-alcoholic cooler can easily be made more adult by swapping the peach nectar for peach schnapps.

  • Juice of two lemons and two limes
  • 1 lemon and 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • 300ml peach nectar
  • 300ml cloudy lemonade
  • 300ml sparkling water

Add the lemon and lime juices, peach nectar, lemonade and sparkling water to a large jug and stir well to combine. Pour into the jars with some slices of strawberry and a sprig of fresh mint. Seal and try to keep cool before serving.

Tropical fizz

  • 300ml sparkling apple juice
  • 300ml exotic fruit juice
  • 300ml sparkling water

Pour all three drinks, chilled, into a large jug and mix together. Pour into the Mason jars and add some strawberry halves, chopped kiwi fruit and a pineapple ring before sealing. Try to keep cool before serving.

Remember to pack some drinking straws!

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Buying Jam Jar Covers

jam jar covers

When making preserves, most of the attention goes on the recipe or the cooking process, but in fact the clue is in the name: preserves. How the jars are filled, sealed and stored are equally important aspects.

Filling jam jars

Most preserves should be decanted into jars – carefully – upon reaching setting point. Marmalades can be left to cool a little to prevent peel floating to the top. Ideally the jars will still be warm from sterilising, as this helps to avoid the preserve from cooling down before you’ve managed to seal the jars. Always fill jars to the top and seal immediately. Chunky preserves such as chutneys should be tapped upon the worktop to remove pockets of air.

Sealing with lids and jam jar covers

Preserves are sealed by two main methods: a wax disc topped with jam jar covers or a screw on lid. The best lids for preserving are lined with plastic. As soon as the jar is filled, screw the lid on tightly. While jars can be recycled it’s not generally a good idea to recycle lids as even when thoroughly cleaned, the nooks and crannies of screw tops can harbour nasties that will destroy the freshness of your preserves. In a similar way, the shape of the lids can be distorted with use and enthusiastic cleaning, so it’s a good idea to invest in a fresh set of lids from Wares of Knutsford when you begin your preserving season.

Using jam jar covers

To seal with a wax disc and jar cover, place a disc with the waxy side down onto the surface of the jar of preserve while it is still hot. Use a drop of water to moisten the top side of the cover, stretch it neatly over the neck of the jar and secure in place with an elastic band. Wares of Knutsford sells a range of attractive jam jar covers and labels to go with them, and if you are giving the preserves as gifts you can prettify the jar with some ribbon.


A cool, dark spot is the best place to store your preserves – a larder cupboard, garage or shed, for example. Most will keep for up to a year stored thus, as long as they have been correctly prepared and sealed. Once open, store preserves in the refrigerator.

Fruit curds and uncooked condiments or relishes are an exception and should be used within a month.

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More Than Just Jam Jars

wares of knutsfordCustomers may have originally become aware of Wares of Knutsford as a useful online preserving resource but in fact there’s far more to the story.

All about Wares of Knutsford – the past

Do you remember those old fashioned hardware shops that used to be a fixture of every high street, where you could buy absolutely anything? There was one at 72 King Street in Knutsford, Cheshire. Having been open for about two hundred years, changing fashions in commerce saw the business close. In 1992 one Valerie Byles, having moved to Knutsford to escape the rat race and fallen in love with her new home town, decided the idea of a traditional hardware store still had legs and determined to reopen Wares of Knutsford on the site of the original shop. An old customer request book kept on the original counter drove the stock purchase and the new Wares quickly became popular as the town’s Aladdin’s Cave, the kind of shop where the good old fashioned values of courtesy and personal service reigned supreme.

In time success drove a move to a larger store on Princess Street, still in Knutsford, which allowed a larger choice of stock including ironmongery, hardware, kitchenware, a range of gifts and pet supplies. However with the advent of the internet and the demise of the British high street, the traditional store front was no longer a viable way of trading. Nonetheless founder Val saw that there was still a demand for her products and moved to online trading.

All about Wares of Knutsford – the present

Jam jars and other jam making equipment were for a long time the focal point of the business and as the premiere online preserving resource, Val became known by the nickname ‘Jam Jar Lady’. However Wares’ wares don’t stop there – traditional enamelware has been popular for the last twenty years and, along with the vintage style Mason Cash pottery range, is even more in vogue nowadays to appease the trend for vintage.

