I really don’t consider myself much of a collector. I never collected sports cards, spoons from around the world, or Betty Boop memorabilia. But I do have a shell and rock collection. Although, it might not look that way to you:
Herein these jars contain rocks, shells, and sand from the coast of Sierra Leone, Guam, Aruba, and all parts of the Pacific Northwest. Yeah, I could’ve separated them out into neat, little jars or boxes, but this is much more my style. Recently, my kids have been asking to start their own collections, and I thought this would be a great idea for today’s second post for the Love: in a Jar series I’m running for July.
First, a trip to the beach! I gave each of my kids a plastic bag and we headed out the door. Silly me, I forgot how finicky my daughter is about sand in her shoes…
So it was actually a much shorter trip than anticipated. I’m sure you’ve been there, done that if you have littles.
Anyhow, I encouraged my kids (now pretty much just my son at this point), to look for a variety of rocks – different shapes and colors, and even shells and sea glass and sticks add interest. You could also add sand if you wished.
We also found a couple jellyfish that had washed ashore. We decided to NOT collect them for today’s project.
Once home, I simply soaked each child’s rocks in a big bowl of water and vinegar. What does the vinegar do exactly? Is this step necessary? I don’t know; I couldn’t tell you. It just seemed like a good, Sensible Mom thing to do, so I went with it.
The next day I rinsed the rocks and laid them out to dry on a clean towel.
Once dried, you can begin the fun part: filling your jar! My son ended up having enough to fill a quart-sized mason jar, and my daughter, a pint-sized one. Now I know I know I have some fanatic canners out there cringing right now about “wasting” a jar on such a project. Look, you don’t have to use canning jars! Big ol’ pickle jars would work, and Fred Meyer has a ton of other options in their housewares section (that you could usually use a bonus coupon on). I found though that buying canning jars in bulk and with the $3/2 coupon that came out recently – it makes best sense to just use a couple of the mason jars.
Start by putting in the big rocks (if you don’t know why – watch this Steven Covey video), taking care to not just kerplunk! drop them in. Remember you are dealing with glass here! I started this one, and then let my son finish by adding the smaller rocks and beach objects.
Now when we were done I thought this project could use a little…something.
I cut some scrapbook papers to size and applied Mod Podge to glue them in place. Seriously, have you all discovered Mod Podge? It’s nothing short of life changing! I then had my son create some hand written labels. And then, a final thick layer of Mod Podge to coat. Viola!
I think this could be a neat way to store all your kids beach and nature walk treasures, don’t you? You could also “borrow” them to create a fun outdoor table centerpiece or decor for your home. What other ideas do you have for expanding on this project?
Purchased at Fred Meyer for today’s post: Mod Podge (look for it on the arts & crafts aisle for about $4-5 a bottle), quart and pint sized Mason jars (canning aisle).
Join me Monday for my next post in this 10-part series! And if you missed it, check out my idea for Salads in a Jar from last Monday!
Disclosure: Fred Meyer has not compensated me to run this series, but has teamed with me by providing me with store credit to use to purchase and highlight items throughout this series. This partnership was actually proposed by myself, so you better believe the ideas and concepts are 100% mine. For more information on how this site makes (and does not make) money, there’s no mystery there – just visit my Disclosure Policy.