Having a gratitude jar changed my life, and it can change yours too!

If you’re anything like me, at some point in your life you have browsed Pinterest, went on a mass pinning spree, but have never actually attempted anything you’ve pinned. I’d like to think that I am a creative spirit, but the truth is that a lot of DIY projects piss me off because the final product never turns out “Pinterest worthy.”

I first came across a DIY Gratitude jar pin on Pinterest many years ago and pinned it, thinking how awesome of a concept it was. Sadly, the idea never left my Pinterest board. Until recently.

The evolution of my jar

How my gratitude jar changed my perspective on life...and how it can change yours, as well!

About a month ago, I was babysitting for a family friend and couldn’t help to notice her own Gratitude jar sitting on her kitchen counter. It was a simple mason jar with little slips of paper of blessings stuffed in it. I thought to myself how I should finally start my own jar. It doesn’t have to look perfect, I thought. This will be just for me.

I didn’t bother looking on Pinterest when making mine. I found an old mason jar and literally wrote in Sharpie, “Gratitude” in my awkward, messy handwriting. I didn’t want this to be something that I stressed out about it looked like. I wanted the jar to be for ME. Something to keep me accountable to count my blessings even on bad days. I wanted this project to be about gratitude, not about what the jar itself looked like.

The result

How my gratitude jar changed my perspective on life...and how it can change yours, as well!

For the next few days, I slipped notes of gratitude here and there into my jar. I never anticipated making a blog post about this, and I never anticipated telling anyone about it. Days became weeks, and weeks became months. The result? I found myself finding more joy in the simple things, and practicing gratitude on a daily basis. I found myself extremely thankful for a 60-degree day in March, which is highly rare for a Wisconsin winter. I found myself more thankful than usual when my fiancé took me out to eat at my favorite restaurant. I found that I appreciated the strong aroma of my morning coffee at 6am before the rest of the world was awake.

Overall, I found that I was a happier and more positive version of myself.

(Bonus: The night that I created my jar, I placed it on our glass table in the living room. When I woke up the next morning, I found Trevor slipped this note into the jar before heading to work. :) I loved that the idea rubbed off on him without me even telling him about the project.)

How my gratitude jar changed my perspective on life...and how it can change yours, as well!

For the sake of sharing my Gratitude jar with you, I did take the liberty to take 30 minutes out of my day to make it look semi- pretty for you. Hey, I never said I was a freakin’ creative genius. But I want to share with you my thought process that sometimes, life just isn’t Pinterest worthy. Just like you don’t need a fancy jar to practice gratitude, I believe that you don’t need a fancy, happy life to practice gratitude. Practicing thankfulness is for everyone. I learned that practicing gratitude is an art that takes practice. It takes persverence to find the beauty in a bad day. It takes a strong person to count your blessings on a daily basis. It is a practice that I believe everyone should strive to become skilled at.

I really do believe that even though I’ve only had my jar for a month, it has changed my life. It has changed my thinking and my overall personal worldview. Now, I try to add something to my jar every day. I am trying my best not to fumble through the slips of paper, and to wait until I have a rough day to release the magic.

There is always something to be thankful for. 

What are you thankful for today? Leave me a comment below!


  • I really, truly love this idea. It so easy to be thankful for something and then forget about it later in the week when something goes wrong. This is such a great way to remember all the little teeny moments that you’re thankful for. I have this random purple mason jar from my baby shower that I haven’t known what to do with. I’m going to make one of these for myself. I know I’ll need it as my maternity leave is drawing to an end and I’ll be looking for the things I’m thankful for to stay positive in a tough time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Yay! So glad I could inspire you! I think that’s my favorite part about it. I can go back and remember the teeny tiny things I am thankful for.

  • This is an awesome idea! I’m thankful for amazing friends and family who care so much about me!

    • I’m glad you have that support system! xo

  • This is such an amazing idea. Something I think I’m going to need to do in the house for us 4!

  • I love this! I am having a difficult time lately and I need to implement this idea to remind myself there is lots to be thankful for even when everything feels so grim. I also love that your fiance added a note to your jar. Very cute.

    • Thanks Jill. I hope this idea brings you a little clarity and inspiration!

  • Mother Daughter

    Practicing gratitude every day makes you appreciate how blessed you are. Great blog posting.

  • Daria Vinning

    Awesome! I thought about starting one and based on this post I think I might. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jars can be a wonder to all of us. My blog is secretjarofsuccess, and came from an idea from an old cookie jar in the corner of my kitchen where loose change went. There are many things that can come from that. I love the note your finance wrote. How awesome.

