No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Vacation Memory Jars

Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 4 2002

You can keep vacation memories a little stronger a little longer with vacation memory jars. Filled with souvenirs collected on trips and pictures developed afterward, they are like little worlds that can be visited again and again. Kids can also add to them or rearrange them anytime they like. Bent wire can be used to lower and position objects in a thin-necked jar.


Comments (41)

  • Moni88 27 Jul, 2010

    a really good thing is get pics of your kids from the beach laminate them paste them on the inside put sand and shells and it will be like a "i was under the ocean" effect

  • rose60 28 Jun, 2010

    You also can take your plastic bottle a soda comes in or yahoo drink and fill it up with sand, shells,seaweed, rocks from off the beach and fill the bottle up with ocean water. tighten on cap tight and you have a souvineer from the ocean.......

  • amandolyn 25 Jun, 2010

    This is so great! Thanks Martha, for yet another awesome idea! :)

  • hallk567 25 Jun, 2010

    Maybe recycle mayonaisse and other plastic jars for children

  • rock63roll64 25 Jun, 2010


  • 2008Rose 2 Sep, 2008

    I teach nature at camp and as a result am always collecting things to share with the kids or to teach with. Generally they are kept in boxes and then puled out when teaching about that subject. Putting them in jars or better yet, plastic boxes which the kids can't break will allow them to see things any time they want. During off season I can display the boxes at home and not have to worry about the dusting problem. This would be GREAT in a classroom too!

  • Diegokid 18 Aug, 2008

    I did this about 8 years ago on a month long vacation. Only we picked cotton and variety of oats placing them in the jars with pictures. This is a great idea.

  • ozce 18 Aug, 2008

    thats a great idea. I was putting all my vacation memories into boxes and name them. But this idea is better than I do. I will try...:)

  • darlasdarlingdesigns 17 Aug, 2008

    I love this idea, I am going to start doing this and when someone sees it and asks about it, I can also pull out my scrapbook. But, this will be just a mini version of a scrapbook, that I will call my scrapjars.

  • myfavoritethings 16 Aug, 2008

    Hi~ I am going to do this for a friend's daughter who is leaving for college soon. What a great thing to have to remind her of home!

  • msfan257 16 Aug, 2008

    Bravo! This is a GREAT idea!
    I think I will start making party mementos like this for gifts. THANKS!!!!

  • Nancy_Ann 16 Aug, 2008

    I did this with my wedding flowers. I dried a few out of my bouquet and my husbands flower. That will be 32 years at the end of the month. When we went
    on our honeymoon we picked shells from the beach and did the same with them.

  • lovesimplethings 16 Aug, 2008

    My daughter had many small pieces of memorabilia as a teen (she's 20 now), so I also figured out this idea for her. She had a jar for things pertaining to her boyfriend (now husband!), one for our vacations to Colorado, and one for misc. things that she wanted to keep as memories such as ticket stubs, key chains, etc. It sure tidied up her shelves and made dusting them a breeze!

  • Racque 16 Aug, 2008

    And don't those sea things and sand look lovely in that blue jar? I have a bunch of those. May have to do one even though it won't be a vacation memory since I live in FL!! I've seen square jars like that at Target.

  • CMF 16 Aug, 2008

    There are great jars at Target in the kitchen section. You can then make a fun tag out of oaktag and tie it of with raffia around the llid to hang with the vacation details - location date etc.... Love this idea. I have a beach one already done from long ago. Have fun!

  • joaniem 16 Aug, 2008

    You can also use cannister jars with the seal on the lid. There are some lovely jars out there to display all your memories

  • AndreaAndrea 16 Aug, 2008

    Great way to display trinkets from friends.

  • kathycurrentfamilysingerknitter 16 Aug, 2008

    Hobby Lobby, Walmart.

  • akfriendanch 16 Aug, 2008

    This is a great idea and you can also creat your own shadow boxes to hang on the wall, set on shelf, you can make themed jars and shadow boxes i.e., sports, military, arts, etc... for example i made one with my daughter' s first dance photo, ticket from her first recital, program and little hair decorations she wore - it was adorable!

