Mason Jar Shell Keepsake

Like most residents of a landlocked state on vacation in a beach town, I am compelled to collect everything I find in the sand.  Pretty shells, ugly shells, broken shells and (on our trip to South Padre Island) I even snatched up a corroded quarter that had clearly spent some time in the sea.  I also grabbed a bag full of sand because I felt as if it were something that simply needed to be done.  However, I soon ventured home and reality sunk in that I had a leaky trash bag of sand and a plastic sack of stinky shells.  Since I am sentimental and had taken great pains to travel all the way home to Iowa with my treasures, I KNEW I couldn’t just throw them away.  So, I did what I always do…and found a way to craft myself into saving them. A ‘Mason Jar Shell Keepsake’ as I’m calling this craft, was easy to make. I’m now sure that I will be bringing home bits of sand, dirt, rocks and shells from EVERYWHERE we travel so that I can start a collection (*my husband grumbles in the background*).  Here’s how I made it:

Start with an empty mason jar (with lid).  Any shape or size.  Get one without the “Ball” label if you don’t like ‘rustic’ look of this one.  You’ll also need a glass pen (to be found at your local craft store) and a hot glue gun if you decide to decorate the lid.  The first step is to get on Microsoft Word (or any computer program with fun fonts) and find a fun way to write the information you wish to have on the outside of the jar.  I went with the name of our destination and the year.  Make sure the font size fits on the area of the jar you wish to label.  Word to the wise: Don’t use and overly crazy font, unless you have a lot of patience.

Next, cut out the lettering and tape it on the inside of the jar on the area you want labeled.  This takes a couple tries to get straight…unless you have super tiny hands (please excuse my bandaid-ed thumb…I have a problem with reaching into the toaster oven without an oven mitt).

Use your glass pen to trace the lettering.  Go over it a second time if you need to (remove the paper from the inside for a clearer view).

Follow the directions on your glass pen for finishing steps.  Mine called for the glass to be baked at 350 for 30 minutes to make the ink set.  After the ink is set…you’re done!!  Now fill it with your treasures (really wishing my sand would have dried out more..and that I had grabbed more of it).

Decorate the lid if you want.

Fun keepsake and now I don’t have bags of shells and sand sitting on my kitchen counter any more. 🙂

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