Monday, November 19, 2012

Memory and Gratitude Jar Craft Tutorial

 This memory and thankful/gratitude jars are extremely easy and simple to make. You can spend next to nothing, or go all out on supplies. Most of the time, you can just find things around the house to use to embellish your jars.

These would make great gifts! Imagine, a teacher gift, where the students write down things they appreciate about the teacher. Or a grandparent, and each grandchild/child write down things they love about grandma and a happy memory. Ooh, or a baby or bridal shower, where each person in attendance writes down a fond memory of the guest of honor and a word of advice on motherhood or marriage! It would make a touching memorial for someone who has passed on, filled with memories and trinkets of that person. The jars can hold, candles or flowers, and would look lovely on a wedding table. You can really do anything with them. And best of all, they are really fun to make with family and friends! It would be fun for a little girl's birthday party activity! Everyone just brings some ribbon, lace, twine, odds and ends and have fun together.

In my memory jars, I use items to decorate based on that memory, then fill the jars up with photos and memorabilia. Here, I have a baby and wedding jar. The butterfly pin I wore on my wedding dress and the one in the jar was on my cake. The ribbons are fragments used in my bouquet. NUME is a silly little inside joke with my husband. For the baby jar, I put her baby bow on there, and tied it with trim and ribbons. Inside, is the fabric trim we used on her blessing headband, that also matched her blessing dress that her aunt made her. I still need to fill these jars up, but you see where I am going with this. Imagine having a shelf or  with lots of little memory jars, for births, vacations, special occasions, or just because.

For the gratitude jar,. you fill it with paper scraps. You can have some method, like every Sunday night, each family member writes something they are thankful for, and include special memories or funny conversations with your kids on the paper scraps. You read them all together at Thanksgiving. Then, you can staple them together in a paper chain for your Christmas tree. Start the tradition each year and add to your paper chain for a fun, annual activity. Reading old memories and moments of gratitude from past years will really bring back some tender and silly moments each year that otherwise may have been long forgotten.

Hot soapy water and vinegar are both great for cleaning sticky labels off of the glass. Lightly sand your jar lid if you want, prime with spray paint, then spray paint your desired color. A few very light coats makes for a cleaner look and better coverage than a thick coat of paint. I used hot glue to secure the cut burlap strips, then the ribbon can be glue on or tied on. Any kind of embellishments work. Making your own embellishments, such as rolled fabric flower s (tutorial) are easy and cheap. There are tons of tutorials on how to make paper and fabric flowers, or you can just buy some as well.

I even made a plain jar, with holiday themed 'corsages' that I can change throughout the seasons. There is no right or wrong way. We made these at a recent craft night and everyone's jars turned out wonderful. I would love to see if you make one and how you use it :)

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