In 2012 the website was relaunched to make sure the company catered to current trends along with its more traditional market. A vintage decor was used to reflect the company’s classic values but the site is thoroughly modern with its easy navigation and user friendly customer service.

There are seasonal specialities, a regular newsletter and blog and a thriving online community, not to mention a set price for delivery, bargain bulk buys and plenty of special offers. If you have any questions about the stock or how to purchase, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff.

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The Best Jars for Marmalade

orange marmalade jars

The summer sun may produce sweet, succulent jams, but in winter the more sophisticated and complex flavour of marmalade is the best way to liven up your morning toast. Like jam, marmalade is best made in a large batch, so you’ll have plenty for yourself and you’ll be able to give some away as a gift too.

Classic orange marmalade jars

The quantities given should fill about eight 300ml jars, so it makes sense to bulk buy orange marmalade jars. If you are giving some of your produce away, consider some decorative shaped jars and don’t forget some pretty labels and maybe ribbon to make your gift look attractive.

A recipe for those orange marmalade jars

Seville oranges tend to be used for marmalade over other varieties due to their strong, bitter flavour. Apart from the ingredients and some jars for marmalade, you will also need a muslin bag and a funnel.

  • 1.25kg Seville oranges, scrubbed clean
  • 1.5kg granulated sugar

Place a couple of saucers in the freezer – you’ll need these later to test if your marmalade has reached setting point. Place the oranges, whole, into a large stainless steel saucepan or, if you have one, a preserving pan, with 2.25 litres of water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about an hour – the fruit should be soft.

Using a slotted spoon, take the oranges out of the pan and leave to cool. Reserve 1.7 litres of the cooking liquid – you may need to top up with extra water. Return this liquid to the saucepan.

When the oranges have cooled enough to handle, chop them into halves and remove the flesh, pith and pips, putting them into a muslin bag. Tie the bag securely with string and add it to the saucepan. Chop the orange skins into fine shreds, which should also go into the pan, along with the sugar.

Put the mixture onto a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil for a good 10 minutes, skimming off any scum that floats to the surface. The marmalade should now be reaching setting point – test it by dropping a blob of the mixture onto one of your chilled saucers. After a few moments, prod the blob – if it wrinkles the marmalade is ready to set. If it hasn’t reached that point yet, keep boiling and retest regularly until it does. When the mixture is ready, remove the pan from the heat and fill your marmalade jars while it is still warm. Seal the jars carefully.

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Where to buy Marmalade Jars

Fruity jars of marmalade give a taste of summer all year round. To make your own, you’ll need a large preserving pan, sugar thermometer, funnel, muslin, string, a couple of frozen plates and some sterilised jars for marmalade.

How to make home made marmalade jars

  • 900g Seville oranges, halved
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1.5kg preserving sugar
  • 2.8 litres water

Squeeze the juice from the oranges and lemons into the preserving pan, reserving the skins, including the pips and pith. Put the pith and pips into a clean square of muslin and tie into a parcel with string – when cooked they provide the pectin to help the mixture to set.

Chop the orange skins finely and add, with the water, to the preserving pan with the juice. Add the muslin parcel and use the string to tie it to the saucepan handle – this makes it easy to remove the parcel later.

marmalade jars

Bring the mixture to the boil then simmer gently for a couple of hours, until the orange skin pieces grow soft and transparent. Add the sugar and bring the mixture back to the boil, stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved completely. Keep the mixture at a fast boil until the marmalade reaches the 105ºC setting temperature. This should take about 10-20 minutes. You can test the setting point by dropping a teaspoon of the mixture onto a frozen plate. If the marmalade has thickened and wrinkles when poked after about a minute, it is ready. Otherwise continue to boil until it reaches this point. You may have to test the marmalade a few times before you decide setting point has been reached.

Turn off the heat and leave the marmalade to cool for 20 minutes before decanting into your jars for marmalade through a funnel. Seal the jars thoroughly with a wax disc and screw top.

