Making A Sprouting Jar

This article will illustrate how to create a nice set of sprouting jars from items found in your local super market chain store.

I find that for me stainless steel makes for an easier screen to work with. The water goes in and out of the jar easier — when compared to plastic.

Also these jars end up being a little cheaper than the standard plastic lids you find in health food stores.

Basic equipment required to make sprouting jar

Basic equipment required to make sprouting jar

When it came time to make a sprouting jar, I set myself the task of creating them from items I could find easily at the grocery store.

It is now often easy for folks to procure specialty items.  However, I figured since many of the larger grocery chains carry standardized stock if I could find the items in one such store then other folks should be able to locate similar items in other stores.

I shop at Raley’s, but I have seen these items at other food stores.

  • Mason Jars (wide mouth)
  • Cooking Splatter Screen (Farberware)
  • Laundry Marker
  • Scissors

If I had access to an old metal window screen, I might have used that. But fortunately (or unfortunately) all the window screens in my house were in good repair and on the windows. So I used the splatter screen. This was probably a very good thing because the splatter screen is stainless steel, and my window screens would have been aluminum.

Draw line around jar lid insert on screen

Draw line around jar lid insert on screen

Using the laundry marker I traced the mason jar lid inner circle on the splatter screen.  I started on the edge of the splatter screen for the first circle. Then I traced a circle for the center and other opposite side. This allowed me to fill in the remaining area with two more circles on either side for a total of seven circles. This is how it works out for the Farberware Classic Series Splatter Screen.

Showing tracings for seven lid strainers

Showing tracings for seven lid strainers

If you use a different source for the wire (which is perfectly fine) then you will need to adjust how you space the tracings. In the image above you can see that we have seven circles nicely traced on the screen. These can be cut from the screen using the scissors.

Cut the stainless steel mesh on outside of line

Cut the stainless steel mesh on outside of line

In the image above you can see that I left the black tracing line on the screen. By cutting the mesh circle just outside the line it is slightly larger than the original Mason lid insert. In the image below you can see the result of inserting this slightly larger mesh into the Mason Jar lid ring.

Screen mesh will bubble up and stay firm in lid

Screen mesh will bubble up and stay firm in lid

Notice how the mesh is pushed up into a slight bulge. This is a result of the mesh being slightly larger than the original lid insert. Through trial and error I found this situation to be ideal. With the wire mesh circle bulging like this it is firmly inserted into the lid ring. This snug fit guarantees that when I am cleaning jars or removing the lid to remove finished sprouts the mesh circles don’t roll around on the counter top.

Cut all seven circles -- around the edge of each

Cut all seven circles -- around the edge of each

The image above just illustrates cutting the remaining circles from the splatter screen. I’ve supplied this image for those folks that are just glancing at the pretty pictures then rushing off to make their own jars.

Seven stainless steel meshes for lids

Seven stainless steel meshes for lids

Here are the seven wire mesh circles and the small amount of left over wire screen. All in all there is very little left over screen. However, as you will see in the next image, there are some small slivers of wire created in the process.

Notice fine bits of sharp wire remains

Notice fine bits of sharp wire remains

These wire slivers created during the cutting process are very sharp. So far I have poked myself at least once each time I made a batch of seven jars. Be sure to clean these slivers up well. You do not want to get them in the carpet. They can make for nasty slivers in the toes.

Wash wire mesh to remove ink from pen and wire slivers

Wash wire mesh to remove ink from pen and wire slivers

Here I am using mild soap and water to remove the laundry marker from the mesh. While I do this I massage the mesh back and forth a little to release any wire slivers that might be waiting to drop.

Be sure to check all edges to remove loose wires

Be sure to check all edges to remove loose wires

Here I am taking extra special care to check out the edges. I really like the stainless steel mesh for my sprouting jars. I am able to use these same jars for seeds (even small ones) and for large beans. But, for this convenience I must pay the price of being diligent in removal of splinters. I also like the cost savings.

