Jar + Stuff = Something Special


Christmas Jar Doll for a Teacher

How do you make a PERSONALIZED “Teacher Jar Doll” if you don’t know any teachers? Well you Google “Teacher of the Year”!  That’s how I found Denisha Saucedo Puget Sound ESD 121 Regional Teacher of the Year.  I made this tutorial with her story as my inspiration.

When my children were school aged we always had a Christmas gift for their teachers.  A gift is so much more meaningful when it is personalized!  This School Teacher Jar Doll contains iconic teacher ephemera such as apples and chalkboards, things you can find at your local dollar store or craft store.  It also contains items that represent Denisha Saucedo’s INTERESTS and hobbies.

A Jar Doll makes a fabulous gift and is adaptable to any person or occasion.  It makes a thoughtful gift that looks like it takes more work than it actually does!  Start out by making a list of interests, hobbies, foods, and activities.  Find a photo you can use for their face.  Remove the label from a little jar and you are ready to start.


I like to attach the finished Jar Doll on a vintage candlestick but your Jar Doll will be just as adorable sitting on the desk without the candlestick.

Lid Supplies:

Glitter for the top of the lid, a scrabble initial letter, three paper flowers, a four inch piece of wire to attach the flower face, a bottle cap, a one inch face, trim to finish the outside edge of the lid.  You can use lace, paper or diamond wrap from the Dollar Store. You will also need some glue (like Elmer’s) for the glitter top and hot glue for different steps.





Poke a hole in the lid make a wire curl on the inside and hot glue a piece of paper to hold the wire securely to the lid. Spread some glue on the top of the jar lid and cover the top with glitter.  Assemble the face by gluing together the flower pieces and bottle cap.  Fill the bottle cap with the face. Poke a hole in one of the flowers for the Jar Doll collar when the glittered lid top is dry and use a little glue so the flower collar will stay down.  Curl the end of the wire and use hot glue and a piece of paper to attach the flower face to the end of the wire.




When you start filling the jar, it is fun to put colorful ephemera at the jar bottom for interest. I had this little beaded necklace and Fourth of July sequins in my supplies so I put them at the bottom for a colorful start. Chalkboards and apples represent teachers.

TIP: when you have a flat object hot glue it to something else you are including to make it stand on it’s own. I attached an apple to a chalkboard.  Instead of falling over in the jar, the chalkboard will stay upright.




Denisha Saucedo Puget Sound ESD 121 Regional Teacher of the Year for 2018.  She coaches soccer, among MANY other activities so I attached a soccer ball and a rhinestone initial “D” to one of the chalkboard pieces.




Buttons, school colors, county fair ribbons add to making the Jar Doll your personal creation.  Since Denisha was Teacher of the Year I printed the medallion and put a little hot glue to the button so it would stay in place in the jar.  Think of the recipient and have fun going through your junk drawer for STUFF!



The ABC chalkboard has an apple hot glued to the back so it sits at the side and makes a good base for the other sides.




Here is a list of things that make good filler for Jar Dolls:

Postage stamps, post cards, shells, rosette prize ribbons, buttons, brooches, scrabble pieces, puzzle pieces, baby spoons, vacation souvenirs, small ceramic animals, small toys, game pieces, crayons.  The list is endless.

Finally, if you want to put your Jar Doll on a candlestick make sure it has a heavy bottom so it doesn’t easily tip over.  Use industrial glue like E6000 to attach it and plan to let it sit overnight before giving it to your teacher.

Jar Dolls aren’t just for teachers, you can make a Jar Doll for your best friend, your Pastor’s wife, your neighbor, your parents, ANYONE!  Plus a Jar Doll would be a great personalized birthday present or Mother’s Day gift.

Have FUN making your Jar Doll!



Author: Patty Thurlby

I am a full time artist with a whimsical point of view!

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