Friday, 15 February 2013

Memory Jar (of Love)

I am back home in sweet T&T from the Dominican Republic! More about that another time because today is Valentine's Day! Here's another crafty idea.

In my previous post about Valentine's Day shopping, I mentioned buying a large glass jar. 

The original glass jar purchase. Oh the possibilities!
My original thought when I purchased it was to fill it with all sorts of Valentine's Day goodies. Turns out ALL my chocolate purchases were too large for the jar, so I enacted Plan B- The Memory Jar.

Traditionally, a memory jar is kept over a year and good memories/events are written on pieces of paper and kept inside of the jar. When the year is over, you can open up the jar and review all your happy moments.

For my version, I merged that idea with an old one from a house mate of mine and created The Memory Jar of Love. Sounds corny but hey it is Valentine's Day after all :D

My Memory Jar

For my jar of love, I filled it up with little notes of past memories/dates of importance to my boyfriend and I. Each with the full date of the event and some of my thoughts about it as well as my signature because it was from my point of view. The idea is that maybe the 2 of us will fill up the entire jar and have something to review on our next anniversary or on the next Valentine's Day. It is also much easier to maintain than a daily diary or a scrapbook and great when you are busy but would like to keep some record because you have a terrible memory (like mine!)
Close up view of my labelling

To the right is a closer look at my labels. I wanted to keep with the same theme of my mini-envelopes.

To do this I used similar colours and patterns. The materials I used were: black cloth ribbon, red and black construction paper, black and white plaid patterned paper, embroidery thread, coloured transparent beads and some silver hardware

How I made my own label

First I figured out how large I wanted my label to be, and then used a compass to draw a circle of that size onto some black construction paper. This black circle would act as the base for the label for me to add more detail and also provide a nice clean surface for the back of my label.

I then drew another circle of the same size on some black & white plaid paper. I don't have a wide array of scrapbook paper so I simply printed out a design I liked and adjusted the size to suit on my computer. I really wanted plaid to match the mini-envelopes but other alternatives that I use in similar projects are patterned gift paper, kite paper or cloth.

On red construction paper, I drew a smaller circle about 1.5 cm smaller than the previous 2. I designed my label on my computer, then printed and cut all the pieces.

I simply glued all the pieces together with the black construction paper circle last to hide the excess edges of the black ribbon.

To attach the label to the jar, I at first cut out a long strip of black construction paper to wrap around it and planned to adhere the label to it, to mimic the labelling on bottles or jars of edible treats. However, I did not like the effect that it had on my jar. I thought it was very obtrusive and hid the jar and notes rather than enhance the clear glass.

I decided I wanted my label to hang instead from the jar. I used some tiny rings from some old earrings, a key ring and some extra black ribbon. I used an embroidery needle to make a hole through my label and attached one of the little metal rings. I tied the black ribbon around the jar and a key ring to it and attached the label to the ring. Just because I wanted some extra decorations on it, I used black embroidery thread and made 2 hanging strings of beads and attached it to the key ring with another of the tiny metal rings. Another alternative to the beads, would be to attach some small tassels which you can purchase at most fabric stores.

What to fill your jar with?

So if you decided to make your own as a gift for someone, you can:

  • start filling it with past memories
  • OR - include a small notepad and pen or a stack of some pretty paper so that the person has something to write their own memories on. 

You can start filling up your jar with memories from Valentine's Day and read them next year.

You can also add little charms, photos or greeting cards to your jar. (In my case, I have a few photo booth pictures to add, some ticket stubs from movie dates and some rocks from hiking trips.)

Some people like to keep bills from dinner restaurants so you can also write notes on the back of the bill and add to your jar. Basically fill it with whatever is meaningful to you. THERE ARE NO RULES!

Other alternatives:

  • For Valentine's Day, fill up your jar with candy and chocolate, mixed in with romantic notes.
  • Make your jar into a "Things I love about you" Jar. Write down those things in a little book as you remember and then fill your jar up when the time comes.
  • If Valentine's Day isn't really your thing, make one for yourself! Use it as your own personal memory jar so that you remember all the little happy things that happened throughout the year. 

My Jar was a success with my Valentine! :D I think I'm going to try my hand at my own personal memory jar. I hope that you all felt a bit inspired as well.

Happy Valentine's Day all! I hope that you shared the love with friends and family and continue for the rest of the year :D

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