Home Decor

How to Decorate with Apothecary Jars

I fell in love with apothecary jars when I was planning our wedding back in 2009. I needed to buy supplies for the 18-foot-long, sweet table we planned to feature at our reception, and I found that apothecary jars were the perfect vessels to hold candy.

You may be wondering what exactly an apothecary jar is at this point. They are glass jars, originating around the Middle Ages, that were used in pharmacies, hospitals and monasteries to store medicine, herbs, ointments, spices, and other medical related supplies.

Apothecary jars are rarely used in the medicinal field these days like they once were. Today they are used more for decorating and storage purposes because of their fashionable appearance. They possess a vintage look, making them a popular accessory or staple in home decor.

Because the apothecary jars are wide-mouthed, clear and come in many beautiful shapes, they were ideal for the sweet table. The table turned out amazing! It was vintage inspired, complete with antique silver platters, the apothecary jars and sweets galore. A bigger hit than the bar! Can you believe that?

Once the reception was over, the beautiful masterpiece was taken down. All the candy was devoured, the antique silver went home with my mother-in-law, and I was left with a bunch of apothecary jars. Now that the wedding was over, what was I to do with all these jars?

They were a great addition to the sweet table, but they had to have other uses. This got me thinking. Because they look vintage and elegant, I decided to use them for storage and at the same time enhance my home decor.

I displayed them in various rooms in my home, and they added such an upscale look to each space. I even used them for entertaining or decorating for holidays. With these charming vessels the possibilities are endless.

If you are interested in enhancing your home decor with apothecary jars, or using them for entertaining and holiday decor, below are some ideas to stimulate your creativity:

*In the Bathroom: These jars are great to store bathroom essentials. Not only are apothecary jars handy in the bathroom, but they also make things look very luxurious. In one of the bathrooms in my home I used them to store some fancy soaps and potpourri. They are functional because they store needed items, but the jars also helped me achieve the spa like feel in my bathroom.

Another idea is to use them to store frequently used items like Q-Tips, brushes, bath bombs, salts, cotton balls or even make-up sponges. It is amazing how ordinary items can look uber fancy when displayed in apothecary jars. Make the ordinary into extraordinary and up the elegance factor in your bathroom!

Below you can see how I jazzed up my spare bathroom linen closet with apothecary jars by displaying natural sponges, bath bombs and cotton balls. Looks beautiful, but is super functional!

*In the Kitchen – In my kitchen I used these gems to display faux fruit because I wanted to stimulate the appetite and give off a marketlike appearance in the room. The green limes and pears work really well to grab one’s eye and they give off a calming effect. I used oranges for that added pop of color.

Have fun with this. You could use various types of fruits, real or fake, pasta, beans, spices, kitchen utensils, etc. The jars can be used to store needed kitchen items, but at the same time make them look visually appealing. Or you can simply use the jars to display certain items that will generate a mood or feeling in the room. Similar to how I did with the faux fruit.

Instead of storing cookies in a typical cookie jar where the goodies are hidden from view, I used one of my fancy apothecary jars in my kitchen to show the goodies off. Jars with candy, cookies and other baked goods are typically displayed in cafe’s, bistros, sweet shops, bakeries, and international markets. If you want to emulate this look, try displaying your treats in apothecary jars.

*Candy Buffets/Sweet Tables: Apothecary jars are very handy for entertaining. Over the years I’ve used them for various celebrations in my home and for other smaller events outside the home. Check out my post, How to Create a Vintage Style Sweet Table, for more details. Like I mentioned above, apothecary jars are perfect for candy buffets because they are clear and have a wide mouth. Therefore, sweets are visible and easily served. Next time you are hosting an event in your home, dress up your dessert or snack table with these awesome jars. They really create an upscale look. Anything looks great in them! Even marshmallows! Ha ha!

*General Decor: Apothecary jars are great staple items to enhance your home decor because they serve as great accessories. They are fitting in any space in your home. Whatever look you are going for, these vessels can help you achieve it. Just fill them with items that connect with the overall look and feel of the room.

For example, I filled an apothecary jar with vintage baby blocks and put it in my son’s nursery. I was striving for the vintage yet sophisticated feel in his room and this accessory did just the trick. It looked super cute and harmonized with the other vintage items in the room.

Have fun with these jars. Like I mentioned before, anything looks great in them, and they give off an elegant vibe at the same time. You can style these beauties so many different ways and they work in all spaces. Fill them with sweets, flowers, small accessories, objects from nature, collections, toys, etc. All you need are some filler items, and they work like a charm!

*Holiday Decor: Don’t stop at storage and home decor. Apothecary jars are incredible items to use for the holiday and seasonal decor. Simply fill them with holiday related or seasonal items and instantly you have some stylish yet festive accessories. A little goes a long way with this tip. For Halloween, spooky items with orange fabric on top. For winter or Christmas, fill the jar with some bottle brush trees to do the trick! For Easter, why not fill a jar with jellybeans and add an adorable chic the kids will go nuts for.

These are just a few examples, but you can see the possibilities are endless. There are so many items you can use to deck these jars out. With this tip, your holiday and seasonal decor will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Below is a list of helpful links to some of the products you see photographed:

Happy Decorating!

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