Before we began working on the pantry, a hodgepodge of containers purchased over the years held all our staples. Some of them still functioned well, others…not so well! One of my pantry goals was finding pretty, airtight containers to hold all the dry goods. My requirements were simple – airtight glass containers that matched with screw on lids, available in a variety of sizes at a reasonable price. Was I surprised to find out how expensive and impossible it was to find exactly what I wanted! Because I needed a LOT of containers, over $10 each was not an option!
The closest thing I found was the Anchor Hocking Cracker Jars. While I loved the look, the size, the price, and the screw on lids, only one thing was missing…they aren’t airtight.
Sugru to the Rescue!
Enter Sugru! I had never heard of this product before, but I found it online while searching for a way to make things airtight. A quick google found that Sugru is a moldable glue (think playdough) developed in London. The best thing about this nifty little product is that that in 24 hours it dries into rubber! I didn’t even know that was possible! Because it comes in small packets which were a little pricey, using Surgru added about $2.00 to each of my canisters. But since the cost of the largest size jar (big enough to hold 1 ½ 4-pound bags of sugar) was only $5.79, I was okay with that! So my final cost would be $5.79 for the smallest jars and $7.79 for the largest jars…not bad!
How to Use Sugru – So Simple a Kid Could Do It!
This is one of the simplest projects I’ve ever done and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is!
Simply take the Sugru and roll it into a string.
Press the Surgu string into the lid where the top meets the side.
Play with it until you get the shape you want, and then set it aside for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, lightly screw the lid onto the jar before it becomes too hard, so you can make sure it fits. This will also make a sort of imprint – like a track the grooves of the jar fit into.
Take the lid off, set it aside for 24 hours and you’re done!
So simple! And I love these airtight glass containers. Word of caution – when these are full, (depending on what you fill them with), they can be pretty heavy. I know a lot of people use the plastic jars from the .99 store or Walmart; this will work for them too!
If I use Anchor Hocking jars, I usually paint my lids or use a clear sealer. They will rust after repeated washing!
How I Use My Airtight Glass Containers
You can use your jars for anything, but here’s what I keep in my airtight glass containers:
- White Flour (including Bisquick!) – While white flour really doesn’t need an airtight container, I keep it under an airtight seal in order to keep bugs and odors out. And it’s so much more attractive than the bag it came in!
- Sugars – Sugar (brown, confectioners and white) attracts moisture, so keeping it in airtight containers prevents clumping. It also keeps the ants out!
- Rice, Beans, and Whole Grains – Airtight containers keep moisture and outside flavors and odors out.
- Spices – Keeping spices in airtight containers lengthens their shelf life. It also prevents spices from picking up the scents of neighboring spices.
- Dried Fruits – Airtight containers will keep dried fruits from hardening.
- Baking soda and baking powder – I don’t think it’s really necessary to keep baking soda and baking powder in airtight containers, but the baking soda box always seems really flimsy to me. It never closes properly once you open it, and I’m not a fan of open cooking items, especially not in the summer with bugs, ants, and gnats hanging out. So I opt to keep them both in jars!! HINT: To test if your baking soda is still active take ½ teaspoon of baking soda and add a few drops of vinegar. It will fizz vigorously if it’s still fresh. To test baking powder, mix 1/2 teaspoon baking powder with 1/4 cup water. If it’s still fresh, it will bubble.
Whelp folks, there you have it. The easiest way I have found to make airtight glass containers. I hope this little tip serves you all well. Be sure to come back and see how I took these jars up a notch by adding a couple of special touches!