How To: Make An Ort Jar

OrtJarsAn ORT Jar is one of the easiest crafts to make, and it can be done with nearly anything for nearly any kind of craft. Mine is specifically centered around the Threads ORT Jar that people often do with cross-stitch, but you can do one for any type of craft you’re involved with that can fit in a jar.

Don’t know what ORT means? We have a Term of the Week for that! Term of the Week: ORT.

The materials you’ll need:

Jar Example!

Jar Example!

1. A jar of some sort. Most people use clear jars with an attached lid, similar to a canning jar or the kind of clear jars you can keep sugar in. I picked this jar because I loved the patterned glass, and once it is stuffed to the brim with thread I thought it would compliment the colors. I also didn’t have any other suitable jars at the time I was looking. You can use any jar you’d like, just depends on your style and preference and what you want your jar to look like.

2. The jar-filling material of your choice. In my case, I am filling my ort jar with my ort threads, so I only fill it with leftover bits and ends of thread. It’s a slow-going process as I don’t stitch rapidly or that often, and I usually conserve my thread as much as possible so I don’t have a lot of leftovers.

How to Make It:

There is only one step – fill it up! An Ort Jar is like a change jar: you fill it up gradually over time, and once it gets full, or once you need some of the materials inside, you can empty it and start over.

There are many different things you can do with your ORT Jar. Here are some suggestions:

1. Use the jar as a display piece. Some people will fill their jars with thread and fabric and then set them out for display as display pieces. Be careful though! If it is a clear jar and often in direct sunlight, sometimes the jar can catch fire to the materials inside. I have seen pictures of an ort jar with all the fabric inside burned because of the sun shining reflectively through the glass.

2. Recycle the materials inside. One woman told me of how, every Spring when her jar is full, she takes it and empties it outside for the birds and other critters to use in their nests. Other people will use the pile of threads as padding or stuffing for pin cushions and little mini pillows.

3. Yearly Ornaments: Some people will fill up their ort jar and every Christmas, empty their jars into clear ornaments with the year written on it. A new ornament for your tree every year and you get to empty your jar and use it again!

Here is the beginnings of my own Ort Jar!

Here is the beginnings of my own Ort Jar!

My own ort jar is slow going. I am hoping to fill it completely and use it as a display piece, and while I have plenty of loose threads I will probably never use that I can put inside, I want to try and fill it with my leftover thread from stitching, so it doesn’t all go in the trash. So I slowly work away, adding threads when I can, and as you can see above, that’s all the progress I’ve made some far… I plan to do lots of stitching on vacation so hopefully I’ll have it filled up more!

Have you ever made an ORT Jar before? Was it for threads or did you make something else? What did you do with it? Leave a comment below or head on over to our Facebook page and tell us all about it!