Create Your Own 2017 Memories Jar!

(Note: This post contains affiliate links.)

I’m looking forward to making lots of memories in 2017. This year, I decided I wanted to document my year in a fun and unique way. I decided to create a memories jar.

A memories jar is almost like a scrapbook in jar form. I’ll put different mementos from 2017 in the jar so I can look back on them at the end of the year. Sometimes, I think we tend to focus more on the bad memories than the good. By documenting every happy memory from my year, I can remember all the good things and remind myself how truly blessed I am.

I went to Target a few days ago and bought a simple glass jar. (I’m pretty sure this one is intended for cookies.) You can choose whichever container you want to use, but I wanted a glass one for my memories jar because it is see-through and I can watch it fill up throughout the year.

So, what exactly do you put in a memories jar? Here are some ideas:

  • Written memories

    One of the easiest ways to document your year is to write down every happy thing that happens to you. I write my memories down on colorful post-it notes, include the dates, and stick them in the jar. Simple things make me happy, so I even write down things like, “Austin (my boyfriend) and I made omelettes, bacon, and hashbrowns this morning for an American-style Sunday breakfast.” Even though it’s a small detail of my day, I know I’ll look back on it at the end of the year and smile.

  • Photos

    Photos are great to put in a memories jar. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Many of us store photos on our computers, phones, tablets, or other devices, but I like having tangible, printed pictures to put on my wall (or in my memories jar).

    There is a subscription photo service that I recently learned about and wanted to share. Timeshel is an app that allows you to upload photos to its server directly from your iPhone, and every month the company prints high quality copies of your photos and ships them right to your doorstep. I always take pictures on my iPhone, so it’s really convenient to be able to easily upload them from my phone without having to go anywhere to get them printed. The printed photos come in either 3.5″ x 4.67″ or 3.5″ by 3.5″. They’re the perfect size to include in a memories jar! Once I receive my prints, I will write captions on the back of them to remind myself of when and where they were taken.

  • Ticket stubs

    Ticket stubs from concerts, movies, sports games, or other events make great items for memories jars. I didn’t used to keep ticket stubs, but I’m going to start collecting them so I can remember everything I did throughout the year.

  • Boarding passes

    If you travel by air this year, keep your boarding passes! While you might not realize the significance of them at the time, you’ll definitely appreciate the reminders of your travels when you go through your jar at the end of the year.

  • Letters to your future self

    It could be interesting to write a letter to your future self to read at the end of the year. This is a great reflection activity that will show you how much your life has changed throughout 2017.

  • Journal snippets

    If you journal occasionally, you may want to include some journal entries in your memories jar to look back on at the end of 2017.

I’ve listed some ideas here, but you can include whatever you want in your memories jar. You could treat it like a time capsule and collect objects in it as well. Or, you could only include photos if that’s more your style. The beauty of the memories jar is that it’s all about you, your year, and your happiness. Make it uniquely yours.

2017 will be a great year for me, and I can’t wait to share some of my best memories from this year on my blog when I go through my jar at the end of December!


Do it yourself:



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  1. This is absolutely adorable! It seems so simple and something that I can easily implement in my house. I actually even have a perfect place for one 🙂

  2. What a great idea. I know back in the day I used to scrapbook all these memories but the past 10 years pretty much all of them are digital. I may just try this idea.

  3. I love this idea! I think that having something like this would make me a lot more accountable to keeping track of memories. I tend to think “oh, I will do that later” and never do.

  4. One of our former students posted that she and her husband of three years do this. We looked at each other and said, can you imagine what it would look like now? 40 years later? It would be fantastic!

  5. I always have the best of intentions of making a book or something but I really love just a jar where you can throw anything in.

  6. This is so cute and very creative! I hold on to tickets and such but later lose them because I have no place to put them. I’ll have to try this!

  7. Oh I’m doing something similar to this. It’s called junk journaling. Take a mini binder and just punch everything collectable through the year into the binder. I’m choosing a pic, or collage of pics of events and using it as a journal/scrapbook of the year.

  8. Omg how cute is this?!?! I have so many random things laying around that I don’t want to get rid of because it’s a memory so a memory jar would be awesome

  9. OH i want to make one of these!!!! How awesome must it be on 12/31 to open up the jar and relive all of your amazing memories from the last 365 days!

  10. I don’t have a jar, but I do have a tin that I keep my memories in. That includes all my concert tickets (and that’s a lot) along with some pics and movie stubs. This is really a great idea.

  11. I have always wanted to do something like this! This is such an awesome idea to be able to lock away those special moments.

  12. This memory jar is such a creative idea to document memories. I like that is so inexpensive too. But the best part is going through everything at the end of the year. Thanks for sharing.

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