  • sheilascrafts 16 Aug, 2008


  • Tinadealy 16 Aug, 2008

    I really like the jars that you can find in the "cooking" section of IKEA. They have the metal wire pull down clasps to close. ALSO DON"T FORGET TO RECYCLE STUFF FROM YOUR GROCERY SHOPPING!

  • ur2creative 16 Aug, 2008

    Would love to be able to click on the picture and see it larger. Possible?

    Lovely idea.

  • kickypants 16 Aug, 2008

    I've been doing this for 35 years using boxes, bags or jars! My 7 year old daughter has naturally followed this idea because anyone can do it. THe simpler the jars, boxes, containers the better

  • PennyDenise 16 Aug, 2008

    You can find these jars at Michael's or maybe check Martha's web store. They are great to store items and wonderful for this project.

  • elkirbster 16 Aug, 2008

    This is a really neat idea... It just inspired me to do something with all the memories kept in boxes.

  • Anna_Marie 16 Aug, 2008

    Target stores used to carry the big, square jars shown in the picture.

  • willowisp80 16 Aug, 2008

    I love this idea, too. I have sand and shells from 3 of the 4 corners of the U.S. I think I'll use this idea to display them

  • yappyhappy 16 Aug, 2008

    I have made these before using my dogs as subjects. I made one of my pups a little bug. It turned out great. People who see it flip out! I love the beach scene too!

  • KennTab 16 Aug, 2008

    I have done something similar to these vacation jars with mementos from dear friends and family. I have one glass holder for each person. Inside are tokens, cards, photos, souveniers that represent that person in my life.
    I think these vacation jars are a delightful idea in keeping your sweet memories fresh at hand.

  • Crimsicle 16 Aug, 2008

    I think this is a great idea for anyone - not just kids.

  • yappyhappy 16 Aug, 2008

    I made these before I saw this idea...only I used my dogs as the subject. One of my pups I made into a bug. These turn out great! I love the beach scene...

  • babyhopes 16 Aug, 2008

    You know, to add to the nostalgia of the whole project, you could always find jars while on vacation. Or if that proves too involved, Ikea sells some really nice wide mouth jars for an affordable price.

  • TriciaJay 16 Aug, 2008

    I've done this years ago when I lived out the beach. Years later I saw them in stores. You pay alot of money for these in craft stores, but you can make them yourself cheap.

  • GrammieLpTp 16 Aug, 2008

    Perfect!! I just came back froma a week at the beach and now I have soemthing to put my seashells and things that I collected from my walks on the Atlantic Ocean. My dogs have already attacked the plastic baggie that I have them in.(must be the fishy

  • Aliciacivita 16 Aug, 2008

    You could also add a little story about your vacation and tape a cd with the pictures underneath. That way, when you feel like going back to that time, you would have all the elements. Great idea!

  • lolaval 16 Aug, 2008

    LOVE THIS! I always buy trinkets from my trips and never know what to do with them. Great idea.

  • ztreeters 16 Aug, 2008

    This is a great idea. I've used (small) clear plastic storage boxes. The rectangle shape makes more room for for a diarama effect. Also, many boxes can be stacked on a shelf thereby creating a layered display.

  • yvonne-m 16 Aug, 2008

    This is one of the most creative projects you've had! My daugher-in-law and I are scrapbookers and I think the memory jar takes it up another level. I can't wait to make one.

  • eHomebody 16 Aug, 2008

    Thank you for this wonderful idea. We attend a family camp, and each year I bring home handfuls of goodies from the woods surrounding our cabin. I have been displaying them on window sills and on top of my computer. But they always get dusty, and I have to pitch them. This is a perfect solution!

  • jblighthouse 16 Aug, 2008

    My sister and I have been doing this for years, marking the wonderful trips, mostly to the ocean, that we've had. They add a lovely and personal touch to our home decorating, and bring back fond memories whenever we see them. We've also recently added birthday jars - a neat way to remember a special birthday celebration.

  • CATSAL 1 Aug, 2008

    i love this idea, I have kept all those treasures in boxes, now I can get them out and create a beautiful memory jar. Just have to find the perfect jar.