Memory Jar or Scrapbook in a Jar

We wanted to share some of our (and our reader’s) favorite projects with you during Keeping Christmas this year. This Memory Jar/Scrapbook in a Jar project from Amber Graham has excited quite a lot of interest. Unless you want to add memories from 2012, you would of course need to update the year! We think a project this good bears repeating… recycling… up-cycling??? Well, whatever it is, enjoy and pass it along. 

by Amber Graham/photos by Kelly Carr

This is one of my favorite projects of our series. I don’t scrapbook but wanted a way to save family keepsakes and memories throughout the year. This jar contains supplies to jot down memories quickly, provides a place to keep small mementos, and looks great while doing it!

Gather your supplies:

large jar
Mod Podge
blank gift tags
binder rings
fun pens/pencils
die cut labels (optional)

Print the year on a die-cut label. (Alternately, print on scrapbook paper or cardstock. Trim with decorative scissors if desired.)

Give the back of the label an even coat of Mod Podge.

Affix to the outside of the jar. Allow time for it to dry, then seal the label with a coat of Mod Podge.

Put the blank tags onto a binder ring. (You could skip the tags and binder ring and just add scraps of paper. I just like the look of the tags and the fact that the binder ring keeps things tidy.)

Use the tags to jot down things you want to remember: firsts, a funny comment by one of your children, the accomplishment of a family member, etc

Add throughout the year: ticket stubs from movies, concerts, or sporting events, snapshots, small souvenirs from travels, any trinket or token attached to something you want to remember. You might need a BIG jar!

Keep it in a place that is accessible and encourage your family to add to the jar.

And then

one afternoon or evening

at the end of 2012

build a cozy fire,

make some yummy treats,

fill some mugs with cocoa and…

reflect on the blessings of 2012!

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  1. I am not much of a crafter either and I loved this idea so much that I am making them into gifts for my family and friends for Christmas this year. I am also putting it into a children’s shelter space that I am working on for the kids to write in thier favorite memories :)

  2. Larissa, we would love for you to pin it. Usually there is a “Pin It” button on each page, but not sure why this one doesn’t. We will check into it! Thanks!

  3. I have a God box. Sealed. I place all my prayer requests in there. This includes the ones that come by phone or email to me every day. I pray over that box every day, so that no one is forgotten. At the end of the year it is opened and it is amazing how many pf those requests have been met. It IS in God’s hands.

  4. This is a fab idea. I started doing something similar with my grattitude jar but i have to say i’ve been lazy of late and not bothered to add to it but now that you’ve reminded me i hope to get back to it and maybe add another like yours to it :)

  5. I love this jar!! I have a God Jar where I put all my prayers requests in and . . .forget about it!! Give it to God!!!

    Hubby spray painted it grey primer paint and I decorated it with Christian sticker, etc. and with a scripto wrote the words on the front GOD JAR.

    It holds scraps of paper with prayer requests on them dating back to one year now.

    I used a Prego jar cuz it’s tall. Whatever the need, in the jar it goes to God . . . and in His hands it stays.

    Also ‘thanks’ and ‘praise’ to Him may also go into the God Jar.

  6. I scrapbook but i am going to do this also. I plan on giving this to all my friends who are to busy to scrapbook for Christmas this year. This would be so fun to have on your counter for anyone to look thru when they are visiting.

  7. This is a wonderful idea! I also like Lori’s suggestion of compiling the memories throughout the year, and then bringing it out at Thanksgiving time to thank God for all the blessings and moments of the year…awesome.

  8. This is so fun. I’m getting married in January, and I think this would be a great tradition to start our life together. Sometimes you forget the little things that bless you because you don’t take time to write them down. I love it.

  9. I’m not commenting to be entered but just to say what a precious treasure this is for any family! Less overwhelming than scrapbooking or journaling. Just a wonderful daily nugget! Neat idea – thanks for sharing!

  10. Love this! I think I will give this as a gift this Christmas and encourage them to use it as a way to review and rejoice the year of 2012 over Thanksgiving 2012!

  11. I love this idea! This is a precious way to reflect on the
    blessings from the Lord through the year. The scriptures
    tell us to “always remember what God has done for us and to be thankful.” If you do scrapbook and your time is challenged, this will be so helpful to have these memories in a jar to help create your pages.

  12. I love this idea, it’s far less expensive and time consuming than traditional scrapbooks. I plan to give each of my adult children one of these for Christmas!

  13. Memories in a jar! Great idea for those of us who don’t have the time to scrapbook in the conventional way. This would also make a nice gift for those close friends you do a lot of activities with. Save up all the memories for the year and present it with a pretty ribbon around it. What a unique gift!

  14. I love this! I feel guilty for not putting our memories in scrapbooks, and this is a great way to do it!

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