Monday, January 17, 2011

Memory Jar Tutorial

Years ago I saw an article in a magazine where a woman had her family write down (inside small pieces of folded paper) the things they were grateful for. All the papers were placed in a jar with a lid. On family night the jar would be brought to the table and one folded paper would be removed from the jar and read aloud. I thought to myself, "what a great idea!" I wanted to do something similar only I'd put my own twist on it, and so " The Memory Jar" was created.

Memory Jars.
The Memory Jar is a very easy and inexpensive idea. It is so easy and with some adult help even a young school age child can do it. The main thing is to find a container suitable to hold the small notes. A glass container with lid might be suitable for a much older child or adult, but please consider a plastic container or a tin one for a younger child so that there is no issue of broken glass. Most discount and Dollar General stores have a variety of pretty and inexpensive containers. You might even pick one up at yard sale or the Good Will. An empty and washed plastic peanut butter container works well for the smaller child and can be decorated. Scraps of ribbon or yarn can be used for the outside bow. You don't have to break the bank for this simple gift.

Pink, Rachael's favorite color.
The next step is to just use some light weight construction paper, scrap book stock or any other paper that can be  written on. If you have some scrap booking scissors you can trim the paper to have pretty edges. The papers can be square, rectangular, round, heart-shaped or whatever you want. Punches can be used for holes in the cards to tie ribbons to fancy up the note (I'm sure you have a stash box of scrap ribbon or yarn). I wrote all the sentiments by hand, my daughters made jars for their dad and me and they wrote all their notes on the computer, printed up the sheet and cut the notes apart. You can embellish notes with whatever your heart desires, the possibilities are endless. My daughters made their little papers in their favorite colors. Even at a distance I know which jar came from which daughter. You can make them assorted colors too. The following are just a few of the memories I found in the my jars from my daughters: Now the fun begins....write

Meghan's memory.
Rachael's sad little memory :(
blessings, sentiments, or memories of whatever you feel is wonderful about that person. For me it was during the years my girls were away at college. I took a paper for each daughter and made a list. I spent about a week thinking and jotting down memories and thoughts of the past and present. The unopened jars were given to my daughters and they took them back to college. I was told there were a lot of laughs and some tears over what was written on those bits of pieces. I was also told how their roommates all loved the jars and also had fun listening. The nice thing about this gift is it is not only very inexpensive to make, but it rates high as a gift that is treasured. I recall my daughters telling me that they had forgotten some of the things I remembered and what wonderful memories were in those jars. I know that once in awhile they get out the jars and re-read the little notes. This also makes a great gift for mothers, fathers, sibling, extended family and friends. It can cheer someone up who is a shut-in or hospitalized. Everyone in an office can give one as a collective gift to someone who is going to another job. It can be given as a gift to any special person in your life. A new mother can write down her  feeling on the papers and put them in the jar. When the child gets older it can be given as a gift to that child. As said before, the possibilities are endless.

Very proud of Meghan!
Oh yes! Rachael & peas!

Leaving you with this thought, every day is a memory maker, treasure your memories, they belong to you and worth keeping and sharing. 


  1. What a lovely idea!

    We should make more effort to do things like this. They become invaluable down the track.


  2. Love the idea to keep family bond. All sweet to remember.


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