Gratitude Journal Jar Tutorial Using Upcycled Materials

grat·i·tude – the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

It’s always rolling around in my head: the concept of gratitude in everyday life. Do I exercise it every day? Some more than others…. Take some time and a cup of tea to pursue this excellent website, Greater Good, all about the science of meaningful life. But when you really get down to it, Perry Como said it best [accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative … latch on to the affirmative … bring gloom down to the minimum]

To inspire you to accentuate the positive in your own life, I put together a simple gratitude journal jar tutorial using upcycled Thank You cards as the primary media (oh the joy-bringing double irony). I am on my own journey of increasing the value, mindfulness and joy in my own life, particularly at work, although it all blurs together. Great idea for making a piggy bank for change too!

Easy Gratitude Journal Jar Tutorial


  • Paper! Cards, such as thank you, birthday, wedding, valentines, scrapbook, party invitations paper etc.
  • Scissors or large paper punches: I use 2″ and 1.5 ” circle punches
  • Quart canning jar with two piece lid: you only need the ring
  • Fabric scrap: approximately 5 x 7, not an exact science
  • Thread or embroidery floss, needle
  • Pen
  • Nice but not required: iron, sewing machine, little doggie photo bomb


  • Collect your cards and papers. I use mostly thank you cards but will be adding in other cards, post cards, invitations etc. This is a nice way to keep a card or memory alive. I might even have some wedding cards stored away somewhere that will need to get repurposed.

  • Using a paper punch or scissors or other cutting implement – making your journaling papers. There are so many large paper punches that would work great. You could also just use sticky notes or other scrap paper – but its fun to be fancy! It is a-ok to use the part of the card with writing on it too… maybe even nicer!

  • Prepare the top of the journal jar. Cut two pieces of fabric the same size. Mine were each about 4 ½ x 6 ½ inches. Iron the fabric and press about an inch down on the long side. This will make the slot for the card circles.

  • Line up the folded edge of the each piece of fabric. Mark with a pin the size of the opening desired. It needs to be big enough for the cards to fit in but smaller than the mouth of your jar. Then join the two fabric pieces together using a needle and embroidery thread or a zig-zag machine stitch. Be sure to secure both ends well so they don’t pull open as you deposit all that gratitude!

  • Place the fabric on top of the jar mouth and screw on the lid ring. Tug on it to center and make taught. Viola! Now fill it with gratuitous thoughts! Or coins, if you made it a bank, or maybe both? Penny for your thoughts…..

Gratitude Journal Tips from Greater Good! My favorite Try subtraction, not just addition. (aka what your life would be like without certain things) and of course, don’t overdo it.

Here is another post where I made repurposed place cards to set a table.

Update: Here is what it looks like “in its natural habit” – gratitude at work!

gratitude update2

Other posts with gratitude ideas:

5 thoughts on “Gratitude Journal Jar Tutorial Using Upcycled Materials

  1. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My website goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!

Leave a Reply