Bottled Memories


To make a remembrance gift for your mother (or another loved one), you will need: a few miscellaneous objects to act as “fillers” in the jar (balls of yarn, spools of thread, fabrics, ribbons, laces, doilies, buttons, and/or large safety pins, etc.); a clean quart canning jar with a lid and a screw band; personal items (see following paragraph); a pen; a piece of fabric; a ruler; scissors; an elastic; a length of narrow ribbon; the gift tag from this page; glue; heavy paper; and a paper punch.

You will need to decide what personal items (with your parents’ permission) to put in the jar that would have special meaning to your mother. Some possible personal items might be: items when you were a baby (photo, bootie or shoe, rattle or toy, etc.) or any items that represent your mother’s (or other loved one’s) interests (old jewelry, photo of her, old eyeglasses, art brush, large needle and thread, artificial flowers, seed packet, golf or tennis ball, wrapped candy, measuring spoon, recipe card, etc.).

  1. 1.

    Put the “filler” objects into the jar and arrange the personal items around them so that they (the personal items) can be seen. Then put on the lid and secure it with the screw band.

  2. 2.

    Draw a circle on the fabric about 4″ (10 cm) larger in diameter than the jar band. Cut out the fabric circle, center it on the top of the jar, and secure it with the elastic (see illustration). Make sure the fabric is even around the jar before you tie the piece of ribbon around it. Do not trim the ends of the ribbon yet.

  3. 3.

    Carefully cut out the gift tag on this page, glue it onto the heavy paper, trim it, and punch a hole in it where marked. Fill in the blanks. Use one of the ribbon ends to tie the tag to the jar. Trim the ribbon ends.

[photo] Photo by Matt Reier