Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

Craft Time: Family/Personal History Journal Jars

on March 28, 2012

Monday I ranted on why it was important to tell your own story and today, I wanted to give you a way to help accomplish this.  So, I give to you, Journal Jars.  These are fun little jars filled with prompts to help you tell your story.

What you need:

  • A medium to large size jar with a lid
  • Scrapbook paper (the thinner stuff works best for this.  Also you need at least some of it to be white on one side.)
  • Ribbon and other decorative items.
  • Glue
  • Scissors

First make sure your jar is clean.  I know, pretty basic.  Then it is all up to you as to how you decorate the outside of the jar.  I chose to print a saying I found online on some scrapbook paper then layered some different patterns from there.

I added a little ribbon, a paper flower I found in the scrapbook section and a small key charm I had found in the jewelry making section of my craft store.  Don’t forget to cover the lid.

Next you need to come up with your prompts.  This will probably take you the longest.  Just think back over your life and come up with sort of a general outline that you can fill in with specifics when you are writing.  Don’t forget to think ahead to milestones you maybe haven’t reached yet like retirement or having grandchildren.  Here are some of mine for examples.

  • What do you know of your ancestry?
  • What history have you witnessed or help make?  Did you live through What were you doing when JFK was shot or when the Berlin Wall came down?  Describe some of the major events you lived through.
  • Talk about your birth:  when, where, how it went for your mother and father?  What is your full name?  Is there a reason you were named that?  Are there any stories you know about your birth?
  • What was your mother’s full name?  Describe your mother both in appearance and attitude.  What else do you know about her?  What is the one memory of her that stays with you?
  • What is your father’s full name?  Describe your father both in appearance and attitude.  What else do you know about him?  What is one memory of your father that stays with you?
  • Talk about your time in high school.  What was the name your school? Best and worst part?  Were you a good student? What activities did you participate in? Talk about friends and relationships.
  • Have you been to any high school reunions?  Describe them and your interactions with former classmates.  Did it bring back good or bad memories?
  • Talk about college.  Where you went, why there, and what you studied.  Talk about the good and bad of your college life. Favorite classes and profs.?  Relationships with other students? Etc…?

Just sit down at your computer and start typing out questions.  I limited mine to three lines so that the strips didn’t get too wide.  Once you have your questions done, cut down sheets of scrapbook paper to regular paper size, 8 1/2 x 11, so it feeds through your printer easily.  Once they are printed, just cut out the strips, fold them and stick them in your jar.  I threw in a couple of blank ones too for whatever may happen in the future.

Now you just need some sort of place to write it all down.  A notebook, a composition book, a keepsake journal, or a computer.  Whatever feels most natural for you.  I like the journal jar idea because you aren’t going in order.  You can set aside an hour a week or a month or whatever you need to just focus on one memory or time in your life.  And what I always tell people is the most important thing, is to remember that this is not a sprint but a marathon so take your time and really elaborate on your experiences.

Now, go forth and write your story!

a little p.s.  these are going to be part of my Etsy listings when I relaunch my page hopefully in the beginning of May.  So if you don’t want to do it yourself, feel free to message me and we can come up with something very personalized for you.  Thanks!


8 responses to “Craft Time: Family/Personal History Journal Jars

  1. Really love this idea. Definitely going to make one. Thanks 🙂

  2. Jamie B says:

    This is a great idea, doing a journal about family and personal history! I love your decorated journal jar, too. I hope it’s okay, I featured your pretty journal jar in my mason jar crafts and decor round-up. You can see it here:

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea and for sharing the how-to for the journal jar.

  3. […] Me / 6. Rangement pour salle de bain vu chez Liz Marie / 7. Journal en bocal vu chez Musings from Mommy Land / 8. Tableau végétal vu chez Not Just a Housewife / 9. Un autre verre à cocktail vu chez I […]

  4. […] most popular posts have been the Personal History Journal Jar Craft and the Family Tree Craft for Kids.  I love family history, so I am so glad that these are my most […]

  5. I enjoy reading through a post that can make men and women think.
    Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

  6. […] the prompt on the strip of paper. The pretty journal jar pictured to the right is one I found at musings from mommy land. Her journal jar focuses on telling your own story with family and personal history. She has shared […]

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