DIY: Travel Memory Jars


I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate our travels and display some of the random travel souvenirs I can never bare to toss and landed on this fun, simple mason jar idea. If it doesn’t fit in the jar – it goes! No, not really. But it definitely helps me pare down and only keep the really meaningful drink umbrella’s and wine corks.


I’m kind of obsessed with how nice they look on our shelves with our new set of those gorgeous Penguin Classic clothbound series books (designed by the talented Coralie Bickford-Smith). I debated painting the lids with a matte gold craft paint, but don’t want to fuss to much with them, so I left as is.


Once we have a larger collection, I’d love to display them all on shallow bracketed shelving, en masses for visual impact. But for now, I love that I can group them here and there in high-traffic areas of our home. Who doesn’t love a little reminder of a wonderful vacay or trip during the day-to-day?

how to_blue

How To Make Travel Memory Jars:

I used quart size “Ball” canning jars leftover from a pickle-making endeavor this summer, but I think Mason jars or even something smoother, like these, would work really well.  Ideally, you just want to use the wide-mouth, not the standard jars so any oversize or awkwardly-shaped items can be easily places inside; you never know what you’ll pick up on a trip.


Some of the contents we’ve filled ours with include: post cards, sand, sea shells, ticket stubs from vacation activities, drink umbrellas, champagne and wine corks and hotel key cards. I’d heard that it’s bad luck to take sand or rocks from Hawaii, so I included things like menus, the flower leis from our arrival, and sand from our beach bags — I figured that wasn’t stealing! The jar looked a little bare, so I may have supplemented with some things from beaches back home. Shh! No one needs to know. It’s all about getting the vacation feeling across.

While looking for project inspiration, I came across so many really cute ideas. Here are two of my favorites:

Alphabet Frame Vacation Craft IdeaShadow box souvenir frames – source: Jordan Hebl Photography via Design Aglow
vintage heart map art

Vintage map art – source: Bespoke Nine Heart Vintage Map by Bombus

Maybe I’ll branch out to some of these other ideas in the future, but for now, I’m pretty happy with my little jar vacay capsules. I guess I have a special spot in my heart for jars ever since Brian made this little “vacay” jar for me to keep on my desk when we worked together at W.B Mason. I grinned like a fool when I first saw it:


Today it sits on this in our office with my style and fashion books and every time I look at it, it still makes me smile. Just like our new vacay memory jars.



  1. Hi! I just found this project and your blog via Pinterest and had to check it out. I just love this idea of keeping things in a mason jar. I’m definitely stealing this idea for our beach vacation this summer!!!

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