Friday, November 22, 2019

DIY Gratitude Jar

Learn how to make a simple gratitude jar that you can use to record & collect your happy moments. Adding to it each week is an easy way to practice self-care, as it forces you to slow down and reflect on the positive things (big & small) in your everyday life. This also makes a thoughtful DIY gift for friends, family, or anyone who's going through a rough patch (happens to us all). 

DIY Gratitude Jar (Easy Self-Care Idea or Homemade Gift)

Last winter, when I was feeling anxious and looking to shift things in my life, I started a gratitude jar. The inspiration came from an image I had saved in my "happy folder" on my desktop computer.

It's filled with positive quotes, images, gifs & memes that make me smile, laugh, or quietly reflect. I got the idea for the folder from Sarah Von Bargen, who calls it a smile file.

I was feeling low, yet determined to make a simple change, when I opened the folder and saw the happy jar graphic. It said to start the jar on January 1st, adding to it every day for a year, then opening it on New Year's Eve to read through all the good things that happened to you the year before.

It was mid-February at the time, but I started one anyway. I had just purchased a paper planner (The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley), so I took five minutes to write a weekly reminder to myself (all the way through December 24th) to add to the gratitude jar every Tuesday.

But I knew it would be easy to glance at the paper planner & ignore it. So, I also created a weekly digital reminder using google calendar. (see pic below)
DIY Gratitude Jar - Healthy Weekly Habit For Self-Care

I'm proud to say that between those two reminders, I stuck to the habit! This is coming from a former procrastinator & Type B gal.

Of course, I wasn't perfect about it. There were weeks that I missed adding to the jar because I was wrapped up in things or out of town, but I went back through and caught up.

This is where doing it on a weekly basis helps. Less pressure to keep up with it on a daily basis and you can easily reflect back on the previous week's bigger + smaller (yet significant) moments.

What is a Gratitude Jar?

Essentially, a jar (usually a glass mason jar but any vessel works) that helps you practice gratitude by reflecting on the positive things in your life. There are two main types of gratitude jars:
  1. An Empty Jar That You Fill (with handwritten scraps of paper containing things you're grateful for)
  2. A Full Jar That You Pull From (with printed slips of paper that have inspirational quotes on them)
The first is one you typically make yourself (or are gifted by others). The second is one you buy pre-made that you can draw from and read whenever you want.

I'm sharing the first type today. As much as I love quotes, I think it's more personal & meaningful to fill the jar with your own thoughts of gratitude and happiness. And physically writing out those thoughts solidifies them in your mind.

DIY Gratitude Jar - Healthy Weekly Habit For Self-Care

Why Start a Gratitude Jar?

The number one reason? It's good for your mental health to practice gratitude!

And right now, mental health is a BIG issue.

We live in a time where we're constantly stimulated by our phones, laptops & tablets. We become addicted to the quick dopamine hits we get when folks "like" or comment on our social media or forum posts.

But what happens when an algorithm changes and suddenly no one is seeing your posts? Or, your feed is filled with pictures and videos of everyone else's highly edited & curated "perfect" life?

You start to feel less than. Fall into the comparison trap. Wonder why your life isn't like theirs.

This has happened to me more times than I'd like to admit - especially on Facebook & Instagram

Here's what to do if you fall into the comparison trap:

  • mute that person's account or unfollow them
  • if you find yourself mindlessly scrolling in places that make you feel bad, delete the social apps from your phone or clear the cache on your computer so you're logged out of all sites
  • UNPLUG and take a break from the digital world

And in the meantime, ground yourself in your actual, real-world life.

Interact with your loved ones, spend time outdoors, do something that fills you up, or use the konmari method to go through your belongings & create a home environment that brings you joy.

Practicing gratitude helps immensely, too! 

It forces us to slow down and reflect on the things we're thankful for. And when we think about said positive things, it makes us feel good. It also gives a much-needed perspective when we're comparing our imagined "deficit" to another person's "surplus".

DIY Gratitude Jar + Prompts

Ideas & Writing Prompts For a Gratitude Jar

Some folks have a hard time writing when they're sitting in front of a blank piece of paper. Here are some ideas to get the words flowing:
  • core needs that are being met (shelter, food, safety, health, transportation, etc.)
  • people that are making a positive impact on your life & why
  • activities you're doing right now that make you happy: TV shows, books, movies, games, extracurricular things, etc. (it's fun to record these and look back on them a year later)
  • new experiences you've had
  • funny or cute moments from the furry friends in your life
  • things you've learned recently
  • things you've purchased, donated, or gifted
  • any creative outlet you have
  • good things that happen to others in your life (let it be aspirational for you)
  • places you've traveled to (even if they're just in your local area)
  • how you're feeling physically (it could always be worse - LOL)
  • seasonal things (weather, holidays, etc.)
  • things you've moved on from or left go in your life
  • new habits you've started
  • things you're looking forward to
  • old memories that affect you deeply & stay with you to this day
  • quotes or ideas that inspire you & why

DIY Gratitude Jar (Easy Self-Care Idea or Homemade Gift)

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More Easy DIY Crafts You'll Love: 

gratitude jar, happy jar, happiness jar, good things jar, mason, glass, prompts
Yield: 1 jar
Author: Elaina Newton - The Rising Spoon
Estimated cost: $5

DIY Gratitude Jar (Easy Homemade Gift)

DIY Gratitude Jar

prep time: perform time: 5 Mtotal time: 5 M
Learn how to make a simple gratitude jar that you can use to record & collect your happy moments. Adding to it each week is an easy way to practice self-care, as it forces you to slow down and reflect on the positive things (big & small) in your everyday life. This also makes a thoughtful DIY gift for friends, family, or anyone who's going through a rough patch.



  1. Buy the jar, cards, and pens and set them next to each other in a place where you can easily see the jar & remember to add to it weekly (or daily if you prefer).
  2. Create a written and/or digital reminder to yourself to add to the jar all year long. This makes it easy to add to your routine!
  3. DECORATING OPTION: If you're gifting this to someone else (or want to decorate it for yourself), wrap some hemp cord (plain or colored) around the top of the jar, then apply a sticker or several layers of chalkboard paint to one side of the jar. Write "gratitude jar", "happy jar", or "good things jar" using your favorite pen, markers, or chalk. You could even get a nice tag to tie onto the cord and write brief instructions for how to use the jar, and pair it with a few good-quality pens.  

Did you make this project?
Tag @therisingspoon on instagram and hashtag it #therisingspoon
Created using Craft Card Maker

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use.

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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