a quick little project: DIY joy in a jar full of mantras

In the past I've said that DIY Joy could be the title of my blog. I still think that's true. Joy is DIY. I know it's not always easy, but once we get in the habit of looking for and focusing on joy (and not its opposite) it becomes easier to remember. Write daily joy lists. Take breaks throughout the day and pay attention. I have reminders in my studio, a Mati Rose print on the wall, an inspiration board, my word of the year hung beside my desk.

The other day I mentioned I was working on mantras. Keep going was the one I was using while I was painting and it really helped me to get through what was a tough painting for me. I imagined a collection of mantras that I could go to when I needed a little extra encouragement. On a rough day or an off day they could shift my thinking.

mantras, vintage, thrift shopping, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I imagined a jar filled with mantras that I could keep nearby. And so I made it.

It's quick and easy to make and I thought I'd share it with you so you could make one (or some), too.

Cut scraps of paper to the size you'd like (mine are about half an inch wide and a little over four inches long) and write out your mantras.

mantras, scrap paper, diy, joy

If you'd like them to be fancier you could use colored paper or write with pretty lettering or even type them up in a lovely font and print them out. I like having lots of leftover blank slips so I can add mantras as I think of or come across them.

What to write? Short inspirational quotes. Words from songs or poems. Fortunes from fortune cookies. Even single, powerful verbs (I wrote "believe" and "begin" on two of my slips). A mantra can be anything. Anything that will inspire you or encourage you or reassure you. The most important thing is that it resonate with you.

Next I folded up my mantras and put them in my vintage strawberry jar. It had been waiting on my shelf for just the right purpose.

mantras, strawberry jar, anne butera, my giant strawberry

Any sort of jar or container will work. Thrift stores are the perfect place to find fun and interesting containers and dishes.

mantra jars, vintage, thrift shopping, mantras, diy, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Stash them around your home or work space and they'll be ready to help you lighten your mood or shift your thinking.

I still have quite a few blank slips to fill. I'd love to hear your mantra ideas.

Have a creative, joy-filled week! I'll see you back on Wednesday for the next pages of the 2x2 Sketchbook.


  1. Your idea for a jar full of mantras or a 'joy' full of mantras is a great idea Anne! There are a few mantras I am thinking of using by Iyanla Vanzant which are 'Have a vision, eat it, grow it, breathe and listen, be still and listen.' :-)

    1. Thank you, Simone! Glad this is coming at a good time for you. That's a great mantra, but I would have a hard time saying it over and over without messing up the words! Haha.

    2. Hi Anne! There are meant to be three mantras listed above but I wrote them as though it is one! !!! I like the 'Have a vision, eat it grow it'. :-)

    3. Ah! That would be lots easier for me. I like the eat it grow it, too. :) I also like breathe and listen. And be still and listen. Maybe just listen as a single word mantra would be a good one for me.

      Thanks for all of the suggestions!

  2. okay I am in love with your little strawberry pot!!!

    1. Me, too! I kept seeing them at antique stores and thrift shops for more than I wanted to spend and then when I saw one for much less at Goodwill I snatched it up. So happy I did!

  3. What a good idea, Anne! I have to say, your blog has such a clean, fresh look! Love it, and love how constant you've been about blogging this year! I've been bad, can't seem to get in the groove, but you are an inspiration!

    1. Thank you, Judy. Glad you like the look of my blog. I've been tinkering and tinkering trying to decide how I like it best. I stripped it down and then added things back but kept thinking it looked too cluttered and removed what I'd added back in. I like to keep things simple!

      Not finding your groove is ok, too. Maybe you don't need to be blogging right now and that's fine. Do whatever feels right. I've got a rhythm now and a constant list of post ideas. I still get stuck every once in a while and feel uninspired, but it helps to 1) have a list of ideas written down and 2) have a schedule I keep to.

      Thanks for being so encouraging with your comments and your friendship, Judy!

  4. Hi Anne!!
    I really like this idea!!
    I may make some for a friend who is in the need to be "cheered up"!!
    I love your strawberry jar!

  5. Hi Anne,
    I love this idea.
    I love quotes and I place them all around the house. I plan to do this idea.
    Thank you for sharing.


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