DIY – To Be Read Jar

Hello everyone! Today’s post is a little different, and I’ve been really excited to share this with you all.

I think most of us have massive TBR piles, and I certainly can be overwhelmed with choice. So, I decided to make my own To Be Read jar, to leave my next read to chance. What I loved about this project was that I could do so many different things, and create one that was perfect for me. I saw this idea on Pinterest, and on Booktube, and I figured I could give it a go, and hopefully it will give you some ideas if you’d like to create one too.

This post will be a step-by-step of what I did to create my To Be Read jar.

Some supplies for this project:

You Will Need

You will definitely need:

  • A Jar
  • Scissors
  • Coloured Paper
  • Sellotape
  • To Read List
  • Ribbon
  • Glue Dots/Glue
  • Sharpie

Optional extras – depending on your preference:

  • Patterned Scissors
  • Embellishments
  • Paper Slicer
  • Coloured Pens
  • Chosen Font Printed


Find a jar! Perhaps an old candle, or coffee jar. Or even a mason jar with a hinge!

I chose to repurpose my candle. To empty out the remaining wax, I popped the candle into a heat-proof bowl, and poured boiling water into the candle. The wax melts and rises to the top. Once the water has cooled, and the wax had set, I scooped it out and threw it away. I don’t recommend pouring the wax down the sink as it’ll clog your pipes. Alternatively, you could freeze your candle and then chip the wax out, but I found the boiling water the easiest method (just don’t burn yourselves!)

Before Jar


Take the words that you’ve printed out, in the font of your choice, and sellotape them into the glass. That way, it works like a stencil! I found this the best way of making sure my words were neat and straight, and you can figure out exactly where you want them.  If you’d like to free hand your design, then skip this step!

Adding Words


Write your chosen words onto your jar. I used a sharpie so that it’d dry on the glass, and it gave me a steady hand. You could use glass paints, or glitter pens (provided they dry on your glass – but beware it might chip off.) At this point we’d realised we couldn’t find the sharpie, so I completed this step when I’d gotten home (Which is why the next picture has progressed a little!), but I would have done this step next to make sure I liked it before I continued on. If you don’t want to add words, you could put stickers or even leave it blank!

Write On Words


Add ribbon around the top of the jar. To do this I used some glue dots, which make this step so much easier. They stick immediately and you don’t have to wait for them to dry, and are also not messy! You can sometimes find these in pound shops, in the children’s crafting sections, or failing that they’ll be in craft shops. You could also use hot glue guns, but they’re messy and I always burn myself using them. I’d definitely invest in some glue dots!

The ribbon is also from a pound shop, so this project doesn’t need to be expensive! Tip: When cutting your ribbon to size, make sure you cut your ribbon at an angle to prevent it from fraying. Just pop a glue dot on in the places you want to hold your ribbon.

Step Four


Add a bow at the front. This is definitely an optional step, but I thought it’d look pretty. My mum actually made the bow with craft equipment, but she said there is also a way of making a bow using a fork. I had a look online for you, and found this video: Bow Making

Alternatively, you could buy ready made bows. Or even skip this step altogether!

I also added a little star button to the front of the ribbon, just to add some depth – and because I thought it looked pretty. Again, I just used craft dots to stick that on.



Next, choose some coloured paper and cut them into strips. I chose coloured paper that co-ordinated with my ribbon, but I think the brighter colours and different colours the more they’ll stand out! Or, you could use different colours for different genres, so if you’re in the mood for a crime novel you can pull out a random one to read.

We used a paper slicer to cut the strips to size so they all matched, and we found this easier. Thanks mum for making these strips, you are a GEM! Optionally, you could use scissors that have different edges to create texture and depth.



Take a list of your TBR books, and write the book titles on the strips of paper. You could use different colour pens to add some colour, or even to differentiate genres, or if it’s a review copy. When you’re done, fold them and pop them into your jar.

Write Book Titles

Voila! You’re done. Your very own To Be Read jar!

I absolutely love mine, and I had so much fun making it. I’d like to say a big thank you to my mum for helping me, and for letting me shop your craft stash.

One thing that is great about these jars is you can customise them to fit your needs.

You could make the jars for all sorts of things. Here are some other jar ideas:

  • Review Copies
  • Books To Give To Charity
  • Books You Want To Re-Read
  • Inspirational Quotes
  • Book Quotes
  • Even jars for your favourite pens.

So here we go! My Completed To Be Read jar. Thank you for reading. If you make yourself a jar, please send me pictures I’d love to see them!

Finished To Be Read Jar


5 thoughts on “DIY – To Be Read Jar

  1. Pingback: Mum’s Mentions #1 | IntoTheBookCase |Katie Thompson

  2. Pingback: TBR-Jar || DIY | Romi Reads

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