Giving home made marmalade jars as gifts

Marmalade jars give off a beautiful, warm glow that makes an attractive and economical Christmas gift. Make your product look professional by sourcing some decorative jars for marmalade from among the range by Wares of Knutsford. Even if you prefer traditional, marmalade jars, make sure you label them prettily and present them with a ribbon or gift tag. The label should advise the contents of the jar and a date, plus a seasonal message if you wish.

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Jam jars 1lb

jam jars 1lb recipes

Standard 378ml or 1lb jam jars are a well recognised piece of kit. They can be used for home preserving or an endless list of other projects.

Wares of Knutsford offer this regulation size jar in various pack sizes for buyers of small quantities or even the 192 jar bargain pack for professionals stocking up. The jars are 120mm tall, with a 70mm diameter and a wide choice of lid colours. Delivery is quick and to a set price, no matter how large your order. Products are also carefully wrapped to ensure they arrive intact.

So which ingredients can you make the most of this season in your jam jars 1lb recipes?

Jam jars 1lb recipes: pumpkin chutney

When you’re bored of soup and pie, try this spicy chutney.

  • 1kg pumpkin flesh, diced into 1cm pieces
  • 4 red onions, peeled and diced
  • 250g Demerara sugar
  • 2-3 Bramley apples, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 3 red pepper, diced
  • 200g juicy sultanas
  • 200ml cider vinegar
  • 500ml apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt

Placed the diced pumpkin flesh into a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave in the sink overnight. In the morning rinse well.

Add all the ingredients to a large, heavy based pan and cook gently for 40-50 minutes. The chutney should have reached a soft but thick consistency. Season to taste then decant into jars and seal thoroughly. Store in the fridge for a week before eating.

Jam jars 1lb recipes: mincemeat

Don’t be intimidated by the huge ingredients list, mincemeat is easily made and a Christmas essential.

  • 150g glace cherries, roughly chopped
  • 100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 450g cooking apples, peeled cored and diced
  • 220g shredded suet
  • 350g raisins
  • 12 dates, roughly chopped
  • 220g sultanas
  • 220g each sultanas and currants
  • 350g dark Muscovado sugar
  • 200g candied peel
  • 5 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 4 tablespoons Amaretto

Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and stir well to combine. You may find it easier to dig in and mix with your hands than a spoon! Cover the bowl and leave to stand overnight.

The following day, pour the mixture in a large saucepan and cook on a gentle heat, stirring regularly. You’re waiting for the suet to melt and coat all the other ingredients. Decant the mincemeat into jars and store in a cool, dark place. It should keep for up to a year.

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Large Jam Jars

large jam jars

There’s a big difference between knocking up an experimental jam when you don’t know what else to do with a handful of autumn fruits you picked up on your dog walk and preserving on a larger scale. You may be preserving as part of a commercial enterprise or simply because you enjoy making and eating jams, pickles and chutneys. Either way, you’ll want to consider your equipment.

Preserving pan

While your average, heavy based saucepans are fine on a small scale or for experimenting, a good preserving pan really is essential for more extensive jamming. Only buy a pan as large as your domestic hob’s output can heat. You need enough power for a large batch to reach a rolling boil, which simply won’t be possible if your pan is too large.


Small, simple and inexpensive, but an absolute Godsend when it comes to jar filling. There’s no way to avoid serious spillage without one.


If you are experienced you are probably confident enough to preserve without one, but thermometers are cheap and can help take the guesswork out of the process.

Large jam jars

Small ones may be pretty and ideal for gifts, but if you’re preparing large quantities, you’ll need large jam jars. It’s worth investing in proper preserving jars as they need to seal tightly to maintain the condition of the produce. Ensure any small or large jam jars have a supply of plastic coated lids, as the acid in chutneys and pickles is likely to corrode plain metal. As usual you must remember to sterilise your jars and fill them to the maximum level to reduce the amount of air inside. Make sure too that you label everything clearly. Ideally you should include a title, ingredients list, production and expiry dates and storage conditions.

Wax discs

These will help you obtain a neat seal on hot produce. Buy in bulk.


Used to hold pickling spices while making chutneys or orange pips for marmalade. Some recipes also require straining through a fine muslin so it is a multi-tasking product. There are useful straining kits available to make the process easier too.

