How to Create a Baby's First Year Memory Jar
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
- Start with a clean dry jar.
- Decide on theme/color scheme.
- Gather your materials, pictures, beads or feathers. Be creative. Have fun!
- Have your pre-cut tissue paper and other treasures ready to glue on.
- Do a dry run before gluing to make sure everything fits and you like where they are.
- Glue your pictures, baubles and letters/words on.
- Put on a light layer of Mod Podge.* Let it dry for at least 20 minutes.
- Repeat #7 if you want more shine.
- 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 JarClick thumbnail to view full-size
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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Fill one up with 365 jokes or anecdotes as a fun gift or inspirational quotes as an uplifting one.
- 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.
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.
- 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