People have been making memory jugs for hundreds of years. They were typically designed with old pottery, natural clay and small items that held special meaning to the designer. The decorative jug is a physical reminder of events, people, places and things, and it is a time capsule of sorts. When handled with care it will last indefinitely. Use these creative ways to make a memory jug, and display a modern version of a centuries old craft.
To make a memory jug you will need enough air dry clay to cover your jug of choice. It should be at least one half inch thick to securely hold the items. You will also need enough items to cover it. Leave one half to one inch of space in between each piece. Choose small lightweight bobbles, beads, tiny framed photos and other treasured items. The jug does not have to be made of pottery like many of the historic varieties. It can be made of glass, cast resin, pottery or clay. It can be any size, style and design, and the design options are limitless.
Air dry clay is an excellent choice when making a memory jug. It is a great alternative to heavier clay, grout or cement. It is lightweight, and it dries without using an oven or kiln. It is also clean and very easy to use. Even a child can create a memory jug using air dry clay. Opt for a natural color. Brown or gray are excellent choices. They will look like kiln dried natural clay rather than the air dry variety. Air dry clay can be found online or in craft stores.
Jars and jugs of various sizes and styles are also available in craft stores. The jar that you use does not have to be an antique. On the contrary, it is best to maintain the original condition of antiques. If you want something old fashioned in appearance, opt for an antique look over a true antique.
After compiling all of the necessary supplies, wash and thoroughly dry the jug. It is best to begin with a clean surface to avoid adhesion problems. Wash it with grease cutting detergent and warm water. Use an absorbent lint-free cloth to dry it.
Knead the clay until it is warm and pliable. To cover the memory jar, begin rolling clay ropes. Wrap the ropes around the jug beginning at the bottom. Once it is covered from bottom to top, use your fingers to combine and smooth the stacked clay logs. The jug should be evenly covered.
Firmly press memory items of your choice into the clay. Try to work the clay around the edges of the decorative items to help hold them in place. Depending on the thickness of the clay, it could take up to 48 hours to dry. Keep it in a dry location where it will not be disturbed. Once the memory jug is dry, it can be moved and used to beautifully decorate a tabletop or shelf. It is sure to become an heirloom piece that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Source: Personal and Professional Home Design and Crafting Experience