Friday, November 25, 2016

French Country: Brilliant Ways to Use Bottles and Jars

Some of the least expensive and most beautiful accessories for your home are old bottles and jars.
Their rustic simplicity and practical uses make them perfect for a French Country Farmhouse look.
Easy to find in thrift stores or yard sales, you can often pick them up for a song.


When the light shines through their colored glass, these old bottles come alive, 
sending flashes of light around a room. 
Set them in or near a window where they can catch the changing light throughout the day
and watch the show. 


These muted green bottles are not only pretty, they also have an interesting history. 
I found them at a yard sale; the owner told me she had lived in Asia 
and had found them in a dump. The embossed writing on them looks Japanese. 
I love the shapes and the soft mossy color.


I have two bottles that are actually a window into my own history. 
One is a Shawhan whiskey bottle.
In tracing my genealogy, I discovered one of my ancestors 
on my maternal grandmother's side actually founded the Shawhan Distillery 
and is credited with bringing the bourbon industry to Kentucky.

The paper label, which is hard to find in good condition like this, says Merry Xmas
and Happy New Year and the bottle is imprinted with the words "Shawhan Distillery."


The other bottle is imprinted with the words "Shipley, Wheeling, West Virginia." 
Since my family is originally from Ohio near Wheeling, there's a good chance one of my relatives had something to do with it. I think it probably held some kind of "medicine."


These tiny bottles look sweet in an old window frame, tied with ribbons.


Another type of bottle I love comes snugly wrapped in woven wicker. 
Probably from some sunny place like Italy or Portugal or Spain, 
the warmth of the wicker makes these bottles a popular accessory. 


The large demijohns wrapped in wicker are gorgeous too but a little too pricey for me.
These smaller ones are more affordable and just as pretty.


Of course, the classic is the Mason jar. Used for canning, these teal-colored jars are great for storage in the kitchen, bathroom, or even the home shop. I like to top them with old zinc lids.


Mason jars were invented by a Philadelphia tinsmith named John Mason in 1858.
They were produced by various companies including Ball, Kerr and Atlas.
Most come in either aqua or clear glass. These have wire-bail lids.


Old coffee jars are handy to hold flour and sugar on the kitchen counter.


Bottles and jars make a perfect vase for a simple bouquet or to hold a candle. 
Fill half of the jar with sand and nestle a candle into it.


Whether it's a fancy demijohn or a humble jelly jar, 
bottles and jars are simply brilliant!

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31 comments:

  1. You have such an interesting collection and you've incorporated the bottles and jars so well into your decor.

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  2. You have such a beautiful collection of bottles and jars. You have given such great tips for decorating with them. Also, how wonderful to have bottles that are part of your family history! I agree with you the small demijohns are just as pretty as the larger ones. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!!!

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    1. Thank you Shannon! I've just discovered the raspberry preserves I have on my English muffins is from France and has a red checked lid. Add that one to my collection! Happy Weekend to you.

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  3. I find it hard to throw away our 'Bonne Maman' jam jars so have a cupboard full of them that we use as drinking glasses. We are completely used to them now and quite surprised when they are remarked upon. When a little gift is needed they can be filled with something age-appropriate e.g. hair ties, lollies, candle etc and their original checkered lid put back on with either a cardboard tag or covered with a bright piece of material. Love the simple things!

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    1. Thank you Catherine! What a coincidence. I just replied to the comment before yours and mentioned these little jars. I'm sure I'll put them to good use. Happy Weekend.

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    2. What a lovely gift idea! I admit I love those jars too, and it is hard to part with them, but as they are rather small for storage I probably kept only 1.

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  4. These are great ideas. I love blue Ball jars and other jars too. Isn't it funny how we might have collected fancy vases in the past and now we just love a good old jar. :)

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    1. Thank you Stacey. Yep, you can't beat a good old jar!

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  5. What a lovely post, so many lovely ideas. The photos were amazing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you have a good week.

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  6. Wow -- that old distillery bottle with the Merry Christmas label is FABULOUS! What a treasure - especially since it was owned by your family.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, that's probably my favorite bottle. I'll probably display it somewhere prominent for the holidays.

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  7. Oh, you have a beautiful and diverse collection! I too love bottles and jars. I've never seen one like the tall one in the first photo. Unusual!
    Brenda

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    1. Thank you Brenda! So nice to hear from you. It's amazing the beautiful things all around us if we just look.

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  8. Sorry, I haven't been by in a while. Trying to get caught up with my visiting. I love the Mason jars and especially the teal ones. You have a wonderful collection, Pat, and I like the idea of the candle sitting in the sand. Hope you're having a wonderful week.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Hi there Sandi! So great to hear from you. Thanks for checking in and so glad you enjoyed the post. Hugs,

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  9. So many beautiful pieces....You are so right, but I am still glad you shared this. I needed this inspiration for my home this holiday season. Now I know what I can use for some of my leftover greenery. Thanks Pat!

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    1. Thank you Christine! I hope you have fun puttering about for the holidays.

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  10. I love old jars and bottles!Yours are very pretty, and I enjoyed the post very much!

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  11. I'm a glass hoarder, too. Its so hard to pass up a cute jar, I've even bought spaghetti sauce only because I liked the bottle it was in. lol Great ideas! Those blue bottles are so pretty!

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    1. Thank you Audra! I bought a bottle of wine once because it had roosters on the label!

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  12. Aqua bottles are my favorite and I pick them u whenever I run across them. I've gathered some of them together and tucked a shiny brite ornament in each for my living room Christmas mantle. They are so universal and just look pretty! I don't have any demijohns, but love them as well. Thanks for sharing your pretties with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks for visiting Jann! Your mantel sounds lovely.

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    2. I have couple of old jars (maybe)one is coffee jar with --adhams. Forgot and put lid in water to wash and part of label washed off. kick myself. Then on front of jar are embossed letters with - VACUUM PACKED/COFFEE/A PERFECT GRIND/FOR ANY METHOD/--OF MAKING --/ONE POUND NET Have no idea if is really old due to- of any making- but I love it. Also have jar with reliance pure foods in caps, then in circle on lid is better 7 ways! Has embossed designs on all 4 sides - RELIANCE/BRAND/WIDE MOUTH/MASON. Other 3 sides has only Reliance brand. The lid is black with writing and red circles then side of lid had blk/red checks. Guess am kind of silly about my jars. Have few older mason jars which I take good care of. Got most in MTT and few here and there in Midwest riding with trucker hubs when I could get him to stop and in Bowling Green, KY, area where we lived for 5 yrs. Finding anything here in Grand Junction, CO area is iffy as everybody wants a mint for least little things. Miss MT and KY very much for finding treasures..
      Loved all your bottles, have some real prizes.
      Have great rest of weekend

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  13. You have an amazing collection of bottles and jars. That Christmas bottle is incredible. Thanks for sharing at Monday Social.

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  14. What a lovely and evocative post about your various bottle and jar collections, Pat. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing it with us all at Vintage Charm :)

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