Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Newlywed Date Jar Gift

This past weekend, I roadtripped up 11 hours to New Jersey for the wedding of one of my closest friends. I had never seen this part of the country before so it was quite the experience. New cities and old friends, I can think of few better combinations!

Have you been to a campground wedding? It was so much more affordable to stay at then a hotel and stinkin' adorable. I mean, just look at this:

I can't even handle it. So of course a pair of lovebirds this unique and wonderful deserved much better than a mundane wedding gift like a blender. Or whatever people buy as normal wedding gifts these days.

Behold: The Newlywed Date Jar!

I had so much fun making this that I could barely wait to share it. But I had to. Or the surprise would have been ruined. Will power was involved. The most time consuming part of making this gift is coming up with date ideas you think the couple would enjoy. I'll give you a few different websites that I used for inspiration later on. (Stevie or Scott, if you're reading this, it took a million years, cost a bajillion dollars, and every single date was crafted from my own brain...)

Step 1: Make a mess of a work space before you even accomplish anything. Preferably somewhere on the floor. If you're lazy and prefer not to get up multiple times, gather 3 different pieces of coordinating  but different scrapbook paper, scissors or a paper cutter, a pen, and a source of creative date inspiration (computer). 

Step 2: Eat pickles. A whole jar of them. Or find another jar that's already empty. I happened to like pickles and this jar so it was a win-win. Also wash the jar, well. I washed this one multiple times and even soaked it but the pickle smell still lingered a bit.

Step 3: Cut your scrapbook paper into even size strips. It was easiest to cut a 12" x 12" sheet in half, and then cut down in 2" strips. It should give you 12 strips measuring 6" x 2" from each sheet. The three different papers separate different types of dates. In this example, the grass paper was free dates, the water paper was impromptu dates (like a regular Friday or Saturday night), and the map paper was dates that take more planning and effort. Check the back of the paper and set aside any strips that have a scanner code or any other printing you may not want to include.

Step 4: Once you have all your paper cut, it's time to look for date ideas! If you are fancy enough to have a printer, you might have wanted to do this step first and print them out on the scrapbook paper before cutting. But I'm partial to the charm and personality that handwriting brings. It was fun to give each date a title and then explain it a bit. I hope you have as much fun thinking of personalized things as I did. This post, Date Night Jar, from Life in the Green House was a part of the initial inspiration for this idea (Thank you, thank you!), especially the idea of categorizing date types.
These sites were also super helpful in coming up with date plans: 

Step 5: Once you finish writing out your ideas, roll the strips up tightly like a scroll. Originally, each one was going to have a piece of cord around it but they stayed so well on their own, I left it off. Pile them randomly into the jar.

Step 6: Decorate your jar! This paper was already busy and bright, so it looked best paired with a simple rafia bow. The tag is actually the inside of a cereal box cut to shape. Waste not, want not. I used small of the scrapbook paper with the scanner bar on the other side to create a key, labeling appropriately as Free, Impromptu, and Planning. Also, I added a note to the back of the tag after these pictures were taken that said "PS. Sorry I smell like pickles." 'Cause it really does. 
Any unused papers might be a nice touch to include so they can contribute their own ideas. Most importantly, give your support and remind your friends that you can't wait to help them along in their next chapter of life.

I wanted to do something extra special for such a dear friend so I also gave them a partially completed wedding scrapbook with the welcome and invitation pages finished and a note saying "The rest hasn't happened yet." It's back in SC now and will be tackled once the professional pictures are all available.  Maybe I'll update on that later on...

If you make one of these jars, I'd love to see how you make it your own!

Sheila :)

PS. Haven't settled on an instructional style as you can probably tell. Any suggestions on this are also appreciated.


  1. This is such an adorable idea! I am definitely going to do this:)

    1. Oh, I'm so glad! I would love to see how it turns out. Thanks :)


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