I was inspired to do this DIY by my favourite place in the world.
Binna Burra is the Australian Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of tall trees,’ and the name of my grandparents’ property. I first discovered magic at Binna Burra. As a young girl, I crushed flowers and herbs from the garden together to make ‘potions’, buried treasures in the ground, made wands from tree branches, talked to animals, and went exploring through the bushland. I have even occasionally stumbled upon traditional Aboriginal carvings and structures deep in the bush.
Nobody taught me that Binna Burra was a magical place. I have always just felt it.
This past weekend I decided to take some of Binna Burra home with me. I created my own Memory Jar from its natural elements, and you can do this with your favourite place, too!
YOU WILL NEED
- Flowers, leaves, twigs, mushrooms, berries, feathers, hairs, fur, bones, bark, rocks, sand, soil etc
- Glass jar with cork or screw lid
1. Collect your items: I personally wanted to take as many ‘living’ things as possible. This meant flowers or leaves that were growing at the time of collecting. I felt as though ‘dead’ things from the ground wouldn’t bring as much of the place’s spirit with them. But you can collect whatever you like! I collected:
- Full Camellia flower and 1 closed bud
- Leaves (Eucalyptus, Acacia, and others)
- Pine tree sprig
- Mushrooms, twigs and bark from my favourite Plum tree
- Greenery varieties and interesting ‘weeds’ from the ground
- Seed pods
- Chicken feathers
- Horse hairs (from two different horses)
2. Lay out your items so you can get an idea of how much space you will need in your jar. It is best to do this within 24 hours of collecting, otherwise your items will begin to wilt. (And it is easier to fill your jar while they are ‘full’ and fresh)
3. Start filling your jar! I put the Camellia flower at the bottom as it was the largest item. I then spread out some greenery, added a chicken feather, wrapped the horse hairs around the edge (so they were visible from the outside), then poked the Eucalyptus leaves around the edge, and lay some smaller leaves in the middle. Next I followed with the Dandelion, seed pods, and mushrooms. Finally, I added some bigger leaves, twigs, the pine sprig, and finally the flower bud on top.
It is important to build the jar how it feels right to you, making sure that your items are sitting nicely together and not all tangled. Practice mindfulness while creating your jar, don’t just go about it aimlessly. If you collect too many items, you don’t have to use them all! You could even layer your items, for example, a flower at the bottom and the top, or layers of leaves/feathers/leaves/feathers. It’s completely up to you!
4. Make sure to leave a little room at the top so that you can pop the cork in! Seal the cork (or lid) nice and tight. As your greenery starts to decay in such a sealed place, it wouldn’t smell very nice if you were to open it up!
5. Optional: You can further seal your jar with wax or glue. Add decorations, draw a sigil on top, or glue a photo to the outside. I am keeping mine clean and clear, so that I can always see the elements of Binna Burra inside.