Vacation Memory Jar

From a long time I was thinking of a fun way to commemorate our first trip together and recently I stumbled upon the idea of creating a Vacation Memory Jar. What a great way to save and showcase your travel vacation. So I pulled out the mini bag which was filled with souvenirs collected on the trip and some photos. Going through them once again was like reliving those beautiful days. I really wanted to recreate the Andaman Island, the beautiful white sand beaches and the clear blue ocean with lush green trees surrounding.  Oh what a beautiful sight that was!

I had saved a couple of vintage glass jars, from my Mum’s kitchen when our family had to relocate to another city and we had to leave behind a lot of things. These were square shaped and perfect to be transformed into a memory jar.  So I started with the materials I had, bought some one and finished it up in a couple of days. The final result was beautiful. Now this memory jar is like my little world which can be visited again and again. I knew this would also make as a good piece of décor too. So check it out!

If you would like to make and own or gift a memory jar similar to the one I made, following are the materials I used and the process.


  • Glass Jar
  • Sea Shells, Corals, Pearls, White Pebbles
  • Sand granules and Fine sand
  • Gel wax (As per the height and size of the jar)
  • Gel wax colors – Light and Dark Blue
  • Fine Blue Glitter
  • Sand sheets (Easy to make –Just add some Mod Podge/Fevicol on any thin plastic sheet and sprinkle some sand over the glue. Let it dry and set for an hour at least.)
  • Small wooden cloths pin clips
  • Photos from the trip
  • Miniature trees, plants and human figures
  • Hand drawn mini paper fishes
  • Other accessories if needed


For the Ocean – I started with the gel wax first. So why gel wax? ….Because to create the ocean bed, gel wax would work perfectly. Since it is clear it can be used to showcase the various colors of the ocean and the crystal clear waters with marine life. Like the one we experienced during our snorkeling trip. I divided the wax into 5 parts for 5 layers.



For the bottom most layer of ocean, I took the first part of the gel in a Glass/Steel container to melt it. (The best way to melt wax would be by keeping the container over a pot of boiling water and slowly stirring away to melt the wax chunks. This is a safe way to avoid burning the wax too much as overheating can make the wax catch fire.) Once the wax melts add a very tiny amount of Dark Blue gel wax color with some Glitter and mixed it a bit. Since I wanted to fill only front half of the jar with gel I tilted the jar towards the front and poured in the first layer using a funnel for precision. Once the gel is semi cold or not yet completed hardened you can go ahead and add some shells, pearls and small plants. But be careful with the edges; try to maintain the water layer effect.

Don’t start with the second layer until the first one has been completely dried and set. You can work with the second and third layers in a similar way as per the first one by gradually adding even lesser color or a bit of the lighter blue shade to bring out the gradient effect. To hold up the wax towards the front side of the jar, you can stuff a cloth in a zip lock pouch and place it behind and/or use some thick foam or thermocol.


For the fourth layer use hardly any color while melting the wax. This would be one of the top layers of the ocean and hence it needs to be transparent. Once the wax is poured in and a bit dried you can insert tiny paper fishes towards the front side and other plants on the other sides of the jar to decorate.

The fifth layer will be the final one and it should have no color so that it reflects the entire bottom colored layers. This will be the final and topmost layer of the ocean.


For the Sand – Once all the gel wax is completely set we can move on to the back part of the jar, the Sand part. Start filling the bottom part with pebbles followed by coarser sand granules. I wanted to keep the height of the sand layers same to the height of the ocean.


Now is the time to add the beautiful souvenir, mini corals, miniatures trees and the photo frame. To make the photo frame stand up in the sand, I used two cloths pin clips and attached the squared photo. Below the photo you can mention the place name the year of the trip. Look for the best arrangement of all the items and place them accordingly. This coarser layer of sand will provide a better grip, holding all the items upright.


Finally to create the beach effect cut the sand sheets as per the width of the jar and lay them one on top of the other like layers. Glue them together so that they don’t move if the jar is moved. Once dried, place them in between of the Sand and Ocean part.

Once that is done you can gently pour the final layer of fine sand to the back side hiding the edge of the sand sheet to make it look more seamless.

To add a finishing touch I used some miniature human figures and a shade umbrella to bring some life to the beach.

And voila! The Vacation Memory Jar is ready. This could also be a great gift for your family or friends with whom you had an amazing vacation or a trip.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *