DIY: Kids "Little Junk" Jars

My son’s bathroom was filled with little junk. Little junk that had no home.
Teeth flossers.
A collection of broken seashells he insisted needed to live in the bathroom.
Tiny plastic sea animals.
Little stuff driving me crazy.

So I had this idea. I had bought two metal strips at Crate & Barrel not long ago, meaning to hang them in my kitchen.

I thought I could magnet recipes up when I was cooking. But the strips didn’t fit anywhere. (I sometimes buy things because I like the idea and then can’t find a place to put them. It’s not a good practice.)
So. I thought about those unused metal strips. I thought about the little junk. And I dreamt about how I could magnet all the little stuff, CONTAINED, to the metal strips. My solution:
Baby food jars.
Hence, my DIY: Kids “Little Junk” Jars.
Just think of all the things you can put in these babies. All the things that bug me would fit perfectly: marbles, coins, erasers, hair clips, hair elastics, Barbie shoes, Polly Pockets, or any of those tiny toys you step on and find every place in your house.
One more thing contained = one less thing to annoy me and stay off the floor.
Here’s what I did to combat the little junk in one corner of our house.

Step 1: Wash out and dry baby food jars. I used 4 oz. and 8 oz. ones. The larger size was perfect for Q-tips and disposable teeth flossers. I soaked the jars in warm water before removing the labels. You don’t even need to clean off all the adhesive gunk because you will cover it later.
Step 2: Sand the lids until matte and the words start to come off. This is the project that almost wasn’t, because at first I couldn’t get the hot glue to stick. The lids have a waxy coating on them, and that needs to be sanded off in the center of the lid.

See the before and after, with the sanded one on the right? That’s how it should look. It only takes a minute.
Step 3: Hot glue a large magnet to each lid. Small magnets weren’t strong enough to hold up the jars. I got these big guys at the hardware store. They worked perfectly.

Step 4: Wrap the jars with colored tape (also from the hardware store). I gave mine blue and white stripes to match the bath rug. This is the trickiest step, to get the tape to wrap straight. I figured out the trick though, after my first couple:

Lay the jar on its side, hold the tape out taut with the end stuck to the jar and the roll pointing towards you. Then slowly roll the jar away from you, wrapping and adjusting the straightness of the tape as needed. Cut the tape off about ¼” after overlapping the starting point. Start the next piece at the same point. Repeat to make patterns and to cover the gunk on the jar (if you were lazy and didn’t get it all off in the first place. Like me.).
Step 5: Fill your jars with little junk, breathe a sigh of relief when you screw the lids on, and stick the jars to whatever metal surface you can find.

See how you can see the contents easily for when your little friend needs a (kid-safe) Q-tip or a yellow plastic puffer fish?

In case you’re interested, here's the link for the metal strips. They even come in cool colors! But you could use anything metal...they sell metal magnet boards everywhere these days. You probably already have one.
These jars aren’t the cutest, craftiest things in the world. But especially for a boy’s room, I almost prefer the simplicity. See?

Simple. Very quick and easy to make. Hard to destroy. Boyish (you could make them girlish too, of course). And practical. That’s my kind of DIY.
Have a good weekend!


  1. cute idea leslie, Grandpa Joe had the same concept when he was living with us. With all the littl bits and pieces of hardware like nails and such, he used little jars like these and made them to hang up side down, he use a piece of wood though. Happy crafting.

  2. sweet!
    you are a cute little mommy.

  3. this is such a good idea!! Love your creativity!


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