If you are looking at a large scale operation, remember that Wares of Knutsford supply on a fixed delivery charge, so you’ll pay the same when buying in bulk as you will buying individual items. This works out very good value when you do have a large order so make sure you consider everything you need carefully before placing your order.

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Jam Jars for Home Made Jam

homemade jam

It’s that time of year – the season is changing and summer’s fruits and vegetables are coming to an end. The initial joy at the appearance of heavy tomato vines, blushing plums, glossy blackberries and gigantic marrows has probably given way to despair – how may ways are there to use cabbages exactly?

This is where preserving comes in – jams, chutneys and pickles. It’s fun, economical and healthy. It also allows you to be slightly smug about your domestic goddessness – or godliness! Make sure you’re thoroughly prepared, with both ingredients and equipment. Bulk buying is the key here. Wares of Knutsford have a fixed delivery charge, so five jam jars will cost the same in postage as 200 and of course economies of scale mean bulk packages work out cheaper on a per unit basis. Don’t forget to sterilise your jars before use!

Homemade jam or chutney – what’s the difference?

In essence, a chutney is a savoury jam. Jam preserves fruit through the medium of sugar, while chutney uses vinegar and sugar for a less sweet flavour. Shop bought and homemade jam usually has a fruit base but chutney can be made of fruit, vegetables or a mixture of the two. In fact chutneys tend to be created from a mixture of ingredients whereas jams are more often single flavoured.

Jams are focused around the flavour of the fruit, which is seldom adulterated, but chutneys are usually tarted up with spices and seasoning, including onion, garlic and chillies.

Both are excellent ways to preserve fruit and vegetables and are made in a similar way. You can fill jam jars for homemade jam with chutney or other preserves, just make sure to label the contents clearly!

Variations on homemade jam

Apart from the traditional jams and chutneys, you may have heard of the following:

Confit is usually preserved meat, particularly popular in France.

Conserves are jams that preserve the fruits in their original shape rather than breaking them down.

Fruit butter is basically jam where the fruit is sieved to a finer consistency, for a smooth, jelly like finish.

Pickling is a way of preserving ingredients in an acidic environment. It is commonly used for vegetables, fish, some fruits and even eggs.

Marmalade and curd are both ways of preserving citrus ingredients, but the latter tends to be smooth and is made with eggs versus marmalade’s jammy consistency.

If you’ve had your fill of all of those, don’t forget you can also make your own liqueurs, syrups and cordial drinks!

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Halloween Craft Ideas

halloween craft ideas

While ‘glass half empty’ types may be lamenting the end of summer, the more optimistic are eagerly anticipating the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” Each season has its apex in a celebration of some kind – winter has Christmas, spring has Easter, summer has beach holidays and barbeques and autumn has Halloween and its very English sibling, Bonfire Night. Whether you consider it a ghastly American import or a great opportunity for over the top home decoration, Halloween crafts and cooking up delicious treats, you have to admit that it’s a colourful way of breaking up the darker months.

While a lot of Halloween crafts focus around pumpkins – decorating them and eating them, the motifs and colours traditional to the season allow for a lot of imaginative interpretation. Here are a couple of ideas to encourage you if you’re not quite ready yet to accept the turn of the season.

Halloween craft ideas for the home

Halloween tea light holders are simple Halloween craft ideas and a very cute way of decorating both inside and outside your home for a party or just to introduce young children to the fun. They’re simple, inexpensive and very effective. You will need a selection of glass jars and some glass paint.

First, cover your jars with a background colour. The traditional colours of Halloween should be your inspiration here, so oranges and reds, maybe white for ghosts or green for witches. Then use a felt tip pen to stencil a pattern to fill in – ghoulish faces are ideal or, if you’re artistic, you could attempt a witch flying across the face of the moon upon her broomstick. Consider also bats, black cats, frogs or other classic Halloween motifs. Fill in your felt pen outlines with black glass paint and finish off the rims with a stripe of black for a neat framing effect, then set with a spray of finishing glaze.

As darkness falls across the land, put a tea light in each and watch the ghostly silhouettes come to life!

Halloween craft ideas for children

You’ll have to sacrifice a wooden spoon from your kitchen for this cute bat puppet! Paint the spoon black all over and allow to dry. Meanwhile cut out two small triangles in black cardboard to form ears, then a large cardboard wing. Glue the spoon in the centre of the wings, bowl upwards. Glue the ears to the top of the bowl, then glue on two beads for eyes. Use a glitter pen to add a small mouth.

