A few days ago I made a book jar; essentially a book lottery. Why not make your own?

A few days ago I said on Twitter that I made a book jar. It’s essentially a jar containing pieces of paper with the name of every book I own – both physical books and Kindle books – and I’m going to use it like a lucky dip. When I’m not sure what I want to read next, I’ll pick one from the jar and it’s like a LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT that I should read that book (not really). A lot of people replied to my tweet and said they were excited by it and they want to make their own, which I was over the moon about! So, your wish is my command – here is how I made my book jar!

What you need to make your book jar

My glass jar was about £4 in IKEA, but you can you any container you like. A jam jar, a plastic box, a wooden treasure chest… whatever it is you have, use it. Whatever the aesthetic of your bedroom, WORK IT with your book jar. (I don’t know what aesthetic your room would be to use a wooden treasure chest. A SpongeBob room?)

This is all of my books in 'scraps of paper' form...

First thing’s first, get a load of different colours of paper or card and a pen. I used paper, mainly because it’s all I had, but also because it’s easier to fold and fit in a jar. (Here’s where the wooden treasure chest would come in handy – you can fit all sorts in one of those.) You can use one colour of paper but I wanted mine to be colourful and fun, plus its easier to distinguish between each piece of paper.

This is the longest and least fun part. Go through every single book you own (or the ones you want to include in the jar, which in my case was ALL OF THEM) and write them on a piece of paper. Just write them all in one go with a small gap between each one, so you have room to cut them out. I kind of alternated between each colour of paper so I didn’t end up with 35 of one colour and 3 of another.

This is all of my books in 'scraps of paper' form...

Next, cut out all of your book titles and fold all of them. It’ll take a while and your fingers might feel like you’re getting minor friction burn, but IT’S WORTH IT. Once you have a pile of paper, stuff them into your jar (or treasure chest) and give them a little shake to shuffle them up. That bit’s optional, but mine were all almost organised by shelf and I don’t want that – I want variety!

My book jar in all its glory!

I decorated my jar with a pretty ribbon. I’m so lazy that I didn’t even tie the ribbon myself, because tying bows aren’t my strong point (as in, when I tie them they look like a 2-year-old has been playing with ribbon. I can just about tie shoe laces tidily). My piece of random ribbon was, I think, from the purple candle on my bookshelves. It even has a little clay heart on the back which is cute. You can’t see it, but… IT’S CUTE.

There’s only one final thing left to do – find somewhere to display your brand new book jar! Display it with pride! Make that wooden treasure chest the centrepiece of your pirate-theme bedroom or the plastic box the feature of your bedside table! Here’s where I put mine, next to my little Mike Wazowski…

My finished book jar standing proudly on my shelf! Find out how to make your own!

What do you think? Interested in making one yourself? Please let me know and share photos of your own with me. If you like this idea, why not share it on social media? These images are perfectly Pinterestable… just sayin’.

Next month I’ll have another crafty tutorial for the tiny bunting I made for my bookshelves, which you can see in my bookshelf tour here. See you then!


Don't know what to read? Pick one from the book jar! Here's how you can make your own!