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How to Make a Memory Jar (+ Printable Label!)

DIY Memory Jar tutorial--a great alternative to keeping a daily journal. Includes a downloadable 2016 (and 2017) jar label as well as printable ideas and prompts to fill out. Click to get the free printables. | MakeAndDoCrew.com

DIY Memory Jar tutorial--a great alternative to keeping a daily journal. Includes a downloadable 2016 (and 2017) jar label as well as printable ideas and prompts to fill out. Click to get the free printables. | MakeAndDoCrew.com
UPDATE: The printable below has been updated to include a label for 2017 and 2018!

Happy New Year friends! It’s the time of year for setting intentions and this is one I think even the busiest, mom-iest of us might be able to tackle in 2016.

I’ve always been quite a journaler, but since having kids, some of those more time-consuming daily intentions have been replaced by other daily rituals–like keeping my kids alive. Still, there’s something I really miss about how flipping back through a journal can trigger memories that have long since been forgotten.

A former creative director I worked with used to call this “life within the cracks.” Is the little things that comprise our days, months and years that often just dissolve from our memories in favor of the big, broad strokes. The way you and your husband became obsessed with a midnight snack and ate it every night for a month straight (ahem…we’re those people) or the day your son insisted on wearing his pajama pants to school (backwards, of course).

So in 2016, we plan to keep a memory jar and fill it with the details that matter to us this year. We’re starting with an empty jar and over the coming months, we’ll load it up with memories to reflect on come December 31. (It’s really strange to think about being all the way back around the sun again for another December 31, isn’t it? Too soon. Let’s instead just linger in the expansive possibilities that newborn 2016 holds.)

My hope is that the jar serves as a time capsule of sorts that will transport us back to specific moments in 2016 that mattered to the humans we were at that point in time.

DIY Memory Jar tutorial--a great alternative to keeping a daily journal. Includes a downloadable 2016 (and 2017) jar label as well as printable ideas and prompts to fill out. Click to get the free printables. | MakeAndDoCrew.com

MEMORY JAR IDEAS

I think the key to having a jar that’s overflowing with memories at the end of the year is having some ideas ahead of time about what you plan to document. I put together a free printable with lots of helpful prompts that you can download to make sure you never lack something to write about. If you’d like instant access to this subscriber-exclusive download (and all the other past and future freebies!), just enter your email address at the bottom of this post.

A few categories your memory jar could include:

-moments that made you proud
-favorite meals
-compliments you receive
-things you’re currently curious about
-the things, large and small, you’re grateful for
-the Nexflix show you’re most obsessed with
-your child’s favorite joke, food, toy or person of the moment
-something nice you did for yourself
-something nice someone else did for you

DIY Memory Jar tutorial--a great alternative to keeping a daily journal. Includes a downloadable 2016 (and 2017) jar label as well as printable ideas and prompts to fill out. Click to get the free printables. | MakeAndDoCrew.com

To make a “journal in a jar” like ours, you really only need a few supplies:

– a large mason jar
– accessories to decorate the jar (We used baker’s twine and a button.)
– 2017 memory jar printable label (I included a 2018 label in this PDF so you’ll be all set for next year too.)
– glue or tape to attach the label
– scrap paper or our Memory Jar Ideas + Prompts printable (Subscribe in the box below to get instant access.)

DIY Memory Jar tutorial--a great alternative to keeping a daily journal. Includes a downloadable 2016 (and 2017) jar label as well as printable ideas and prompts to fill out. Click to get the free printables. | MakeAndDoCrew.com

Simply download and print the label, cut it out and attach it to your jar. Then head off to make some memories!

If you’re looking for other creative ways to document your life this year, check out these ideas:

How To Keep a Journal Without the Guilt
Make a Creative Baby Book Alternative Part I
Baby’s First Year Journal Part II

Make And Do Crew's confessions of real life
Snazzy blog photos can make it look like some people are doing it all (effortlessly!) while others of us (me!) are barely holding it together. So whenever I can, I like to introduce a little reality check in the form of a very un-Pinterest-worthy detail from my perfectly imperfect real life. My hope is that it’s a helpful reminder all of us that NO ONE is nailing it all the time.

I was writing this post this morning in our living room while baby Quinn played next to me on the floor. When she started to get fussy, I picked her up and snuggled her only to realize afterward that somehow she had managed to poop all over the rug while she was playing. Usually, I try to include a photo in these Reality Checks, but I figure you can use your imagination about this one.

Needless to say, this messy event is definitely going in our Memory Jar 😉

30 Comments

  • […] Source: How To Make a Memory Jar (+ Free Printable Label!) […]

    Reply
  • Laura
    January 6, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Hi! I love this idea, and I’ve subscribed to your website (yay!) but I can’t seem to get to the ideas and prompts printable. I’ve entered the password but I can only get to this page. Can you please help? I’d love to start this with my family soon!
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      January 6, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Hey Laura,

      Welcome to the Crew! I’m so happy to have you and I’m sorry you’re having trouble. I’ll email you the printables right now so that you and your family can get started!

      I’m hoping you can tell me a little more about where you ran into an issue so I can fix it. After entering your email address, you should have gotten an email to confirm the subscription. Once you click that link, you should get an email with the PW for the Vault. (That page with the printable (and all other freebies) is MakeAndDoCrew.com/exclusive-resources.) Can you tell me where in that process you encountered an issue so that I can help troubleshoot it?