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Jam Jars for Flowers

flowers in jars

There’s an effortless feel to jam jars for flowers, more relaxed than blooms standing stiffly to order in traditional vases. However, just because you’re going country casual, it doesn’t mean you can dispose of elegance altogether. If jam jars are a bit too basic you can always glam them up with a pretty paper and lace wrap and the assortment of sizes and shapes available adds great flexibility to your arrangements. These displays are all easily achievable with home grown flowers.

Pink and blue flowers in jars

This classic colour combination works for any occasion, even bridal. Mix pink and blue hydrangeas with buddleia, roses and jasmine for a butterfly friendly, delicately scented and very feminine display.

Pure whites

Mix a combination of pure whites with plenty of foliage for a fresh, elegant feel. White roses always make an excellent focal point and are well complemented with white and green hydrangeas, jasmine, white astilbe and that useful standby, gypsophilia.


Mix sweet peas with peonies, hydrangeas, stocks and delphiniums, punctuated with some veronica, for a romantic, cottage country garden combination, as fragrant as it is pretty.

Posies of flowers in jars

This informal display makes the most of wild flowers for a just picked look, loosely tied together with twine to maintain the shape. Try roses with salvia, pinks, marguerites, mint and geraniums as novel flowers in jars.

Single blooms

You can’t go wrong with a bunch of single blooms in a bold shape and colour – try California bluebells, good old hydrangeas – again! – delicate clarkia or larkspur. These simple arrangements look particularly chic with decorated jam jars for flowers.

Hints and tips

When arranging flowers, try to avoid touching petals, as even a delicate hand can bruise them and result in brown patches.

Use foliage – it’s not all about the blooms. Foliage adds structure and life to displays that could otherwise seem blowzy. Try pittosporum, ivy and sprigs of mint.

Remove thorns and any leaves that will sit below the waterline, as they will only rot.
Cut stems on the diagonal and get them into water as soon as possible. Change the water and re-cut stems every few days to prolong the life of flowers.

Cut in the morning while the air is still cool and damp and stick to freshly opened blooms for the longest, freshest displays.

If you’re going for a combination, aim for a mix of thrillers, fillers and spillers – some attention grabbing centrepieces, useful space fillers such as foliage and some pretty edging material.

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Jam Jars for Canning

canning jars

Fear not that your glut of raspberries, blackberries, courgettes or any other summer produce will be wasted – the delicious world of pickling and canning is opening up to you here. Pickles, chutneys, jams and various other methods of preserving are achievable with Wares of Knutsford’s massive range of jam jars for canning and all sorts of other preserving equipment. Apart from the classic jams, gluts of vegetables can be dealt with in chutneys, pickles and sauces, such as the versatile tomato sauce recipe seen below. If you have a healthy harvest you’ll need to consider a wide range of shapes and sizes of canning jars to make the best use of your different recipes.

Principles of canning jars

Canning and preserving is a science, but it is not complicated. The first idea is to heat the food to be preserved to destroy any nasty microorganisms within that could cause the food to spoil and make you ill. Secondly the jars must be hermetically sealed so that no air can get in and contaminate the contents. For this reason jars must always be sterilised just before using. A better result is achieved by canning the produce while it and the canning jars are still warm.

Canning jars of tomato sauce

A classic tomato sauce is not only a kitchen essential, it’s the best way to use up a bumper summertime harvest. It’s also beautifully simple.

  • 800g fresh, ripe tomatoes of various sizes, shapes and colours
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • Splash of red wine vinegar

To skin or not to skin is really a matter of personal preference. If you don’t like the skins on, drop your tomatoes in to a pain of boiling water for about a minute, then remove and the skins should peel off fairly easily. Chop the flesh roughly.

Heat the oil gently in a heavy based saucepan and cook the onion for about five minutes, or until it is translucent rather than coloured. Add the garlic and keep cooking for a couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes and use a wooden spoon to break up any larger lumps of flesh, then add the sugar, vinegar and season lightly. Simmer gently for about 45 minutes, until the sauce thickens, stirring regularly.

