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How to Make a Gratitude Jar in 3 Easy Steps

If you Want to learn more about gratitude jars and how to make a gratitude jar (or sometimes lovingly referred to as a thankful jar, a thankfulness jar, or a grateful jar.) -Then you’ve come to the right place!

Using a grateful jar is a fun and creative way to practice gratitude and collect beautiful memories and blessings to keep forever.

In this article, I will share why practicing gratitude is an essential self-care practice and how you can make a beautiful thankful jar of your own (in just a few easy steps)

Ready to make a gratitude jar? Let’s get rolling.

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how to make a gratitude jar

What it means to be Grateful or Thankful

Gratitude, at its core, is all about recognizing and appreciating the good stuff in our lives.

Think of it as giving a big ol’ mental hug to the positive things and people that make our days a bit brighter.

Now, this isn’t just about the big wins like landing your dream job or having a fantastic vacation. Nope! Gratitude is also about cherishing those tiny moments.

You know, when someone holds the door for you, you catch the bus just in time, or even when you get that perfect scoop of peanut butter right out of the jar (come on, we’ve all been there).

But here’s the cool part: feeling grateful isn’t just a warm and fuzzy. Science backs it up too!

Research shows that regularly practicing gratitude can improve our mood, reduce stress, and even boost our overall well-being.

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Why We Should All Express Gratitude

So, gratitude. It’s not just a feel-good word or a trendy Instagram hashtag. There’s real science going on behind those thank-you vibes.

Brain Waves & Neurotransmitters, Baby!

When you practice gratitude daily, your brain releases dopamine and serotonin. Think of these as your body’s “feel-good” chemicals. (source)

Brain Patterns Shift

Being a thankful human can change the way your brain works over time. Yep, it’s like a workout for your brain!

Studies using brain scans have shown that the prefrontal cortex (the smarty-pants part of our brain) becomes more active when we express gratitude. Cool, right? (source)

Helps with Stress

Having a grateful heart can decrease levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This is a great idea since stress is a killer y’all! (source)

Related article: How to Make a Stress Management Plan

Better Sleep

Jotting down things you’re grateful for before bed can help you sleep better. The reason? That relaxation and positivity from feeling thankful can set for some solid ZZZZZ’s.

Social Connection Boost

Humans are social creatures (yes, even you introverts out there!). When we are thankful, we’re reinforcing social bonds and strengthening relationships.

This not only feels great but can lead to increased support and connection.

Immunity Boost

Some studies suggest that a positive attitude, including being grateful or thankful, can boost our immune system. So, the more positive emotions, the better! 🙂

different ways to show gratitude

Practical Ways to Express Gratitude

Let’s explore some super cool (and easy) ways to sprinkle a little more thankfulness into our lives:

This one’s a classic! Writing things down that you’re thankful for every day is a game-changer! They don’t have to be big things/ Maybe it’s that first sip of morning coffee or a friend’s hilarious meme.

Related article: How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

Write Thank-You Notes
Go old school! Writing a good old-fashioned handwritten note to someone who’s made a difference in your life is an easy way to show them you care while practicing gratitude.

Not into snail mail? A heartfelt text or email works wonders, too.

Mindful Moments:
Take a few minutes each day to pause and soak in your surroundings. That sunshine? The fresh air? Yup, plenty to be thankful for!

Share the Love at Meals:
Before diving into your food, share one thing you’re grateful for with whoever you’re dining with and eating alone? Reflect on something good from your day.

Make a Gratitude Board
Have you ever thought of visualizing your thankful vibes? A thankful board is like a vision board, but instead of future dreams and goals, it’s a collage of everything you’re currently grateful for.

Gratitude Jar
Using a gratitude jar is a fun activity and an excellent way to practice gratitude!

Grab a jar, jot it down, and pop it in whenever something good happens. Read through your notes on rough days, or maybe at the end of the year for a happiness boost.

how to make a gratitude jar

What is a Gratitude Jar and How Does it Work?

A gratitude jar is a wonderful tool to practice gratitude!

It’s a container (it can be a jar, it doesn’t matter) where you drop in notes of things you’re grateful for.

Think of it as a piggy bank, but you’re depositing happy thoughts and moments instead of coins.

Here’s how to use a gratitude jar :

Grab a Jar: Any jar will do. (Hang tight; I will tell you how to make one below.)

Write It Down: Take a deep breath, search your heart for a minute, and write down one thing you are thankful for on a small piece of paper.

(This could be a person, something that made you smile, or something that happened recently.

Drop It In: Pop the paper note into the jar.

Read & Reflect: Whenever you need a pick-me-up or feel like reminiscing, take a deep breath and read through your notes to bask in all the good vibes. It’s a beautiful thing!

Why Gratitude Jars Rock

A Shift in Focus

It’s easy to get bogged down by life’s hiccups. The jar serves as a gentle nudge, reminding us to focus on the good things and how truly fortunate we are.

Tangible Happiness

Over time, seeing the full jar of notes is super satisfying. It’s visual proof of all the joys in your life, big and small.

A Boost on Blue Days

Having a rough day? Dive into your jar for a quick pick-me-up. Those notes are like little rays of sunshine.

Shop Gratitude Jar Supplies

How to Make a Gratitude Jar

Making a gratitude jar is a fun project you can do alone, with the family, on a girl’s night, or with the kiddos. Here are a few tips and tricks for making your DIY gratitude jars.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a DIY Gratitude Jar

Step 1: Choose and Prep Your Jar

Mason Jar: Classic mason jars are widely available; they have a tight-sealing lid to keep your notes safe.

