It’s Christmas Eve and I feel so very fortunate today. My family came to visit and we had a wonderful time playing games, eating our Christmas ham, and giving gifts. I always wish I could preserve special moments like this for those days that seem darker. So for Day 24 of the MAKE IT MERRY: 25 Days of Maker Projects, I created a Happiness Jar to preserve and remember all of my happy memories … and I hope you’ll join me in doing this in 2019, too!
So what is a Happiness Jar? I first heard about this last year, only it was called a Blessings Jar. The idea is that rather than make resolutions for the new year, you instead get a big empty jar and start putting in happy moments noted upon slips of paper. Your jar will fill up with happiness—a tangible reminder of all the good things in your life.
To help you make this Happiness Jar a reality, I’ve designed some cute decals you can put on your jar as well as a template to cut out little heart-shaped bits of paper to keep beside your jar. Use what you like. All I care about is that you try it out. And when you’re feeling low, get your happiness jar and remind yourself of all that’s good and sweet in your life. Or wait until New Year’s Eve and read all about the highlights of your year. No rules, just happiness.
Let me show you how to make this Happiness Jar! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Materials for the Happiness Jar
- A jar large enough to hold a year’s worth of happy memories (I’m using a smooth-sided Ball Mason Jar)
- Self-adhesive vinyl in any color that pleases you (I’m using holographic blue)
- StandardGrip mat
- Fine-Point Blade
- Cricut Transfer Tape
- A weeding tool (I use the Cricut Basic Tool Set that has the weeding tool, scraper tool, scissors and more)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Lint-free towels or coffee filters
- 65 lb. letter-size card stock (16 sheets to get 365+ hearts for your happy memories)
- A way to cut your cardstock (You could use the Cricut Joy, Cricut Maker or a Cricut Explore cutting machine)
- My free SVG cut files/patterns (available in my free resource library—get the password at the bottom of this post)
How to Make Your Happiness Jar
Step 1: Get My Free Decal and Heart SVG File
Get the free jar labels and heart cutout designs for this project from my free resource library. (get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post).
Step 2: Prepare Your Labels and Heart Design for Cutting
Here is what the labels and heart files will look like when you upload them to Cricut Design Space:
Tip: If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made. If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, here’s how to download and upload SVG files to the Cricut Design Space app.
Step 3: Cut Out Your Design
To cut the vinyl sayings to decorate the jar, using a green StandardGrip mat, place your adhesive vinyl FACE UP on the cutting mat, make sure you have the fine point blade in your machine, load the mat, and press the flashing button to begin cutting.
For the cardstock hearts, I used Medium Cardstock, More Pressure. Put the cardstock on a StandardGrip green mat and use the fine-point blade. The design cuts 24 hearts out of one sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper. So if you want one heart for each day, you’ll need to cut 16 sheets of hearts.
Step 4: Weed Your Vinyl Decal and Apply Transfer Tape
Weed your design carefully, removing all of the excess vinyl.
Once your design is weeded, cut a piece of transfer tape the same size as your design. Remove the backing from the transfer tape. Apply the transfer tape to your vinyl decal and smooth the tape over the decal from the center outward.
With the transfer tape in place, use a scraper tool or other hard and flat-edged item (like a store loyalty card) to transfer the vinyl decal design to the transfer tape. It’s important to scrape it well to transfer the vinyl decal.
Step 5: Prepare Your Jar for the Vinyl Decal
Wipe down the jar where you will apply the design with rubbing alcohol and a lint-free towel. Do NOT use window cleaner as this will leave a residue.
Allow your jar to dry fully before moving on to the next step.
Step 6: Apply the Design to Your Jar
Carefully peel the carrier sheet off from the back the decal. If little bits of it don’t want to transfer to your tape, scrape it again and pay careful attention to those problem areas.
Now, place your design on your jar.
Using a scraper tool, scrape the surface of the transfer tape down to transfer the design to your jar.
Now, just pick up a corner of the transfer tape and slowly remove it from your decal.
Write down something that made you happy today on a heart-shaped paper. It can be anything—a memory, a lyric, a taste, a smell, an idea, a milestone. Anything at all! Fold it in and put it in the jar.
Now rinse and repeat the last step every day.
Get my free cut files for the Happiness Jar
If you make a happiness jar, I would love to see it. Please please share a photo in our amazing Cricut Facebook group, or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.
See all of the tutorials and free designs in my MAKE IT MERRY: 25 Days of Maker Projects Christmas!