Allow to cool for a while before decanting into warm, sterilised jam jars for canning. Add a wax disc and seal well. The sauce should keep for up to a month in the refrigerator and can be served with pizza, pasta, meatballs or any number of other recipes.

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Glass Bottles with Corks

glass bottles with corks

Humans have been drinking wine for millennia, but the familiar The 75cl bottle has become standard but there are two suggestions as to how this came about. One theory posits that this was considered to be an appropriate serving of wine with dinner for one man. On the other hand, there is a countering argument that this was the largest size of bottle that the average glass blower could achieve with a single breath.

However wineries have always been keen to showcase their product in oversized bottles, which by some unknown naming convention were given the monikers of ancient Biblical characters such as the dastardly Nebuchadnezzar or hoary old Methuselah.

Naming guide to huge glass bottles with corks

Most people are familiar with the term Magnum for a 1.5 litre or two standard bottle equivalent, or even with Jeroboam for a three litre or four standard bottle container. However, have you heard of a Rehoboam, which contains 4.5 litres or six standard bottles of wine? Or how about a Methuselah for six litres or eight standard bottles? They get bigger still, with a nine litre or 12 standard bottle container known a Salmanazar, a 12 litre or 16 standard bottle job called a Balthazar and the enormous 15 litre or 20 standard bottle effort known as Nebuchadnezzar.

Believe it or not, very rarely you can even get a 20 litre or 28 bottle equivalent called a Solomon and, topping the lot, a Primat containing 27 litres or 36 standard bottles.

The naming conventions are subject to some regional variations, with Bordeaux also using a 2.25 litre or three bottle equivalent called a Marie-Jeanne and using the term Double Magnum rather than Jeroboam for three litres. Confusingly, in Bordeaux the name Jeroboam is used instead for the 4.5 litre bottle known as a Rehoboam in Champagne country, while the six litre Methuselah is renamed the Imperiale.

Filling your own glass bottles with corks

Ordering a Nebuchadnezzar for your home brewing efforts might be a bit ambitious, but you could consider a smaller and more decorative option for presenting your own brews as gifts. The 50ml Aragon glass bottles with corks are elegant, while the 250ml Bellolio adds a modern touch to the traditional shape and contains a more appropriate size for a single serving!

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Some Other Uses for 300 ml Glass Jars

300ml glass jars

While preserving is not difficult in itself, it is important to store your produce in the correct style of jar or bottle to ensure the maximum freshness. 300ml glass jars are the standard for jam making, but there is much more you can do with them than just fill them with your breakfast favourites.

Choosing 300ml glass jars

If you are preserving in bulk, a bargain pack of 300ml glass jars is the most economical purchase. The key is an airtight seal. This usually means selecting a screw top jar and using wax discs atop the produce. Always sterilise your jars thoroughly before filling and store in a cool, dark place. Once opened, keep preserves in the fridge.

Use 300ml glass jars to preserve the seasons

It’s hard to argue against the environmental merits of eating seasonably, but it can be frustrating to get only short term access to your favourite foods.

July is a great time to enjoy cherries but their season is depressingly short. However, this recipe for cherries preserved in port with orange and cinnamon works well with chocolate or cream dishes all year round.

  • 300g light brown sugar
  • 150ml port
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 350g fresh cherries, washed and stalks removed

Add the sugar, port, cinnamon and orange zest to a saucepan, along with the orange juice and 150ml of water. Slowly bring the ingredients to the boil, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has dissolved, boil for three minutes to reach a thick, syrupy consistency then set aside and allow to cool completely.

If you have a destoning device you may prefer to remove the stones from the cherries but they tend to hold their shape better with the stones in – just remember to warn people before they take a bite! Fill a couple of 300ml jam jars with the cherries then fill to the top with the cooled syrup. If well sealed, the cherries will keep up to a month.

July is also a great month for cucumbers, which make an interesting and unusual preserve served with burgers or in a roast beef sandwich.

  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 60ml white vinegar
  • 50g sugar
  • 6cm fresh root ginger, grated
  • 4 pieces of stem ginger in sugar syrup, thinly sliced

Cut the cucumber into long, thin strips to fit upright in 300ml glass jars. Place the strips in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then rinse the cucumber slices in cold water, drain well and return them to the bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl with the cucumber and mix together thoroughly. Decant into 300ml glass jars and keep in the refrigerator.

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Tea Light Jam Jars

small glass jars

Save money and gain points for your creativity by using a bunch of jam jars or small glass jars as tea light holders. You can use them simply to decorate your garden while you enjoy the summer evenings, or create a charming effect at events such as weddings.

Decorating Small Glass Jars

There are a number of very pretty but very simple concepts you can use – this one is ideal for literary fans, for which you will need:

  • Small glass jars
  • Spare pages from books
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue
  • Masking tape
  • Paint and paint brushes

Make sure your jars are clean and free from the residue of label glue that can hang around through numerous wash circles – if you’re struggling, use a specific label remover.

Unless you have a very steady hand, use marking tape to section off an inch at the top and another at the bottom of each jar, then paint in a colour of your choice. You will probably need two or three coats to achieve a solid finish.

Now trim your spare book pages, which need to be the thin, matte paper rather than the thick shiny finish. Trim off the top margin, then measure your page against the clear section of your jar, between the painted top and bottom. You will need to leave a slight margin at the sides to allow for an overlap when joining pages.

Dilute the glue with an equal part of water so it’s slightly runny. Lay your page on a piece of cardboard and paint a thin, even layer of glue all over the back – you need enough glue to stick but not to make the page too soggy. Smooth the paper around your jar carefully, removing any air bubbles. You will probably need another page to encircle the jar completely, which you should cut so that the lines of writing meet neatly and follow on.

Decorate the tops of the jars with a ribbon or some beads and insert a tea light for a soft, romantic light effect.

Other Ideas for Small Glass Jars

Small glass jars can be placed around the garden or room individually, hung by wrapping a length of wire around the neck and forming a loop at the top, or hung in a line by stringing a number at even intervals along a wire.

If book pages as decoration don’t appeal, you can use the same method to decorate your jars with offcuts of pretty fabric or thick paper with a motif stamped out, allowing the candlelight to shine through the holes.

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Jam Jar Cocktails

glass jars

Re-use and re-purpose is the cultural watchword of the moment, but if you’ve had your fill of jam and chutney making, get more creative with your surplus of glass jars as a funky and original way to serve cocktails. Furthermore, they can save your life when you run out of fresh glasses at a party!

Stick with a theme by knocking up a bunch of delicious, jam based cocktails and don’t forget to save the jar lids to make instant cocktail shakers!

The most appropriate cocktail to serve in glass jars that have previously held jam is surely a ‘Louisiana Jam’!

Louisiana Jam in Glass Jars

  • 35ml Southern Comfort
  • 20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 20ml clear apple juice (not the cloudy variety)
  • 2 teaspoons apricot jam
  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 15ml sugar syrup

Half fill a jam jar with crushed ice then add all of the cocktail ingredients. Screw on the jam jar lid tightly and shake the cocktail vigorously until the ingredients are thoroughly combined, then remove the lid and top up with crushed ice if necessary. Serve garnished with a lemon wedge and a fresh mint sprig.

Glass Jars for Jam Mojito

  • 8-10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • 15ml red fruit liqueur – crème de cassis, crème de framboise or similar
  • 50ml white rum
  • 50ml soda water
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry, raspberry or blackcurrant jam

Blend the jam until it becomes a smooth puree. Add the mint, sugar syrup, fruit liqueur, jam and rum to a jar with some crushed ice and stir well. Top up with the soda water and more ice if necessary, then garnish with another sprig of mint and a couple of fresh berries and serve immediately.

Marmalady breakfast Martini

  • 50ml gin
  • ¾ shot of Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • ¾ shot freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of orange marmalade

Add all the ingredients to a clean jam jar and top up with ice cubes. Screw on the lid and shake together thoroughly. Serve immediately, garnished with a twist of lemon, or strain to serve without ice, as is traditional.

Jammie Dodgers in Glass Jars

  • ¾ shot of Chambord liqueur
  • ¼ shot heavy double cream

Pour the liqueur into shot glasses or glass jars first, then slowly and carefully add the cream so it floats on the top. Serve at room temperature.

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