How To Create A DIY Memory Jar (Step By Step + Printables)


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Create your very own Memory Jar, and have a simple and quick way of capturing those special little moments as they crop up throughout the year. When you get to the end of the year (or at any time really), you’ll love looking back and reminiscing.

Create an easy DIY Memory Jar - Step by step with free printables


They are SO important to capture if possible because they are all too easy to forget if you don’t have a way to remember them – no matter how special a moment is.

So frustrating – but so true….

Over the years I’ve found a couple of ways to make sure memories last: –


This is a book that we create each year with pictures and words from the past year all collated in one easy (and not bulky!) place.

It sits on our coffee table for the year, and then goes into the bookcase with all previous years.

A gorgeous way to capture the year, and a great way to keep things neat and tidy and accessible.

Related: How to Create a Photo Book [Easy Step By Step Guide]

Lady holding a single polaroid photos


We have one for each member of the family. They contain all the *stuff* that tells the story of our lives – and we try and curate them each year – removing things that aren’t as important any longer, and adding things in that are new.

Such a special place to look at occasionally, and a great present to give to your children when they leave home.

Related: How to Create a Memory Box – Store Your Memories Easily

What about capturing memories as they happen, though?

These 2 methods of saving memories are fantastic – BUT they’re more involved, and take time to produce.

They definitely aren’t quick and easy to add to when something small happens – and the small things in life are often where the magic really happens….

So – my quest was to find a way to capture the little moments, so that we could add them to the yearbook or our memory boxes at the end of the year – or just have something to reminisce with on New Years Eve.

That’s where a memory jar came in!

Quote - Enjoy the Little Things

A DIY Memory Jar

So simple – but SO effective!

Basically – you have a jar in a place that’s easy to grab at any time of the year – and you write in anything funny / special / momentous that happens – AS IT HAPPENS.

I’ve created one for my family this year, and I can’t wait to start using it!

TIP – They’re great to read when you need a pick me up at any time of the year! I love taking a memory out at random and reading it when I fancy a little flash back to a great memory…

How to create a memory jar

What you need: –

  • LABEL FOR THE JAR (Available for free in the Printables Library HERE)
  • PAPER TO WRITE MEMORIES ON (A sheet with memory jar tokens is available for free in the Printables Library HERE)
Supplies to create a DIY memory jar

Easy (very!) step by step guide: –

#1 – Print off the label, and attach it to the front of the jar.

Label for Memory Jar onto the Jar

I use Washi Tape to fix it because I think it looks pretty – but you can use any tape you like, of course!.

TIP – Print the label off onto coloured paper to match your decor – I love the idea of using Brown Paper for this as I am an old fashioned kind of girl!

Using Washi Tape to fix the Labels onto the Memory Jar

#2 – Cut out small pieces of paper that fit into your small bag.

You can use the Memory Jar Printable Sheet of tokens from the Printables Library if you prefer – or plain paper works well too.

Cut out tokens for your Memory Jar - free printable

#3 – Add the paper/tokens to the bag, along with a pen

This is so that you have everything to hand whenever you get the urge to add a memory to the jar.

If you have to hunt for a pen or some paper then chances are you won’t bother, and you’ll miss the moment…

Tokens for your memory jar put into the bag

#4 – Attach the bag to the jar.

I use a command hook as I think this looks really smart, but you could equally use some ribbon or string.

So simple, but looks great, and it will be easy to use throughout the year because you have everything you need right there. No excuses!

Attaching the bag of tokens to the Memory Jar

How, and when, to use your memory jar

I have put our memory jar in our kitchen because this is a central place in our home and it will be in plain sight all year round – so very difficult to forget about it!

When something comes up, then you can grab the pen and some paper – write it down – and add it into the jar.


Writing on a token for a memory jar

You can add all sorts of memories to this jar: –

  • Funny things someone has said
  • A special event that you loved
  • An achievement
  • Something you’ve been thankful for

I like to write the date on them as well, so you know exactly when it happened.

This is especially useful if you are planning to add any of these memories to your Photo Book, because you can add them into the right month which is always a bonus! (I take a photo of the tokens and then add them like that, which also keeps the memory jar in tact).

TIP – A great idea is to create several memory jars, and have one for each of your kids in your family. You could look through them all at Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or on their Birthday each year. Or even – they would make a fantastic gift of happy memories for them when they get to 18 or when they leave home as a great keepsake.

Memory Jar finished and ready to use - on a windowsill

To keep, or not to keep

So, you get to the end of the year – and you have some decisions to make.

What do you do with the jar?

I like the idea of looking through the jar as a family at the end of the year, and talking about those special memories. We are bound to have forgotten some of them, so it will be really special to look back together.

After that – I shall add some memories to our Photo Book, but then I will get rid of the contents of the jar and re-use for next year.

You may want to keep the contents of the jar as well, but just be careful about whether you really will read them again at any point – we don’t want to add clutter where we don’t need to!

If you DO keep the memory tokens, what I would suggest doing is to hole punch them, along with a label with the year on it, and put them onto a binder ring so they stay together neatly.

Memory Jar on window sill with wording at the top "create a DIY Memory Jar with free printables'

so, there you have it – a quick DIY MEMORY JAR for you to try.

You’ll no doubt use it throughout the year, and it will create a really lovely tradition at the end of the year when you look back at what’s been added.

I hope you have fun with it, and can’t wait to hear how you go!

Read Next: Simple Ideas For What To Put In A Memory Box (& What Not To)


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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...


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