The Bean Jar Method (and a freezer paper DIY!) - Juniper Home

The Bean Jar Method (and a freezer paper DIY!)



This post is sponsored by Pine-Sol®. Clean & Disinfect with Pine-Sol: The Powerful Scent of Clean.
I’ve been on a bit of a cleaning post kick lately, so I thought we could talk about kids and chores. Did you get an allowance growing up? I’ve learned that kids need incentives in their lives (well, don’t we all?). We’ve been using beans as an incentive/accountability tool for a couple months now and I love it.
We keep dried pinto beans in this old jar on the counter and every night the girls pull out their bean baggies and we square away our accounts.
The general idea is every bean is worth a penny. Every chore the girls do each day is worth a bean, and we also give and take away beans for their actions. Like fighting/yelling/not sharing results in the loss of a bean or two. Sometimes I’m feeling generous and will offer them 10 beans each to make the trip to the grocery store easy! It works every time. :)
The girls count their beans all the time (another bonus! Math practice!) and when they have earned a few dollars, we go to the toy store (i.e. heaven on earth). It’s so fun to see that the new toys they earned and budgeted for mean more to them. I feel like they have a better understanding of and appreciation for money now.
We’ve been keeping their beans just in little baggies, but I’m committed to the program now, so we upgraded to these cheapie little coin purses from H&M that I personalized with their monograms.
It’s a super easy DIY. I just typed their initials into Word (Futura font at 165 pxls) and lightly taped a small piece of freezer paper on to my computer screen. I also bumped up the brightness on my screen so there was lots of contrast.
I softly traced the edges of the letters and then cut the letters out on a cutting board with an Xacto knife. Here’s a little tip for cutting anything out with an Xacto knife – pull, don’t push the blade. You’ll have much more control of your line if you’re pulling down all the time, so move your project around so that you’re always pulling the blade down.
Next, you just layer a dish towel on top of the freezer paper (wax side down on the purse) and iron until the freezer paper is secured on the purse.
I used a regular paint brush and some gold latex paint to dab on the letters. I did about three coats of paint with a bit of drying time between each coat. Try hard to keep the paint smooth and even, but don’t push the paint down too hard. It will get in under the edges of the paper if you’re too agressive.
While the third paint layer was still wet I peeled off the freezer paper.
Ta-da! Personalized bean purse! I also switched out the old zipper pull for a mini gold/black leather tassle I whipped up while the last coat of paint was drying.
The girls love our Bean Jar method – it’s sort of incredible actually how well they have responded to it! – and they were extra excited when we worked on these purses together. It makes the whole idea more special to them. Claire sleeps with her bean purse under her pillow. And I think they’re so cute I might actually make one for myself. Lipstick holder maybe?
Do you have a method for getting your children to happily help around the house?
What did you think?
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56 thoughts on “The Bean Jar Method (and a freezer paper DIY!)

  1. Well, the only thing I felt I needed a money reward to find the courage to do was the ironing.
    I didn't get a weekly allowance, ever, I asked for money whenever I completely ran out (within reason of course), so I never had any savings of my own…
    Anyway, I loved your little DIY and you method looks solid! I would certainly do that (or something very similar) with my kids- if I had any!

  2. How glam for your girlies! I can imagine they just LOVE the sparkly bags. I bet they'll end up using them for different things throughout the years – even after the bean magic wears off!

  3. Never ever even considered painting on a monogram….that's such a great idea. And I adore the tassel. I'm in awe, as usual when I leave your blog!!

  4. The coin purses are very cute! I do something similar with my kids and it has been working for a while now. I printed out a bunch of fake money from this site,0 and they get a certain amount for chores, reading, writing a summary of the book they read, extra math work etc…at the end of the week I pay them what they have earned ( they keep a chart to keep track) It is usually around $50. I keep a basket of goodies that I collect it has small toys, candy, and just whatever else I think they might like. I put price tags on it all. I price it higher because I pay them so much and after I pay them I bring out my basket once a week and they can purchase whatever they want with what they have or they can save it up for bigger more expensive items. This way any real money they do get they get to save it up.
    I will have to remember the bean method though. This is my first time hearing of it.

  5. Such a cute and easy project. I wonder if beans will work with my almost 3 year old? She needs a bit of 'training' around here ;)

    On a side note, I appreciate that this post was sponsored by Pine Sol and there was no hard sell of a Pine Sol product. Great reminder about their products now that its spring cleaning time.

