A Gratitude Jar can be one of the most simple crafts. It can also be a powerful tool to create positive changes in your life.
Sometimes called a Moments Jar, Joy Jar, Happiness Jar, or Good Times Jar, a Gratitude Jar can help you practice gratitude and lead a happier life. (Free printables at the end of this post!)
What is Gratitude and Why Does it Matter?
The dictionary tells us that gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Gratitude isn’t just appreciating what you have, it is the act of giving thanks for what you have. It can be as simple as taking a moment each day to count your blessings and feel thanks for them.
Studies have shown that gratitude can be linked to better health, more happiness, and a more positive outlook on life.
It makes sense. We tend to see what we are focused on. If you recently bought a yellow car, you will start to see yellow cars everywhere. If you are thinking about cutting your hair short, you will notice short haircuts all around. If you are having a pity party, you will find plenty of things in your world that are going wrong.
But if you focus on your blessings? You will see more blessings. You will open yourself up to receive more blessings in your life.
How it Works
A gratitude jar is a tool to help you practice gratitude in your daily life. It is simply a jar that you fill with papers about things you are grateful for. You can create a specific time each day to do this, or you can put the jar in a well-traveled spot in your house (we have ours in the kitchen) and put in a blessing whenever you pass by it.
Then, on a day when you are feeling a little down or stressed, simply open the jar and read some of your slips of paper.
You could also create a special time to read them together as a family, like during dinner or before bed. Cultivating gratitude in children is also important.
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Gratitude Jar Supplies
- Glass jar (clean, empty food jars work great)
- Scrap fabric or paper
- Pieces of paper
- Glue (I prefer Mod Podge)
Once you have a clean jar, it’s time to make it pretty. (Note: You can use a plain jar, but crafting a pretty jar is way more fun.)
Decorating your jar can be super simple or more elaborate, depending on what mood you’re in. Below are 3 different methods to decorate a jar. There are many more, limited only by your imagination (and your supplies.)
Cover your Jar with Fabric
First, grab a piece of scrap fabric. Cut it to the size of your jar (we’re lazy crafting here, so you don’t need to measure). Just wrap the fabric around the jar, and cut.
Next, glue the fabric strip around the jar. (Ultimate lazy crafting tip: Use a jar with some leftover label residue so the outside is still a little sticky. Then when you wrap your fabric, it will stay in place without glue.)
Use Mod Podge to seal the end. Be sparing because any adhesive will create a stiff feel. If you want to feel your soft fabric, you will only want to use adhesive on the edges.
Finally, use Mod Podge to seal the top and bottom edges so your fabric will stay in place and it won’t fray.
Cover Your Jar with Paper
With paper, you can either use one strip, like the fabric jar above. Or you can decoupage with scraps of paper. Check out my DIY Decoupage Jar tutorial to learn how.
Cover Your Jar in Glitter
Gather your glitter jar supplies.
- Mod Podge
Decide how much of your jar you want to cover in glitter.
I decided to only cover the bottom half of my jar so that my gratitude papers could still be visible.
You can use tape to create a clean line, but I’m a lazy crafter and I like to
live craft dangerously.
Next, sprinkle glitter all over your glue. Be generous. You want all area covered.
It is helpful to do this over a tray or paper so that you can collect excess glitter and save it for another project.
I tried rolling the jar in the glitter pile, but it didn’t work nearly as well as shaking it on.
This next step is challenging. You have to wait and let it dry, because you need to cover the glitter with a top coat in order to seal it. But you definitely can’t put the top coat on too soon or you will end up removing glitter instead of sealing it. (I learned this the hard way. Patience isn’t my strong suit.)
Cover the whole glitter portion with Mod Podge for a top coat. If you don’t put glitter on the whole jar, make sure to only seal the portion with glitter, otherwise your un-glittered portion will get a hazy look.
I only did one top coat and it is working well, but depending on where you will have the jar, you might put more than one top coat to make sure you won’t get flaking later.
Shake the excess glitter back into your jar for reuse.
Make a Topper
I like to cover my lid with a pretty piece of paper. Again, this is simple. Just cut a piece of paper or cardstock out the size of your lid and glue it on. I prefer to use Glue Dots for this step because jar lids often have ridges that can make it hard to use glue.
I also can’t cut circles without a guide, so I used my Sizzix BigKick. I had no intention of buying a die cut machine because I have a Silhouette Cameo. But one day, my JOANN Fabric & Craft Stores had it on clearance, so I couldn’t pass it up. I have more learning and exploring to do, but it’s great for a quick cut like a jar lid.
Depending on the height of your jar lid, you can also add embellishment to the side, such as washi tape, fringe, or ribbon.
Finish Your Jar
Use twine, yarn, or ribbon to tie the free printable label around your jar. Then print some gratitude papers and start using your jar!
If you make and use a gratitude jar, I would love to know if it is helping you to feel happier and more grateful. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy (lazy) crafting!
Want to remember this? Post this Decoupage Jar to your favorite Pinterest board!