DIY Annual Memories Jar

Disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post in partnership with BIC. All opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

We’ve all heard of the concept of passing on a camera so the usual photo-taker can also be in pictures. In doing so, you get the opportunity to recollect what your loved ones see as special, in addition to your own perspectives.

The DIY Annual Memories Jar takes this concept one step further with a year’s worth of notes to read together and reminisce about at the end of the year.

Jar and Image


What is a DIY Annual Memories Jar?


On January 1st, the kids and I started our ‘Best of 2018’ jar. The instructions were simple: write small positive notes (along with the date) sharing anything special that touched your heart throughout the year.

It could be an event that made your day, a compliment to another family member, a goal achieved, or a simple thank you for an act of kindness.

annual memories jar

Once a note is inside the jar, there it stays – a secret until the end of the year when we read them together. I can’t wait to recollect this year’s events, and all the small things that made this year a great one. What you do with the notes after reading them is up to you, but they serve as great keepsakes!

I placed our jar in the kitchen not only because it’s a highly trafficked area and therefore serves as a regular reminder, but also because it’s the heart of the home, and the jar is essentially the essence of everyday good. As an added bonus, it encourages the act of writing all throughout the year.

As they are held in secret for now, I can only speak to the notes which I have written throughout the year, largely a collection of funny, proud, and happy moments. From big events and occasions, to small happenings that deserve to be accounted for. Some are complimentary while others are encouraging – all positive and full of love and gratitude.


How to Make an Annual Memories Jar


While you could get all Pinterest-y and create a fancy banner and small custom cards to use throughout the year, I opted for keeping it simple. All you truly need is a jar, scraps of paper, and a pen.

Since our junk drawer is also in the kitchen, I make sure there are always scraps of paper available along with BIC Cristal Up ballpoint pens. I want the notes and the writing to be clear, fun and kept long after the year is up, so I look for pens that are colourful and of quality.

DIY memories jar

BIC Cristal Up ballpoint pens deliver smooth writing and vivid lines in fun colours. I can spot flashes of colour through some of the papers inside the jar, and know that they are as full of life and love as the words written on them.


Benefits of an Annual Memories Jar


The obvious benefit is to take note of your family’s memories so they don’t slip away. Yet what I love most about this idea is learning what makes each family member happy.

I have to admit, it’s also an accountability jar: when one act of kindness is noted, it creates a ripple effects of more good deeds. As a Mother, I can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy when I see my child placing a note in the jar because something or someone gave them pleasure.

DIY annual memories jar

There are countless moments in an entire year that touch our hearts, and this Annual Memories Jar reaches out and captures them all, each one personally written to always be remembered. You don’t need to start right on the calendar year, this can be started anytime!

Have you ever created a Memory Jar?



  1. This is such a great idea ! I want my family to do this , we often forget all the good times we have so this would be a great reminder !

  2. I love this idea for what it is but I never thought about the accountability/kindness ripple effect aspect you mentioned. Another reason why I really want to do this with the family!

  3. I actually have something similar where i keep receipts or ticket stubs or anything that we can remember what we did or so but i think ill add to it.. the good deeds idea is great!

  4. We are doing a jar for Dec. on things we are thankful for,we will read them Christmas morning before gifts

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