I Spy Craft: Make 'I Spy' Jars

“I spy, with my little eye…” How often did you play that game during long road trips with your family growing up? Do you play that game with your children today? My family played it all the time during trips; it’s still a favorite of mine today! You don’t need a long road trip to play I Spy. Thanks to DIY I Spy bead jars, your children can go on the hunt for miniature toys no matter where they are.

These I Spy jars are quick and easy to make. You can assemble one for younger children or have older children pick out the toys they want to search for once placed in the jar. I used a tall Ball jar for this example; for smaller hands a plastic jar is best as it’s more lightweight and unbreakable. An empty jelly jar or small mason jar can be a perfect size for older hands.


  • Empty, clean plastic or Mason jar
  • Extra-small toys and findings
  • Perler beads
  • Fabric, hot glue and gun – optional


Start out by selecting the small findings you want to add to your jar. I found that dollhouse miniature accessories are the perfect size for this type of activity. Small rubber animals and insects are great, too!

It’s time to start filling the jar with beads and layering the findings. Carefully pour in your first scoop of Perler beads along with a few toys.

Continue layering the beads and toys to fill the jar. Don’t fill the jar all the way, though.

You want the beads and findings to move easily around the jar when turned around. Screw the lid onto your jar tightly to complete the toy.

If you’re using a mason jar with a metal lid that comes in two pieces (a ring and the seal top), you’ll want to glue those pieces together. Using a piece of scrap fabric, cover the seal by wrapping it with the fabric and gluing to the back of the lid. Cut a circle from a piece of cardstock and glue on the back of the seal to hide the fabric’s raw edges.

Add a line of hot glue to the inside of the metal ring and place the fabric-covered seal into it so that paper circle is on the bottom. Let cool and then screw onto the jar.


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