memories in a bottle

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I've been a scrapbooker for years ... even before the scrapbooking "craze" started well over 10 years ago ... but I'm not what you would call a traditional scrapbooker. Oh yes, I have tons of {unfinished} albums, boxes of patterned and plain 12x12 papers, scrapbooking tools and supplies ... but I only scrapbook when I feel like it and I tend to think outside of the "page" a lot.

My "memory bottles" are one of my favourite ways to keep track of  our family holidays on the beach. They are super easy to make and I can incorporate some of our beach treasures into the jar so I reduce the amount of beach glass, shells and rocks that collect in drawers and closets around the house and the cottage.

The first picture is an example of the memory bottle that I made after our trip to St. Lucia this winter. This is a closer look at the bottle ...

Here's what you need to make these yourself:

1. a bottle. I use new or old bottles ... just keep in mind that you will want to see through one side of the glass and the mouth at the top has to be big enough to fit a small photo.
2. sand. In this example, I used beach sand from our cottage as the base ... you don't have to use sand but I do find that sand or something similar (small beads, glitter, etc) help to keep the picture in place before you start adding your other elements to the bottle.
3. picture. Before you start cutting out pictures, cut a piece of blank paper to figure out what will size photo will fit inside the bottle and that you can get it through the mouth of the bottle. If the picture you want to use isn't the right size and you have photo editing software on your computer, resize the photo to fit before printing and cutting.
4. tag and ribbon. I use tags to decorate the outside of the bottle and to write something about what is inside. I also like to add charms, beads and stamps to the tags if they have some connection to the memory. Assorted ribbons tied around the top of the bottle top add colour and tie into my decor for display.
5. stuff. This is the fun stuff inside the bottle. Use anything that you want to go with the memory ... shells, beach glass, ticket stubs, beer bottle caps, whatever! You may need to use chopsticks or something similar to move items around in the bottle once your photo is in position.


This is a back view of my memory bottle from St. Lucia ... you can see that I added text to the back of the tag (the front features a stamp from St. Lucia). I've positioned shells and pebbles in behind the photo to keep the photo upright. You could add a second photo to the back ... I don't because I place these bottles on a shelf and you can't see the back.

There is no right or wrong way to put these together ... they don't have to be beach or holiday themed ... just have fun with them and get creative. Make one or make a bunch of memories.

You could make these memory bottles with the kids too ... they'd make great gifts for father's day or for a favourite teacher at the end of the school year! 

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