Posts Tagged 'Treasures'

DIY Treasure Jars

I love collecting treasures–sparkly buttons, keys, postcards, rocks, shells, ticket stubs…and the list goes on! However, at a certain point, I run out of room for these special mementos and they end up scattered about my living space. I discovered that treasure jars help to both organize and beautifully display my favorite objects. These adorable jars can be used to decorate your home or office and they make excellent gifts as well. It’s a fast, easy, and fun project, perfect for kids too!

What You Need:

  • Mason jars (or any glass jars with lids)
  • Found objects able to fit inside the jar
  • Modeling clay
  • Floral wire
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape


Step 1

Choose your special treasures and divide them up into small groups. You can divide them by theme, by color, by the time or place you received them–whatever you like.


Step 2

Adhere paper and other delicate treasures to a piece of floral wire with clear tape. You can also wrap them if the object allows (children may need help with this).


Step 3

Gather as many mason jars as you would like to use, making sure they are clean and dry. Remove the lid and press modeling clay firmly into the center, making sure to leave a little bit of space on the outer edge so that the lid is able to be screwed on.


Step 4

Press your items on floral wire into the clay.


Step 5

Press any other objects you would like to use into the clay, again making sure not to block the outer edge of the lid.


Step 6

This part is a bit tricky! Turn your jar upside down and guide your items inside. Slowly screw on the lid.


Step 7

Decorate the outside of the jar with stickers, ribbons, or other materials. Voila! You’ve just made your very own treasure jar!


Use your treasure jars however you like! I used mine to decorate my desk at the DMA–they bring a pop of color and remind me of the magic behind each object.


Amelia Wood
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Friday Photos: Little Treasures

Did you know that we have 24,000 works of art in our collection?  And, did you know that only about 25% is displayed at one time?  That’s still a lot of art to look at.  My point is, who knows how many objects we skip over when we visit the Museum?

It’s hard not to miss the big stuff–who could walk by the Head of the rain god Tlaloc and not see its dominating face staring back at you? 

Head of the rain god Tlaloc, Mixtec culture, 1300-1500 A.D., gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Marcus in memory of Mary Freiberg

Well, that’s what I mean.  It’s really easy to get caught up with objects the size of Texas, figuratively that is.  Next time you’re at the Museum, I challenge you to look at the small stuff.  Think of it as an art and seek.  You’ll be surprised with all the little treasures we have nestled in cases, scattered all about the Museum.    

Here are a few of my favorites:

Images used:

  • Whistle with head, 19th-20th century, Holo culture, Africa, The Clark and Frances Stillman Collection of the Congo, gift of Eugene and Margaret McDermott
  • The Singer, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, c.1924, American, bequest of Joel T. Howard
  • Amulets of the Sons of Horus, 332 B.C.-395 A.D., Egypt, gift of Susette Khayat
  • Pair of frontal panels from ear ornaments, 900-1100 A.D., Peru, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene McDermott
  • Two Piece Reclining Figure: Maquette No.1, Henry Moore, c.1960, England,Foundation for the Arts Collection, bequest of Margaret Ann Bolinger
  • A River in Normandy, Richard Parkes Bonington, 1824-1825, England, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ward H. Reighley
  • Standing female figure, 14th-15th century, Indonesia, the Roberta Coke Camp Fund
  • 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Medal Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of General Motors, c. 1933, American, gift of David T. Owsley via the Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation
  • Model of Bodhgaya temple, 10th century, India, gift of David T. Owsley via The Alvin and Lucy Owsley Foundation
  • Standing woman, first half of 6th century B.C., Greece, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark

Happy hunting,

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits


Flickr Photo Stream