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How to Create a Baby's First Year Memory Jar

Updated on April 19, 2017
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Randi is a mom, grandma, and writer. She also likes to dabble in art. These memory jars were created for her first grandson's baby shower.

My first memory jar: Hopes, dreams, wishes inside!
My first memory jar: Hopes, dreams, wishes inside! | Source

Why a Memory Jar?

Simply put, if you are like me, you start out with the best of intentions until life gets in the way. I've always been the type to let life get in the way. I'd rather be there ready to catch them after their first step, than recording it. However, I am also the one who wishes I had more physical memories.There are so many ways to remember your baby's first year, including: baby books, first year calendars, pictures and videos. These are all great and most of us do at least one of them. Some people are more diligent than others. A memory jar is a pretty simple way to do it.

Memories the one thing that can never be taken away from us. Make lots of them!

— Catherine Pulsifer

Instructions for Making a Memory Jar

  1. Start with a clean dry jar.
  2. Decide on theme/color scheme.
  3. Gather your materials, pictures, beads or feathers. Be creative. Have fun!
  4. Have your pre-cut tissue paper and other treasures ready to glue on.
  5. Do a dry run before gluing to make sure everything fits and you like where they are.
  6. Glue your pictures, baubles and letters/words on.
  7. Put on a light layer of Mod Podge.* Let it dry for at least 20 minutes.
  8. Repeat #7 if you want more shine.
  9. Tie the ribbon around the neck. Add a little glue to hold it in place.


*For the ambitious, you can make your own Mod Podge mixture for a quarter of the price by thoroughly mixing white glue and water in equal parts.

Baby's First Year Jar

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You can use jars from food you have finished or you can buy jars. Pictured here are a pickle jar and two dollar store mason jars.These are the supplies for the two I am making here.These are the supplies for the Baby's First Year jar.My completed "Babys First Memory Jar"This is the cover. It's a boy!
You can use jars from food you have finished or you can buy jars. Pictured here are a pickle jar and two dollar store mason jars.
You can use jars from food you have finished or you can buy jars. Pictured here are a pickle jar and two dollar store mason jars. | Source
These are the supplies for the two I am making here.
These are the supplies for the two I am making here. | Source
These are the supplies for the Baby's First Year jar.
These are the supplies for the Baby's First Year jar. | Source
My completed "Babys First Memory Jar"
My completed "Babys First Memory Jar" | Source
This is the cover. It's a boy!
This is the cover. It's a boy! | Source

Your memories are your jewel!

— Julie Butler

More Decorating Ideas

  • Glue gun buttons, beads and/or jewels to the jars.
  • Glue coins. I use foreign coins that have no value to me and are generally interesting to look at.
  • Wrap different colored ribbons around it and glue into place.
  • Use fabric paint to write messages and draw pictures.
  • Use decal letters and pictures.
  • Shop in the scrapbook section for the perfect size designs.
  • Buy bags of confetti instead of sequins. They are more substantial and come in fun shapes.

Memory Jars Are Not Just for Babies

You could easily make a yearly one for your baby. Many adults like to save special things like a ticket stub or a matchbook. Memory jars not only don't have to be about baby's first year, they don't even have to be about memories. They can easily be made to collect hopes, wishes and dreams. They can also be made and filled by the giver.

For example:

  1. Make one for a friend or family member. Fill the jar up with special memories you share with that person as well as wishes you have for them.
  2. You can make one for your son or daughter when they go away to school and fill it with words of wisdom, emergency numbers, little goodies and cash!
  3. Fill one up with 365 jokes or anecdotes as a fun gift or inspirational quotes as an uplifting one.
  4. You can also create a memory jar as a memoriam for someone who has passed away.

The sky is the limit. You can use it to challenge someone or encourage them. You can use it to say "I love you" or you can make a memory jar to share those special moments with a grandparent far away.

