Each year is a time of unprecedented changes, adjustments, and maybe even challenges, yet it is also one of growth, joy, and fostered relationships. What’s one of the best ways to look back at our best, strongest moments? With a memory jar, which is a New Year Eve tradition for many people and their family members, everyone gathers the eve before New Year’s at a home with sparkling grape juice for the kids, wine for the adults, warm goodies, festive attention and gear to ring in the new year. Then the family members pull gratitude and reminiscent notes out of a jar and read them, taking turns.
A quick note before we start: This makes a great gift in a jar for a special someone. Memory jar ideas for boyfriends and memory jar ideas for best friends can work just as well here because our friends are just as much our family.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THE MEMORY JAR
Any of these decorative and crafting items can be found at your local craft store like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, through online retailers like Amazon, or in crafting aisles of Walmart and the like. Some options might even be able to be found free online.
- Decorative fabric of any design and color choice
- Paint. Metallic paint in colors like rose gold or silver can add to the New Year thematic festive look. Put one in mind of fireworks and bubbling wine glasses as one brings in the new year.
- Large decorative jars or mason jars
- Free printables for the memory jar label and as alternate blank memory jar notes. Kid-friendly printables should be considered too!
- Decorative stickers of various activities and seasons that can visually accommodate your memory notes like mini-illustrated stories. You can even use them to stick on the exterior of the memory jar. Consider New Year theme stickers too for the exterior if you’d like another fun look to the jar, or if you’d like to make the memory jar very family or kid-friendly with your child’s participation!
- Cardstock scrapbooking paper of any design and color choice to be used as your jar décor and/or as your blank memory jar quotes and notes that you can write on. Simple pieces of white printing paper or cardstock cut up into squares can work too for the notes.
- Double-sided tape
- 2.5 inch round hole puncher (optional)
HOW TO CREATE THE DIY NEW YEAR MEMORY JAR
In order to make this memory jar a success for my family, it is important to make it easy to use. Hold the slips of paper, the printables for the memory notes in a drawstring pouch or simple envelope with a pen, placed beside the memory jar.
- For the blank memory jar quotes and notes of paper, cut 8.5″ x 11″ white cardstock paper in half width-wise. And then cut those strips into varying widths since some stories will need more room, while others will be short.) Alternatively, you can use the pre-made free printables with defined writing prompts if you want to exercise your memory notetaking in another way. Fill the drawstring pouch or envelope with the slips of paper and pen.
- Now, for decorating the jars and lids, options are endless from festive-looking metallic paint covering the complete exterior of the jars, to stickers, and so much more. You will need a good two to three coats of paint to cover well. Be sure to allow the lids and jars (whichever you decide to paint) to dry fully before adding the next layer.
- Use double-sided tape to wrap the jar with the striped ribbon and attach the memory jar printable label on the front of the jar.
- Add the lid and tie the optional drawstring bag around the neck of the mason jar then your DIY memory jar is complete!
HOW TO USE THE MEMORY JAR
Nix the scrapbook and count your blessings of best memories by storing them in a jar with quotes or stories from over the year. You name it.
Option 1: The December Challenge
One day at a time beginning Dec. 1st, add a memory from the year by scribing it on the cardstock or paper notes and dropping them inside the jar. Then on Dec. 31st, after dinner has been had, pull out the jar and read away your most precious memories shared with your loved ones.
Option 2: The Year-Long Challenge
If you instead want to do this memory jar project all year long, that’s an option too! Starting on January 1 of the new year, place the memory jar in a central location in your home where all of your family members have easy access to it such as a kitchen countertop or the living room or front door entry hallway table.
Throughout the year, each day if you really want to challenge yourself, you can fill out a memory paper with something special that happened (big or small) and add it to the jar. Then, as a New Year’s Eve tradition, you can open the jar and read all of the memories from the year.
Option 3: As A Christmas Gift
Create your DIY memory jar in the suggested fashion with the ideas provided above then add on a printable gift tag to the jar’s lid. The printable tag should include a brief description for your gift recipients on how to use the jar: “Nix the scrapbook and count your blessings for the year of best memories by storing them in this jar with quotes or stories, one memory a day at a time.”
Follow us on our IG, Facebook, and Twitter to share your own jar or what your most memorable moment, precious memories, happy memories of 2020 have been with the hashtag #30daysofmemories / #bestyearofmemories!