      Thanks so much for reading M&DC, Laura. Happy New Year!

      j

      Reply
      • Laura
        January 6, 2016 at 10:56 am

        Hi! I just got the email with the printables, thank you SO much!!
        I just couldn’t seem to get to the page where they were available (entirely possible it’s my own brain cramp). The hyperlink above takes me to the main subscriber resource page – I log in the password – and then I’m still at that page. When I search for memory jar, I come back to *this* page … I just couldn’t seem to find the page with the actual printables themselves! As I said – could easily be my own brain cramp …
        Thanks so much – I’m printing these to do tonight!
        Laura

        Reply
        • Laura
          January 6, 2016 at 10:58 am

          Sorry – just wanted to clarify I was able to get the jar label no problem, it was the prompts I couldn’t seem to find. 🙂

          Reply
          • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
            January 6, 2016 at 2:41 pm

            Thanks for clarifying, Laura. It was a tech issue on my end. Totally my fault. Let me know if you need any further help.
            j

          • Jen
            November 2, 2016 at 6:57 am

            I subscribed but can’t get access to print the labels? It’s asking for a password and I haven’t gotten anything in my email. TIA

          • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
            November 9, 2016 at 8:31 pm

            Hey Jen,

            The password is in the welcome email you received from me. Have you searched your spam folder, etc? If it’s not showing up, you can re-subscribe in any of the boxes and you should get the email again. (But don’t worry, you won’t hear from me twice as often in general. 😉

        • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
          January 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm

          I’m replying to your comments in reverse order–oops 🙂 I completely understand why you were confused! They weren’t showing up in The Vault. They are there now in case you ever need to come back and re-download them. I add printables and patterns to that area pretty often, so feel free to check back in the future to see if there’s anything you’d like to grab. Thanks for your patience! 🙂
          j

          Reply
          • Laura
            January 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm

            Fantastic – thank you *so* much! 🙂

          • Shelley Collison
            January 6, 2016 at 3:17 pm

            Thanks Laura…your right they didn’t show up. I printed some…they are cute. I would love to make some of my own printables to share…just need to know how to make them??

          • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
            January 7, 2016 at 12:34 am

            Shelly–You could check out Canva.com if you’d like to start making some printables. It’s a website where you can design just about any type of image. (And it’s FREE!) I use it for a lot of the images with type you see around the blog, as well as for some of my printables.

            Happy creating!
            j

          • Shelley Collison
            January 7, 2016 at 6:22 am

            Ok Jess I will try it. Thanks

  • Emma Cutler
    January 6, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I have also had the same problem, I just seem to keep going round in circles!
    Could you also email to. Me too? Thank you very much! Emma

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      January 6, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      You got it, Emma! They should be waiting for you in your inbox.

      Thanks for reading M&DC.
      j

      Reply
  • Carolina
    January 6, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Hi, I’ve subscribed to your website , it’s so cute 🙂 but I can’t find the prompts 🙁
    thanks so much 🙂

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      January 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Hey Carolina,

      I’m so sorry you ran into trouble this morning. They are in The Vault now, but I’ve also emailed you so that you can grab them directly.

      Happy memory making!
      j

      Reply
  • Shelley Collison
    January 6, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Jess
    I am a brand new subscriber. I cannot seem to find the memory jar printables. Can you tell me where to find them. Thank you Jess?

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      January 6, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Hey Shelley! Welcome to the Crew! Thank you so much for reading and subscribing. I was having an issue with the printable this morning, but now everything should be working. Just visit makeanddocrew.com/exclusive-resources and you’ll find that printable plus several other freebies. (Use the PW from your welcome email.)

      Sorry for the trouble and please let me know if I can help you in any way.

      Happy memory jar making!
      j

      Reply
  • Mason Jar Journal | Misses Miscellany
    January 18, 2016 at 1:27 am

    […] Memory jar from Make and Do Crew […]

    Reply
  • RICKIE
    May 28, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Make a label for your memory jar. Using scissors, cut out a piece of blank, coloured or patterned paper and write your name and ‘memory jar’ on it. Add any other details or pieces of information you find necessary

    Reply
  • Lois
    July 25, 2016 at 11:46 am

    I just discovered your Memory Jar Prompts and think this is a great addition to journaling! Can’t wait to get started. I noticed that you said that you included a Jar label for 2017 but when I downloaded the pdf, there were two labels for 2016. Do you have another label available for 2017?
    Thanks so much for your ideas – fun to do!

    Reply
  • Melissa
    December 31, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Love this. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Lydia
    January 23, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Hi Jess!

    Gotten to know your great idea from my friend but I can’t seems to download the printable even after keying the password. Please help.

    Thanks!

    Lydia

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      January 24, 2017 at 12:33 am

      Hey Lydia!

      Once you subscribe, the password is in my initial email. It’s case and space sensitive and if the PW page is just refreshing, it means that the PW hasn’t been entered exactly correctly. Have you gotten that far and made it into the Vault?

      Once you’re in, the link to the printable is directly underneath the photo of the project. Click on that link and it will open the pdf in a new window and you can right click it to download it or print it directly from there.

      Hope that is helpful. Let me know if you need more details.

      Happy memory making!

      Jess

      Reply
  • Linda Gail Luster Strickland
    January 25, 2018 at 10:57 am

    So I’m having the same problem. I keep getting looped to the same things as the people above me. I have signed up and I have checked my spam folder. Not sure what to do. Also, since we are not in 2016 any more can you change and update for me. (If I can ever download properly.

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      January 26, 2018 at 11:26 am

      You can go to the Vault here: MakeAndDoCrew.com/exclusive-resources

      Then enter the password you received by email. (It’s case and space sensitive.)

      Once you’re in the Vault, scroll to the photo of the project you’re looking for and click the link directly below the photo to access the PDF. (The link below that takes you back to the tutorial with the full photos in case you want to reference them while you work.)

      I’m sorry, I don’t currently have a 2018 version, but I will add it to my list of things to create.

      Happy making!
      

Jess

      Reply
  • Rita
    February 11, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Great idea!
    Thanks so much!

    Reply

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