  6. I'm with Jen,

    Love that this was a sponsored post and they weren't trying to sell us anything!

    This is such a cute idea! I'm certainly going to try something similar out with my boys. I do wish I had a little girl, though! Those purses are soooooo cute!

    1. Nov18Jessica Thanks for the comments everyone. Glad you like Mr. Trumpet as much as I do.Kate – Glad you noticed the light! I stood there for awhile to make sure I got one perfectly when it flashed on his face.Lindy Lou – You never know, maybe she'll take it up one day again. And you are right, Rome is never short of interesting inp.oratiinsGozer – Haha…what song is he playing?Simone – Grazie mille! Sono contenta che ti piace il mio blog! I will stop by the see your photography.

  7. I did the same thing with my kids, using poker chips. We did it for about two years before I got tired of carrying poker chips in the pockets of my jeans. I found a great app that does this token economy concept superbly well. It's called irewardchart and I love it.

  8. Jenny–What a great post! And what great ideas for helping kids learn responsibility and that work can involve something glamorous to motivate you. Thanks!

  9. You are a genius! No children of our own yet, but I'm passing the bean method along to my sister who is in the midst of some behavioral chaos in her home with three. BTW, I know what I'm going to be making this weekend… that coin purse is all kinds of fabulous!

  10. Love the bean idea!! we use "mommy money" in these parts- although…I've been slacking in the "noticing good behavior department"- rewards work wonders with litle ones!

  11. My three are still little (oldest is 4). They make their beds, put away clothes (clean and dirty), put away toys, set the table, etc., every day. They also love helping with other household chores. They love cleaning, they think it's fun and as they get older they'll get more tasks.

    I do a monthly allowance until they are 13 and can work for themselves. So until then, they get their age in dollars. So my 4 year old gets 4 dollars a month. 10 percent to church, 10 percent to permanent savings (which we match), the rest in the piggy bank ($3.20/month). I separate allowances from chores. Chores you do because we treat our home and belongings with respect. I give them an allowance to learn about money, saving and if they want to earn more money, they can do a task for me (like deep clean the fridge) that I'll pay them to do.

    I love your bean method, especially since it solves the coin problem I have. My kids don't comprehend coins yet, they think five nickels are better than two quarters, and they struggle with understanding it all. I know they'll get it eventually and they're just excited to put coins in their bank.

  12. I love your "bean jar" behavior modification! We had a similar program in our household growing up with poker chips! The chips were worth different points and we would earn them for good behavior and get taxed for bad. We could then "buy" privileges like going to the library, zoo, etc! Such a great technique for learning consequences, & managing expectations! We appreciated everything so much more because we earned it!

  13. I can't believe how fancy you made that little coin purse look!

    I found your blog through some random clicking around and just subscribed! I can't wait to read more.

  14. Thanks for the sweet comments friends!

    Cynthia – I bought the aerosoles a couple months ago, so I don't know if they're still in-store, but they usually have one or two things in the store that don't scream old lady. They are SO comfotable – like running shoes/crocs comfortable. I can be on my feet all day and won't feel tired.

    About when to start the bean jar with your kids… I think three and a half is a good age. My girls are 6, just turned 5 and 2. Evie, the two year old is too young, but my other girls were definitely ready for something like this around 3.5/4.


  15. Aw I remember my mom used to do this with us and dimes … we would receive based on chores and such, and she would remove based on behavior toward each other … we were not always the kindest sisters! But we totally grew out of that {grin}

  16. I used this same method to put some words on a plain tote. Never occurred to me to do the same thing on a patterned object! Might have to try this with some throw pillows. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Such a lovely method and I love the personalized coin purses. Although we don't use beans we do have chores that my girls do to earn their allowances. Each of my daughters have 3 jars each: "Save" , "Spend", "Donate". They enjoy jiggling the jars of change as they divide their earnings, and I'm proud to say that they willingly put towards each jar. It's been a wonderful opportunity to help them learn to budget in all cases of self and selfless goals.
    I think I will make them the coin purses for the coins that wind up in the "Spend" jars.

  18. Um, would you adopt me?? My girls would DIE for those bean purses, and I would love one, too! You may be the chicest mom on earth.

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