Jar Organizer

A simple, quick idea on how to reuse old jars.

The jar organizer, whether you use it for storing screws, seeds, spices, buttons, electronic parts, or anything else, is very versatile. This design accommodates 12 jars, up to 7” long. However you can vary how many jars you use by just changing the lengths of wood that you cut.  For stability the base wants to be at least the length of your tallest jar. This unit also has space under it to store something, but if you don’t want anything under it, you can make it shorter (a little more than your tallest jar).

We originally used baby food jars, but they ended up self-sealing and we couldn’t get them off. So make sure you use a jar that has a proper screw on lid. Plastic is preferable to glass, but not necessary.

Materials & Tools

4 pieces of 2” x 4” x 16” Lumber

1 piece of 4” x 4” x 18” Lumber

12 Jars

2 x ¼” x 3” Lag Screws

4 x 3” Wood Screws

24 x ¾” Wood Screws

4 x ¼” Washers


Wood Saw

Tape Measure




1/16”, 13/62” and 5/16” drill bits


Step 1: Preparartion
  1. Cut your lumber. 4 pieces of 16” 2” x 4”, and 1 piece of 18” 4” x 4”.
  2. Paint your lumber if you wish.


Step 2: Holder
  1. On two of the pieces of 2” x 4” (now called vertical pieces), make a mark 2” down from the top, in the center of the board.
  2. Drill out this hole. Use the smallest drill bit first, and work up to the biggest.
  3. Make sure that your lag screws can pass through this hole. If not, drill it out a little more.
  4. Measure and mark 8” along one of the other two pieces of 2” x 4” (now called horizontal pieces), in the center of the board.
  5. With the hole you drilled out at the top, center one of the vertical pieces over this mark, turning it so that the 4” part runs parallel with the length of the board (as opposed to it being flush with the 4” part of the other board).
  6. Holding the boards together, turn them over so that the “T” is upright.
  7. Using the 1/16” drill bit, pre-dill two holes over the join of the two boards.
  8. Using the 3” screws, screw the boards together.
  9. Repeat this process for the other vertical and horizontal pieces of 2” x 4”.


Step 3: Jars
  1. Arrange your jars. You will have 3 jars on each side of the 4” x 4” and you want them to be fairly balanced with the jars that will be on the opposite side of the 4” x 4”.
  2. Remove the lids of each jar.
  3. Using 2 of the ¾” screws per lid, screw the lids into place on the 4” x 4”. It’s a good idea to pre-drill the lids to avoid cracking them. You want to leave enough space in between each lid to be able to unscrew the jar comfortably.
  4. At each end of the 4” x 4”, mark two diagonals line from corner to corner (to get the center point of the lumber).
  5. Pre-drill this center point on each end on the wood. Use the smallest drill bit first for an accurate pilot hole, then use the 13/62” drill bit.
  6. Place a lag screw through its hole in one of the upside-down “T”s, then through two ¼” washers and screw it into the 4” x 4”.
  7. Repeat for the other side.
  8. Screw the jars into their lids. You are now ready to organize that pile of jumbled up “whatevers” into tidy, transparent containers.


You can make the whole thing out of junk – jars, scraps of wood, even old paint – things that would have gone in the trash in any other home.