Birthday Cards, Jars, and Teddy Bears

I had never considered myself a creative, crafty person. But years ago, I was planning a party for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. I wanted to have party decorations and favors. With entertainment funds low, I went through my collection of “rainy day stuck in the house when we’re really bored this stuff will have a use” box. In there I found material scraps not big enough to make anything with…feather boas, lace, ribbons, and about 12 small stuffed teddy bears that I bought for ten cents each at a clearance sale, plus many jars of various shapes and sizes. That box also contained numerous personalized greeting cards that I had saved because the pictures were so pretty.

The box held birthday cards, thank you cards, holiday cards, and a few note cards that a charity had sent me in the mail. (Yes, I did send a donation!) I set everything out on the kitchen table and thought, “There has to be a party here somewhere!” I left out all of the pieces for a while, wondering what I would do. I’d look and walk away, look and walk away…hoping to have an epiphany. This went on for a couple of hours and finally the light bulb went off!

Girls love teddy bears, boas, ribbons and lace. I took a bear and gingerly pulled off its head, arms, and legs (It was more painful for me than him, I assure you). I took out my hot glue gun and attached the head to the lid of a jar. Then I placed the arms on the sides of the jar. And lastly, I glued the legs to the sides near the bottom of the jar. I shaped pieces of material into a party hat trimmed with ribbon and lace and wrapped a boa around the bear’s neck. My creation was really starting to look great!

Next, I took some of the birthday cards and thank you cards and cut out the words “thank you” and “happy birthday.” I glued the text to toothpicks and placed the signs in the bear’s hands.

I filled the jars with wrapped candies, and each girl who came to the party left with a teddy bear jar. These made the most memorable party favors. After the party, I got so many compliments on the favors that I started making clown jars and giving them as gifts.

I no longer need a “rainy day box” but I do still save my greeting cards in another crafty creation. Using a cardboard shoe box, I cut and pasted the fronts of birthday cards and thank you cards onto the box. The greeting cards turned a plain old box into a beautiful storage container. I even store my photos in these homemade greeting cards boxes, too.

Anyone need a jar?

5 thoughts on “Birthday Cards, Jars, and Teddy Bears”

  1. This is a cute idea. I am so not an arts and crafts type person. I would have never thought of doing something like that but it sounds easy enough which makes it a perfect kids’ project. The problem I have is that I just don’t have enough creativity or imagination to see old greeting cards and jars and imagine that I could make something cute and useful out of them. Some people just have a gift I guess. You know how the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

  2. This is a very original idea. I’m just not sure how my kids would feel about dismembered teddy bears as party gifts for their friends. Perhaps the problem is I lack imagination.

  3. The teddy bear jar idea is super cute. And decorating old boxes sounds just as nice. I am going to try both.

  4. Old greeting cards – what a great idea for gift giving. Instead of buying wrapping paper (lets save a tree) that only gets thrown away, I like the idea of using the pictures from old cards to decorate a plain old brown box and put the gift in that. Makes the box a gift as well. Going home to put that to use.

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