Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Crafting is good for the soul

We'll just ignore that once again I have seriously neglected this blog. I'll say that life has been consumed by many things. I'm running for an office on the international board of SLA, serving my regional SLA chapter as president,  planning some trips to conferences, and crafting away. I've been working on a really large project that I'll be able to share soon (but not yet) and some smaller projects in between.

Last weekend, I facilitated a Bible study for my church's women's retreat. We evaluated our thought closets, considering how it is that we as women talk to ourselves, what takes up the most space in our thoughts, and how God would actually like us to talk to ourselves and prioritize our thoughts. I had my doubts about the format (we watched several videos in the Jennifer Rothschild study Me, Myself, and Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover) since we were trying to cram the lessons of a 6 week study into a weekend, but I think it went well. Our church is planning on doing the rest of the study this summer, and I really can't wait.

So, what does this have to do with crafting? Crafty woman that I am, I couldn't miss out on an opportunity to make a little something for the ladies that attended the event. A few months ago, I saw a blog post about making journal jars, and I stuck it on the back burner of my mind. When I started studying for this event, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity.

Step one: gather jars of all shapes and sizes. Why buy jars when we empty jars all the time? The size of the jars ranged from a small jam jar up to a spaghetti sauce jar. It really made no difference, but I think I liked the odd shaped jelly jars the best. Make sure the lids fit snugly on the jars. I found metal worked better than plastic in terms of holding the paint. I did use one canning jar, and I just glued the two pieces of the lid together with tacky glue.

Step two: make sure the jars and lids are nice and clean, clear of all labels and glue, and don't smell funny (like one pickle jar I wanted to use). A nice long soak in warm soapy water worked well for most, but you may need to pull out the Goo-gone on the tougher labels.

Step three: I painted the jar lids to make them look less like discarded food jars and more like a crafty item. I painted both the outside and inside of the lids to give them a more finished look. This was the part that took the longest since you need to let the paint dry completely between coats. The outside of the lids took about three coats, depending on the lid material (plastic, metal, shiny metal). The insides only took about two (mostly because I was lazy).

Step four: jazz them up! I found a super cute dress form graphic over at the Graphics Fairy, my go-to site for license free graphics. Book mark it. Now. After some consultation with my DH, we agreed that I should color them to match the lids. I think that it added a very nice touch. I used my Crayola True to Life crayons that have complimenting colors mixed into one crayon (they are my most favorite crayons which is why it is so sad they were discontinued). For the inside of the lid, I made a little reminder of the Bible verse that was the focus of our study.

Step five: I attached the graphics to the lids using Mod Podge which is always super fun to use. It took about two coats to cover the graphics and make it smooth enough. I am also hoping that this step will help protect the paint from chipping. Let the lids dry completely before placing them back onto the jars (the point is to be able to reopen them after all).

Step six: fill the jars with journal prompts. I used a bunch of thoughts from our study and then when I gave the jars to the ladies, I encouraged them to continue filling them with favorite Bible verses and other prompts that will remind them of God's will for their lives. I colored the back of the paper to match the lids and dress forms.

If you had a journal jar, what would you put in it?


  1. It could be fun (and a challenge) to fill the jars with objects instead of slips of paper.

    Aunt Wendy

  2. Warning: Don't drop the wet lids on the floor (or let them roll across the floor) ;) Hey it only happened twice :-D

  3. @Aunt Wendy, definitely! I had considered that too. These would make a great Lenten or Advent meditation with different objects or just a fun jar to store memory objects.

    And @Anonymous (aka Jeff), you shouldn't share my messy crafting secrets :-)