How to Create a Gratitude Jar or Journal

If you are a reader, you may know that I chose a 2018 word of the year--and it was Mindful. Once I had my word of the year--I moved on to create my vision board and a weekly action board to help me reach the various goals in my life. A priority for me was to be more mindful--and more present--in my days during the year. One of my first week's actions was to create a gratitude jar or a gratitude journal to help me keep the positives of my (sometimes-not-so-positive) days in perspective. 
This year, I found it difficult to keep those positive moments in perspective and I thought November would be the perfect month to give thanks and revisit keeping a gratitude jar! Today, I am updating this post from 2018 to share my thoughts on creating a Gratitude Jar or Gratitude Journal for you to use to note your daily reasons for thankfulness in your life.

Materials Needed for a Gratitude Jar
  • Canning Style Jar with a Lid (I opted for a Pint Sized Canning Jar)
  • Printed Label, Photos or Stickers to Decorate the Gratitude Jar.  I used a simple home printed paper label that I designed online.
  • A Stack of Paper Strips for Daily Writings.  Scrap paper works great for these strips!
  • Tape, Hot Glue or Adhesive Mounting Tape

Instructions for Creating a Gratitude Jar


Choose a photo that speaks to you.  I visited and chose a royalty free photo of a sunset over the beach with a heart drawn in the sand.  One of my best memories (aside from marrying my husband and the births of my children) was of the girls drawing in the sand and building sand castles on the beach during a spring trip.  I loved this Pexels photo and the colors of the image I selected

Create a Label for your Gratitude Jar.   I went to and chose to create a tag with my account.  I pulled the photo into the tag, adjust the position and added text in various heading sizes in white.  I printed the tag, cutting out extra white space around the tag to make it appropriately sized for my small jar.  Measure your jar and size the image and cut-out white space accordingly.  Tape or glue the printed label to the jar.

You may download the tag I created here or click below to try out Canva Pro to create your own!


Cut Strips of Paper for Writing.   I cut strips of paper from scrap computer paper--roughly 1 1/2 inches by 3 inches.  I decided to write the date on one side of the paper and my daily thoughts of gratitude on the other.  


Store the Strips in the Gratitude Jar--and Read Through Them Every So Often!   I find reading through a week's worth of these daily memories is sure to lift spirits on a down day!  


Want to Create a Gratitude Journal Instead?

Materials Needed for a Gratitude Journal.  This is much easier.  You simply need to find a small, writing journal that you like and intend to use for your Gratitude Journal and a writing pen.  I chose the Dusky Meadow Journal for one of my girls last year.   I purchased this Gratitude Journal for another of my daughters.


Buy a Fancy Pen for Use Only with the Gratitude Journal.  I find that a quality writing pen makes me happy!  I am very much like a child with a new box of crayons at the beginning of a school year when I have a pen that I love!

Commit to Writing Your Gratitude Journal Entries Daily.  I love to write these at the end of the day.  You will likely find me posting my daily gratitude shares on social media late in the day too!  I find that, at the end of a challenging day, I need to spend the time refocusing on the little things that brought me joy during the day!  Maybe you would rather begin your day with gratitude focus--or jot down your day's moments as they occur.  

No matter how you create your gratitude jar or gratitude journal, be sure to keep it in an accessible spot!  If the gratitude jar or journal and the needed pen or paper are out of sight--it is easy for those daily notes of gratitude to be out of mind as well!

Whether you opt to create a jar or a journal to hold your day's positive, happy moments--it's a nice way to reflect on the day's events and smile (in the future) at the many good things that happened over the course of the week, month or even year.

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