More Ideas for Memory Jars

Make these for different occasions. You can use the jar as a "gift box".You can make a memory jar as a Christmas present and add home baked goods inside. For a child's birthday you can put hair ribbons, costume jewelry, matchbox cars or action heroes. You can even use it for high ticket items like ipods, new phones, car keys, etc. You may want to include some notepaper and a pretty pen.

Mason Jars are great for Creating Memory Jars.

Ball Quart Jar, Wide Mouth, Set of 12
Ball Quart Jar, Wide Mouth, Set of 12

Since I originally wrote this article, I discovered the ease of purchasing Mason Jars. There are many different brands and styles available. You can even get some with their own decorative label for the less ambitious or creative!

 

Things to Include in "Baby's First Year" Jars

  • Lock of hair.
  • Hospital bracelet.
  • Thoughts and observations about your baby.
  • Hopes, dreams and wishes for him/her.
  • Song titles that hold special meaning.
  • Pictures.
  • A digital keychain with significant pictures.
  • Cards or messages that he/she has received from friends and family.
  • Milestone update.
  • Ticket stubs.
  • Fortunes from fortune cookies.
  • Jot down "words" and sounds your baby is using.
  • Talk about the funny things he/she does.
  • Put down anything you want to remember.

Memories are the treasures that we keep locked deep within the storehouse of our souls, to keep our hearts warm when we are lonely

— Becky Aligada

© 2013 Randi Benlulu

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    • btrbell profile image
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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Abby! They were fun to make! I used them at the baby shower. His as part of the table decoration and the other one as a game prize. Right now, she has the decorations from the cake in it and his hospital bracelet.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      What a great idea, Randi! I kept a scrapbook for my girls, but a lot of those things (lock of hair, baby bracelet, etc.) don't stay well-put in the scrapbooks. The jar is perfect and so much fun!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you so much, grand old lady! Congratulations to your niece!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 4 years ago from Philippines

      This is a wonderful idea. I'm sharing this article with my niece through FB because she has a new baby:)

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, drbj! They were fun to make and the keychain reminds me of those little bragbooks. Wven though we all have computers, cameras and phones, this is one that will be only of baby!

    • btrbell profile image
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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Jackie, I have long since stopped looking, hence the jar. I fear my daughter will be too much like me! Thanks for stopping by.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Aww, hank you so much, Faith Reaper! I will take that as an awesome compliment coming from you! Thank you for the votes and sharing, too, We used the baby jar as part of the decorations yesterday at the shower and the dream jar as a prize.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      What a clever idea this memory jar is, Randi. I particularly like adding the digital key chain with its precious photos. Thanks for this newsflash.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      What excellent ideas here, Randi! You are a fabulous grandmother already.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I still have my babies' bracelets, just wish I knew where. lol

      That jar could still come in handy, great idea, thanks!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, blondlogic! It was new to me, too and, like you, I have lost so many things that I would love to have now! This one is for my first grandchild!

    • btrbell profile image
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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Carol! They are so easy and fast, too!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thanks, Bill. It was new to me, too! And if you are ever a grandfather, you may need to attend a baby shower, too! You have a great weekend, as well. I am off on the rare Saturday!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      I too have never heard of memory jars. What a great idea. I know someone who is grieving at the moment and this may be a special way to remember him.

      I would have liked to have started one when my kids were young, otherwise things get forgotten or mislaid. When Grand kids arrive, I will be ready!

      Wonderful hub.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've never even heard of memory jars. Sheez, I'm in the dark on this one, but it is a cool idea. Maybe if I'm ever a grandfather I can use this idea. Well done, Randi! Have a great weekend.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Mhatter! I wish I had known about these when my kids were little. I loved saving all those little things like hospital bracelets! I love memory boxes as well!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Very clever and cute. A fun idea...and one to start and not put off. T hose memories are priceless. Great job and voting up as well as pinning.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Jars? Arlene mad memory boxes for our 2 kids. But jars or boxes there is no price tag on memories.