Seven wire mesh circles for seven sprouting jars

Seven wire mesh circles for seven sprouting jars

Seven Mason jars and seven mesh circles. This will make a nice bunch of sprouting jars. Enough for a good sized family.

The tracings worked out just right

The tracings worked out just right

Just a reminder of were the wire mesh circles came from.

We now have seven ready to go sprouting jars

We now have seven ready to go sprouting jars

And here we have our finished jars ready for use.

16 Responses to “Making A Sprouting Jar”

  1. Nice, thanks – love the details

  2. So, I am totally new to sprouting in jars…why the screen? Why not just leave the jar open or use the lid slightly ajar in case of having to rinse the seeds?
    Looking forward to seeing the sprouts :)

  3. Here’s a little experiment for ya.

    1) Get a jar.
    2) Put some beans in the jar.
    3) Fill the jar half full of water.
    4) Pour the water out of the jar.

    You’ll notice that some or most of the beans also pour out. The screen is very effective for fast rinsing of the sprouts.

    Also a screen lid is handy for keeping flies and other unwanted trespassers out.

  4. [...] size seeds. If you want to make your own sprouting jars,  this is an excellent   and detailed info-blog on how to make your own sprouting jar I think jars are much easier to use and rinse than trays and the metal does not repel water, so the [...]

  5. I’ve seen several of these tutorials and they all seem to miss a step, so it must be me who’s missing it … do you have to cut the hole out of the metal lid, or do you buy those ready-made, or … ?

  6. The hole is already in the lid.
    When you buy a canning jar, the lids are made up of two parts. The screw on ring part and the flat insert.

    The flat insert in this article has a KERR written on it. The insert just comes right out.

    The canning jars are designed this way so that you can replace the insert each year when you re-use a jar for your peaches, tomatoes, or whatever.

  7. I’ve had very little luck searching google for “sprouting jars” here in Australia, but a search for “canning jars” immediately returned a local supplier. No wonder I was having so much trouble, thanks for the fast reply and information!

  8. Could one use regular fiberglass window screening VS stainless stell mesh for the jar tops?

  9. That should work okay.

    The concern with fiberglass would be splinters. Fiberglass does not dissolve. A sliver of fiberglass in your body would continue to irritate. This can cause some major problems.

    But, if the specific mesh you are using does not splinter, then you should be in great shape.

    Also, you will be rinsing the sprouts before consumption.

  10. I’m doing this with kids at my camp. Is there any reason I can’t use a smaller jar? I want to send each of them home with sprouts at the end of the week. I amplanning to use a pint size jar. Should I use 1 tbl of sprouts? Thanks!

  11. No reason at all that you couldn’t use smaller jars.
    The size of the jar is one of convenience.
    Anything bigger gave me trouble. And, I happened to have a case of this size easily available.

  12. Very clever idea!!! I was wondering if you could use tulle (what they make bridal veils from) instead of the screen to avoid the splinters.

  13. Yes, I think that should work just fine.
    I suspect you might have a different experience with the seeds adhering to the screen.
    But all of that should work out just fine.

  14. Metal wouldn’t be my choice, simply because it would rust. I know you were using what you had handy, but I prefer using plastic mesh. Cheap and lasts forever.

  15. Thanks so much for the great instructions and photos! Looks pretty straightforward!
    Stupid question time from me now: how do you use the jars? Just throw in some seeds, splash it about with water, drain, and then just leave them to do their thing??
    Thanks heaps!
    Anna, NZ

  16. Thank you immensely for this craft instruction, it will now take my sprouting endeavors to the next level. The wire mesh jacked my fingers up while cutting the circles out but now I won’t have to worry about using rubber bands, cheese cloth, nor seeds slipping through stretched holes. — I got my splatter screen at the dollar store for 1 dollar so this was far more worth my time than trying to give my business to whole foods or home depot who I am certain would have been an arm and a leg. Long live sprouts!!!

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