There are many versions of the Journal Jar. It can be given with a scrapbook or journal. It also can be used to spark conversation. There are lists in the Family History file that can be used as alternate questions. A journal jar is a nice gift for graduation, retirement or a milestone birthday. There's a variation called Scrapbook Idea Jar for when you have 'scrapper's block'.

The Journal Jar

Most of this idea is from Jean Gifford)


Life was not meant to be bottled up forever. This jar is jam-packed with 160 delicious and interesting questions to inspire you to celebrate something very important...YOU!


Combine a generous slice of your life history with a dash of nostalgia and several cups of facts and feelings. Fold in several sheets of photographs.

If you will follow this simple recipe, you will find that by this time next year, you will have one very delicious, personal history finished. All you need to do is draw out one slip of paper daily or weekly...On it you will find a question. Spend a few minutes or just enjoy remembering. Then mount the question at the top of a blank page and begin to write and mount photos or other memorabilia and answer the question. Don't worry about the spelling, handwriting, etc. Just tell YOUR story! This product was prepared to preserve your life as a message. Enjoy the scrumptious, homemade memories.

Memory Jar

In a lot of ways this is just the opposite of a Journal Jar. Instead of questions for people to respond to you put down memories, quotes, sayings, Bible verses, feelings, advice, words of encouragement, etc. for someone to read. You can put them on little scrolls tied with ribbon or just on slips of paper. You can hand write them or print them on the computer. The idea is for the person to read one each day. You can make them to last a month or a year or whatever you wish.

This would make a great gift for graduation, Father's Day, retirement, wedding or just about any occasion. It would be a special gift that would "fit" everyone. The jar could be plain or decorated very fancy.

Another Journal Jar Idea

(submitted by Ann Boldt)

 Give this to your favorite person (mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc.) then match/find photos that go with each story or era or subject. What an awesome gift from a grandparent to a grandchild/great-grandchild! Who cares if it's not chronological...our memories aren't chronological. If a question doesn't fit, change it to a question that does.
You need a quart canning jar with lid and ring, a small piece of cloth, some raffia and the following material. The idea is to cut the question in strips and place them in the jar. Put the material under the ring on top of the jar, and tie raffia around the neck of the jar with the card

We printed the strips on beige paper. The tag that goes on the outside of the jar was printed on tag board in beige and tied with beige raffia. The card was trimmed with pinking scissors and cut in an rectangle shape with one end rounded. The person takes out one strip a day and uses that to write a journal entry.
The card that goes on the outside of the jar says:
Combine a generous slice of your life history, a dash of nostalgia, several cups of facts and feelings and 104 deliciously interesting questions. Draw one slip of paper. Take a few minutes to enjoy the memories. Paste or write the question at the top of a blank page. Fill in your answer. Don't worry about your handwriting or spelling--just tell your story. This product was prepared to preserve your life as a message. Enjoy the scrumptious, home-made memories that celebrate something very important--YOU!

The strips to cut apart and place in the jar are:

(NOTE: I did not include ideas that were duplicates from the list above. You might want to use things from both lists.)

More Journal Jar Ideas

I gave one to each customer on National Scrapbook Day after we did the crop talk. I decorated the jar with a label I made on the computer that told the ingredients and directions. Then, I put a label over the top of the baby food jar lid that said "Journal Jar". I tied a ribbon around the the lid. I cut apart the questions and put ten in each jar. I then asked for anyone to open her jar and share an answer to one of the questions. They had SO much fun and so did I. I found out all about my mother-in-law's first job! (Kimberly in TX)

I printed the pages of ideas from Denny's site using the same font and cut each strip apart. I printed one page on purple and the rest on white. The purple cost me more, of course, so I did mostly white, but the purple in between the white looked really pretty in the jar! I used 12 oz. jelly jar. It's tall and slender w/ the crystal look on the outside (just a few dollars at WalMart). I bought some dark floral print, cut it in square with pinking shears and put it on the jar lid. I retyped the ingredients, recipe, etc. to make it small enough to hang on the jar (I printed front and back and cut it with pinking shears), then hung it on the jar lid wrapped with raffia and tied it in a bow. (Angie in OK)

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