Jade's Mending Jar

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This is Jade's Mending jar. Jade is my niece who has just left school, aged 16 and is now commuting to college everyday. She is studying to become a veterinary surgeon. Decorated jar with mending supplies.


I keep all my glass jars to recycle or make crafts out of and decided that Jade might need some things to help her, seeing as she is a long way from home. I have called it her Mending Jar.



    Firstly I got a small jar - in this case a Vegemite jar. Took off the label and washed and dried it thoroughly. (I cut off the yellow plastic ring too). Enpty decorated jar.


  1. Next I inscribed Jade's name on the front with my engraver tool, but you could as easily use stickers.
  2. I then used stickers spelling out 'Mending Jar'. A thin strip of lacy material was glued (PVA) around the rim.
  3. For the lid I used the glue with thin yellow tissue paper and covered the top and sides - enough to cover the words 'Vegemite'. A strip of lace went round the rim. When this was dry (I left overnight) I super-glued a decorative wooden heart I had in my craft drawer, but you could cut out a person's name or stick just about anything there instead.
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  5. Inside the lid I used 3 double-sided sticky pads and layered them on top of then pushed and secured 3 drawing pins to it.
  6. Then I went off hunting around the house for things that Jade might need to mend things when she was away from home.

Contents of jar:



In Jade's case I found:

  • elastic bands
  • some coins for the phone wrapped in some pretty paper
  • a pipe cleaner
  • 2 birthday candles
  • a few matches with some strike (I cut from a match box)
  • a thimble
  • cotton thread
  • cello tape
  • string
  • nail file
  • strong ribbon
  • small nail clippers
  • safety pins
  • thin wire and wire ties
  • hair clips
  • a popper
  • two aspirin
  • a small pen

I have yet to pop in a needle in a safe housing, some Blu-Tac, and some thin elastic. Oh, and I popped in some jelly beans for a sugar fix!


I am hoping that some of these things may come in handy for her. I also popped a piece of round card in the bottom before putting everything in. This had her name and the number of her house and postcode written so you can see it underneath. In case her bag gets lost. View of inside filled jar.


I think I'll make some for other members of my family and just change the contents to suit each person. This might be especially useful to my four brothers to keep in their cars and work vans. I'll make those ones look more manly though!

I hope you might make your own mending jar. Best wishes.

Source: I had a little mending 'box' when I was a child - I just updated it.

By Monique from Somerset, UK


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October 27, 20080 found this helpful

Very thoughtful gift.

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October 27, 20080 found this helpful

Great, thanks for the idea. I'm going to make one for Christmas for my niece.

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October 27, 20080 found this helpful

Wow, how cool is that! Yes, make some more. Different themes might be cool, too!

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you for the nice things you have said, I appreciate you taking the time to write to me.

Monique :)

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

The gift is a great idea. May I ask a question though? If your relative has left school in the UK at 16, how can they train to be a veterinary surgeon? My cousin is training in the uk also and she had to do A levels and go to university. I'm curious because my son would love to be a vet, he is in his final year at school age 16 but didn't think he could be a vet as he isn't very academic.


His local animal practice said he could be an assistant but not a vet. Thanks in advance.

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

Great idea! Don't just give this type of gift to a gal but to guys as well. When my son went to Iowa State a few years ago, I sent a kit with him that had scissors, a few buttons, safety pins, assorted needles, threads and a needle threader. He turned out to be the 'go to' guy on his whole floor because he was the only one with that type of kit. He didn't do any mending for anyone else but he did lend his supplies and kept his own gear in good condition as well.


Another thing that I sent that your niece might appreciate when she is ready to live on campus at school is a kit with a hot water bottle, ice pack, asprin, bandages of different sizes, triple antibiotic ointment, mole skin, and whatever you might have on your first aid shelf at home that they might use at school. Their emergencies usually occur in the middle of the night after a game of broom ball or something else real "educational" when the first aid station is closed down.

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November 1, 20080 found this helpful

One of these should be given to every kid who goes out on their own - college, own apartment, etc. It would help even more is somebody showed them how to use the stuff before they left home! I can't tell you how many people can not even sew on a button. It horrifies me. I had to sew on badges for a little girl in our Girl Scout troop because her mom can not sew. What? Make Home Ec mandatory - these are life skills people! I am getting carpal tunnel helping friends sew. I can not tell you how often I sew for my own family. I would be lost without this skill. It truly is a dying art - how sad.

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November 4, 20080 found this helpful

One of my favorite jars to re-use, is a peanut butter jar. One chooses the size of the jar according to one's needs. What I like, is that the jars are plastic, see-through, and so, relatively unbreakable, and the opening is wide; easy to get a hand into. The larger jars are great for just abour anything, but I very much like the mending kit idea.

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November 7, 20080 found this helpful

This is a neat idea...I'll be keeping this for further reference!

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July 7, 20100 found this helpful

You have given me tons of ideas of things to put in jars as gifts!
I really hate using store wrapping paper and I am going to make a care package jar for my daughter also for Christmas with tons of cute toys in it!
Thank you so much for sharing!

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April 20, 20130 found this helpful

What a clever and thoughtful idea, very creative, it was one of those head slapping, why didn't I think of that moments. Thank you for this great post.

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