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Pet Silhouette Keepsake Bell Jar

When we lose a dear pet, we're left with memories and a few of their personal possessions. Creating a memory capsule in a bell jar is a fantastic way to memorialize your lost pet, and is elevated to fine art with the addition of a leather silhouette cutout.

pet keepsake jar

Photography: Ashley Poskin

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

This idea comes from our friend Ashley PoskinBell jars come in all shapes and sizes, but we chose a 7-inch jar and kept it simple by sticking with just a few special items: collar, dog tags, and a leather silhouette. The silhouette can be made from any material (cut paper is traditional) but we chose to work with leather because of its texture, various shades to choose from, and because it fit in well with the antique look of the bell jar. All you need to get started are a few additional craft supplies.

materials

  • Glass dome display jar

  • Adhesive leather patch (Pictured: Besego Leather Repair Patch, Lgt Brown, 8" x 11", $13, amazon.com.)

  • Screw punch (Pictured: Martha Stewart Hammer & Setter Set, $23, amazon.com.)

  • Scissors

  • Printout of pet, sized to fit the interior of the jar

  • Hot-glue gun and sticks

  • Pencil

  • Collar, tags, or other assorted sentimental items

steps

  1. Print out a photographed portrait of your pet. (Note: For our 7-inch jar, we printed the photo out at 5 inches tall. The final silhouette stands at 4 inches, because we trimmed and folded the bottom 1/2 inches over to attach to the base.) Fold the adhesive patch in half and tape down the photo. Trace around the outline of your pets profile, pressing hard with your pencil so that it leaves an indentation in the leather.

    making a pet silhouette keepsake jar
  2. Peel off the adhesive backing and press the two sides together, starting from the fold and working out, being careful not to create any air bubbles.

    making a pet silhouette keepsake jar
  3. You should be able to clearly see the indentation you made by tracing the outline. If needed, trace over the indentation with your pencil making it easier to see.

    making a pet silhouette keepsake jar
  4. Using sharpened scissors, cut out the silhouette. Inspect it for any odd looking areas. In my original cut, I included my dogs tags, but after cutting decided they looked funny so I trimmed them off.

    making a pet silhouette keepsake jar
  5. The leather patch is very sturdy, and can easily stand on its own when tucked inside of the dog collar, but it's a good idea to go ahead and attach it to the base. To attach, simply cut a 1/2-inch slit on the base of the silhouette. Fold one flap up, and the other down. Press hard to make a good crease.

    making a pet silhouette keepsake jar
  6. Position the silhouette on the base so that it fits perfectly between the glass, trimming the backside as needed so that the profile fits inside the glass dome.

    making a pet silhouette keepsake jar
  7. If your pet was a larger breed, chances are that their collar won't fit in the dome at its normal size. (Tip: You can use a screw punch to make an additional hole closer to the buckle so that you can double coil the collar so it sits flat at the bottom of the display.)

    making a pet silhouette keepsake jar
  8. Once you've double-coiled the collar, slide it down around the silhouette so that it sits even on the base. Place the tags next to the collar so that you can read the name, and add a dot of hot glue to keep them from falling over. 

    making a pet silhouette keepsake jar
  9. Close the jar with its lid. Display proudly, knowing you made a sweet and beautiful memorial for your pet.

    making a pet silhouette keepsake jar

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