    • Aw thank you so much Sandy. I love the intention behind your blog! What a great title and concept. And thank you, he is a sweetie!

  • Donnica Smalls

    Such a great reminder to us all. I used to write a “thankful thought” in my planner each day, but haven’t lately. Maybe I’ll make a gratitude jar instead. P.S. yass for lazy Sundays and Grey’s!

    • Aw love that you do that, Donnica! And pssshh yes…Grey’s is currently consuming my life lol

  • Lindsay Katherine

    Chelsssssss LOVE this. Trevor’s little note about you sleeping made me tear up a little :) I seriously don’t know when I became such a sap.

    • Aw omg! Don’t worry, it made me tear up as well!

  • How cute is this? I’d love to make something like this in the future.

    xoxo, Jenny

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    I love this idea. I’m going to have to give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Thanks love! i feel it has really improved my life. Hoping it helps!

  • Gratitude truly does change your life. I’ve never created a jar but I write gratitudes each day in my journal. I think it so good to have a variety of options in practicing gratitude.

    • So awesome that you keep a journal. Love your heart!

  • Rica Lewis

    This post is so lovely, as is your positive little space here in the interwebs. Thanks for being an encourager. :)

    • Aw! Thank you, Rica! I do my best to stay positive (:

  • I believe that practicing gratitude is a life changing thing to do. When I realize that I tend to be in a bad mood and have a lot of negative thoughts, I realize that I’m not focusing on the good in life as much. I always like to take on a gratitude project (like filling a gratitude jar) when that happens. :) Great post!

    • Thanks Crystal! I think it is life-changing because it makes you notice the “Little things” you may have never noticed before!

  • I love this idea and have been meaning to do it for a while now. I suffer from depression and anxiety so many people have suggested I try doing something like this to keep my mind on a more positive track. It really can be a game-changer!

    • This may help! Thank you for being vulnerable with me. Wishing you all the best! xo

  • This is such a great idea! Starting at the beginning of March I began keeping track of my gratitudes and it’s amazing what a difference it’s made in my mood and well being. I love that you use a jar as a visual, so smart!

    • YES!! I feel like my mood is just so much lighter!

  • That is such a cool idea! We all need a little more gratitude in our lives.

  • Greta Hollar

    Love this! Such a sweet idea.

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  • Adriana

    I love this! I have a similar jar that I write little gratitude notes in all year long- it’s so fun to go back and read them at the end of the year!

    • Thank you so much, lady! I’m so excited to go through it next year.

  • Emily Kib

    Love this! Great idea and I can’t wait to try it myself! I’ve been working on making a list but I like the fun idea of putting in a jar throughout your day!

    • Thanks Emily! I think a jar is more fun; there is just something about slipping pieces of paper into a jar! Like marbles almost. haha

  • Samantha

    This is incredible! I definitely need to make one! And I love that your fiancé slipped one in – that’s just adorable!

  • Neely

    What a great idea! I would love to have one of these!

    • Thanks Neely! I think it really puts things in a more positive perspective.

  • That is so great! I have heard of people doing gratitude jars, but always wondered if they would actually work. But now that I have heard a first hand account, I am much more convinced!
    And how sweet was that note from Trevor! Dawww.

    • He is a sweetie (: I am so lucky!

  • That message from your fiance made me smile, beyond adorable, you lucky thing you.

    I love your gratitude jar, I’ve never done this but I had a “gratitude journal” for a while which was an integral part of overcoming some self confidence and depression issues (I wrote down everything I did that I was proud of, 3 things a day that made me happy, and EVERY compliment I received) it was so helpful in improving my confidence, happiness and life.

    While I would disagree that this is totally pinterest worthy, It makes me happy that it wasn’t your intent (which is perhaps, why it’s that much MORE pinterest worthy)

    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • Aw thank you for the compliment, Laura! you are too sweet. Thank you. I actually had a lot of anxiety that it wasn’t Pinterest worthy…I had to remind myself that my blog mission is to remain intentional. That calmed my anxiety a bit! Hoping that this helps you find more peace! I am so happy to hear that you do keep a gratitude journal! xo

  • Love this idea. Now I want to start one of my own…

    • :) It helps you find little things to appreciate :)

  • Love, love, love this! Great Idea. I try to do this at least in a weekly basis but something I should practice daily. I simply just write down about 5 things I am grateful for in a journal.

    • That’s totally awesome, Belinda! Same concept :) Love it!!