Monday, October 28, 2013

Mason Jar Monday - Easy Mason Jar Time Capsule - Scrapbook in a Jar

A Year of Memories
Today's Mason Jar Monday DIY is an easy-peasy time capsule. Also called a scrapbook jar, Mason jars make a great way to preserve memories in addition to food.

Limited space in my tiny house means I don't want a ton of scrapbooks hanging around. You can read my post about using a digital photo frame to store and display thousands of photos in a small footprint, however memories are not limited to photographs. Many of my best memories are tangible. That seashell you found on the beach, the heart-shaped rock your special someone gave you, and the homemade Mother's Day card from your kindergartner are all precious memories you want to save. How, in a tiny house or in a small home, can you store these without them taking over your limited space making it looked cluttered or sloppy. An easy way to store and display these memories is by using a mason jar to create a time capsule scrapbook jar and then store and display it neatly on a shelf.

Dusty on Top
I have been doing this for two years now and I just love it. Throughout the year I collect trinkets such as squished pennies, ticket stubs, shells, pine cones, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other memorable bits I find interesting along the way. I write important dates such as the birth of a friends baby on a scrap of paper and I drop it into the jar. On New Years Eve I empty out the jar on the table and go through the "memories" from the year. I add a letter to myself in the future that talks about the past year and hopes for the upcoming one. Once I am done traveling down Nostalgia Lane, I put everything back in the jar and seal it up. I add it to the shelf as a decorative piece. Anytime I want to reflect on a particular memory, I can simply open the jar and "touch" history. I figure at the end of five years, I will consolidate each year into its own resealable bag and fit all five into a single gallon size jar to save space.

I am thinking this would be neat for a "Baby's First Year" time capsule too. You could add things like the birth announcement newspaper clipping, a pair of booties or baby socks, a tiny diaper, hospital bracelets, diaper pins, a favorite onesie, pacifier, lock of hair, etc. Jot down firsts (sits up, sleeps through night, smile, etc.) on a piece of scrap paper and drop it in. By the end of baby's first year you will have a nice record of their growth from birth on that is stress free compared to trying to remember to update a baby book. In fact, you could just empty the jar on a table, arrange it all in order from oldest to newest and then create a physical scrapbook or fill in a baby book.

This and That's Inside
For those who are planning a wedding, why not place a jar and some pretty scraps of paper on a table with pens? Invite your guests to leave you messages of love and advice for a happy marriage. On your first anniversary sit down over a glass of wine and read them together.

Pet owners may just want to create a jar for each of their pets. Every vet visit just drop in information about vaccines and treatments. Keep expired or updated tags too.

To label your jar, you can slip a paper printed with the information between the ring and the lid, as shown in my picture. If you have a Cricket machine or something similar you could cut out and stick on vinyl lettering/numbers to label your jar. Creating a label from a canning jar label would be nice as well.

Mason jars make a fantastic impromptu time capsule that are economical and practical. What would you include in your time capsule?


  1. What a great idea. I am an organizer and this would be a great thing to share with my clients. Thank you for sharing!