The World in a Jar

Summer vacation season is in full swing–isn’t it wonderful?!!  We discovered the Oregon Coast for the first time last year and fell in love.  In fact, the ENTIRE state of Oregon is like a post card. And talk about an antique/thrift paradise!! You Oregonians have gem of a State!  This year, I’m SO excited to be going back and taking my daughter with us, which means her very first trip to the ocean.  Sun & sand make my soul happy.  In fact, I spend five months out of the year asking myself why I live in a state with winter and no ocean.  SOMEDAY I will live near the ocean.  SOMEDAY!Some of you may have seen this a long while back when I shared it over at I Heart Naptime, but I wanted to share it again and share my new treasures, because I think it is hands-down thee greatest vacation souvenir EVER! I don’t know about you, but I need another shot glass/spoon/t-shirt/insert other junky item here_______, like I need a hole in the head!  These are pretty, go perfectly on a shelf (so they don’t contribute to my clutter) can be out for everyone to see all the time…aaaand it’s F to the R-E-E {that’s “free” in case that only made sense to me typing this–my husband says I do that sometimes}!

Bottle up those vacation memories!

It was probably almost 20 years ago now that our sand collection was born.  My mom went with my dad on a work trip to Bermuda and wanted a way to show her kids the beautiful pink sand from a place that completely stole her heart.  After that, she just started bringing sand home from all of the beaches she had visited.  Now that she’s gone, my siblings and I have the sand from her travels, as well as collections of our own.

The sand below is all from my honeymoon and a cruise we took as a family not long before my mom’s passing.  PRECIOUS MEMORIES!

All of these jars and bottles were either thrifted or upcycled, so nothing cost me more that 50 cents (or what was already in my grocery budget anyway with the jar left over).
1.  All thrifted for fifty cents or less (that Atlas jar was a thrift find clear back in college and still one of my favorites EVER!)
2.  I saved a spaghetti sauce jar and a salsa jar, spray painted the lids and glued knobs on top.
3.  An old Yankee candle with the wax cleaned out.  (I just pour boiling water into the remaining wax and then dump it in the garbage.  Then scrub the wax residue with a sponge under really hot water).  I also Mod Podged a little bit of scrapbook paper to the lid to cover the logo that was stamped into the tin.
4.  Old liquor and wine bottles and soda bottles work great–especially ones that have special meaning from the trip itself.  The one that says “Long Beach” was a Jack Daniels bottle, and since the logo was part of the glass, I just wrapped it with twine to cover it up and then used a knob as a bottle stopper.  And Tequila bottles are perfect for sand from Mexico.  I’m noticing more and more with these awesome wood tops too.  LOVE!
Not going to the beach this summer?  What about all of those rocks and treasures from hiking and camping and our beautiful National Parks? Or ticket stubs from attractions you visit? I got sand and treasures last year from Crater Lake (how freaking perfectly adorable is that little Oregon pine cone)…

…Lava Butte in Bend, Oregon and Zion National Park.  As a general rule, I try to take my “souvenirs” from just outside the park so there’s no issues and it’s the same stuff right outside the boundaries as it is inside. And these are adorable 99 cent spice jars from World Market — perfect for smaller treasures, or in my case, the start of my little one’s collection.   Zion was her first real camping trip and this jar of red sand is one of her most prized and talked-about possessions.

And what if you go to the same place every year?  It’s still new memories made and there are still always new treasures to be had–especially when there are kids involved (or me). Write down a memory from that particular year and stick it in the jar with your finds.

My driftwood is sitting in a dollar store candle holder and the tall jar is another one from World Market, and I think I paid less than $5.00.

Do you have a special way of collecting treasures from your vacations?

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  1. says

    I keep a tall vase with a pothos start ( love the way they can live in just water) and it’s a great spot for the rocks and beach glass I found a long the lake beach I visited with my daughter and nephew. It looks pretty, it has a memory, and it adds to something I already had versus taking up more space. I did soak them a bit in some hot water with a few drops of bleach in case there was any algae etc on them that might affect the pothos plant.

  2. says

    Cite ideas. I started a similar collection with small Mason jars and hang tags from the office supply store. I write location and date on the tag and attach with baker’s twine.

  3. says

    Cite ideas. I started a similar collection with small Mason jars and hang tags from the office supply store. I write location and date on the tag and attach with baker’s twine.

  4. says

    Such a great idea! Just to pick your brain a sec: did you get the tall jar from World Market recently? I’ve been looking for something exactly like that to store my cupcake liners. And total sidenote: I have the same frame that’s in your second and third picture, except I painted mine white :)

    • says

      It was last year, but actually, now that you ask, I think I got it at IKEA :/ I think I’ve seen similar ones at Hobby Lobby though too. They would be awesome for cupcake liners! And holla’ on the frame! Yay for thrift store finds (mine was full of them one day)!

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