Recycled: Repurpose pickle, spaghetti, and even old candle jars:

Glass Cookie Jar: These often come in fun shapes and sizes, making them perfect for a family gratitude jar. You can buy these online or consider thrifting.

Baby Food Jars: These little jars are perfect for making gratitude jars with the kids!

Glass Canisters with Clamp Lids: They seal tight and often come with a label slot, adding to the aesthetics.

how to make gratitude jars

Step 2: Creative Ways to Decorate Your DIY Gratitude Jar

Adding a touch of creativity to your gratitude jar can make the practice even more enjoyable. In the picture above, we made gratitude jars for Thanksgiving with the kids.

It’s such a fun project!

Here’s how to decorate a gratitude jar:

Paint your gratitude jar

Use acrylic paint or paint pens to create patterns, designs, or abstract art on the jar. I like to paint the bottom of the jar with paint as pictured above.

Paint a section of the entire gratitude jar with Chalkboard Paint. This way, you can write or doodle messages and change them as you please.

Use Washi Tape to decorate your jar.

This decorative tape comes in many designs and colors and can add a fun accent and texture to your project.

Decoupage your gratitude jar.

Use Mod Podge and decorative paper, magazine cutouts, or fabric to collage onto your jar.

Use Stickers to Decorate your gratitude jar.

Whether you love florals, stars, or quirky designs, stickers can be an easy and fun way to decorate.

They have a ton of “thankful” and “grateful” stickers in stores during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Ribbon, Lace, Twine, or Yarn

Wrap around the jar for a classic, chic, rustic, or boho touch. You can also add beads or charms. So fun!

Photo Collage

I love this idea! Glue on personal photos or inspirational imagery for a customized touch. The best way to do this is to print photos on plain white stock paper.


Glue on colorful beads, pom poms, sea shells, buttons, and, of course, lots of bling!…the list is endless! (I like to glue embellishment to the lid.)


Paint over stencils to get precise designs like stars, hearts, or words of inspiration.

Glitter! (One of my favs) 🙂

Who doesn’t love a bit of sparkle? Use Mod Podge to stick on the glitter, or go for a full-on glitter dip!

Look for more ideas on my Gratitude Pinterest Board!

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Step 3: Paper Notes and a nice pen for Your Thankful Jar

Now that you’ve created your gratitude jar, it’s time to create slips to write down everything that you are thankful for in your life.

How to Create Slips of Paper for Your Gratitude Jar:

Select Your Paper: Choose a paper type that resonates with you. This could be colorful construction paper, elegant parchment, recycled paper, or regular printer paper.

Decide on Size: Think about the size of your jar and how many notes you plan to add over time. Typically, 2×4 inches or smaller is a good size.

Cutting the Paper: Use a ruler and pencil to mark out the dimensions on your paper. Cut out the slips along the marked lines using scissors or a paper cutter.

Add Some Flair (Optional): Use decorative hole punches to create intricate borders. Lightly color the edges with colored pencils or watercolors for a gradient effect.

You can also stamp small designs or symbols on the notes using ink pads and rubber stamps.

Pre-fold (Optional): If you want a uniform look, pre-fold the slips in half or roll them up so they’re ready to write on, and then pop them into the jar.

Storage: Keep your slips near your gratitude jar, perhaps in a small envelope or pouch. This way, they’re always ready for you when inspiration strikes.

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4. Fun Gratitude Jar Ideas

Themed Jars Gratitude Jars

Decorate for different seasons or holidays. Think of summer fun, holidays, special events, and Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to use a gratitude jar; all kinds of Thanksgiving-themed stickers are available.

Photo Gratitude Jar

Instead of notes, drop in instant photos of moments or things you’re thankful for. A picture’s worth a thousand words, right?

Rainbow Gratitude Jar

Use different colored papers for various types of gratitude. Maybe blue for personal achievements, pink for loved ones, green for nature-inspired joy, etc.

DIY Gratitude Jar Party

Invite friends or family over for a jar-decorating party. Everyone gets to design their jar while chatting and munching on snacks.

It is an excellent craft for teen sleepovers, summer parties, harvest parties, and couples’ group date nights!

Related articles: 100 Fun Things to Do this Fall + Fun and Romantic Date Night Ideas

New Year’s Eve Gratitude jar

Throughout the year, drop in notes of moments you’re thankful for. On New Year’s Eve, gather, pull out the notes, and reminisce about the year’s joys before ushering in the new year.

Conclusion: How to Make a Gratitude Jar

So there you have it, your very own jar of joy! Remember, it’s not just about the big moments but the little things that happen in our life that we can be grateful for and bring a smile to our

In wrapping up, a gratitude jar isn’t just a container; it’s a vessel of joy, reflection, and appreciation.

Embracing this simple yet impactful practice can transform our daily perspectives, reminding us of life’s blessings, big or small.

I hope this guide on how to make a gratitude jar has been helpful and that your gratitude jar will serve as a constant beacon of positivity and a testament to the beauty found in everyday moments.

XO, Christine

christine mathews

I’ve been keeping it real since 1963. 🙂

I’m a child of God, a wifey, mama, grandma, full-time creative, domestic engineer, and self-care enthusiast.

I am obsessed with all things makeup and skincare and love getting my hands dirty out in the garden, my art room, or in the kitchen, whipping up something yummy for the fam.

I’m always down to chat and love collaborating with other creatives and brands alike!

Feel free to reach out anytime!

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