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This simple box of memories is seriously my favorite gift ever. It works for friends, anniversaries, birthdays, you name it. Love it so much!
Several years ago my husband and I packed up our apartment and moved from California to Oregon. We had both lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for many years and even though I wasn’t from L.A., I had grown to love that city.
By that time, it was filled with memories—my favorite local bookstore (with delicious mochas and lattes), my favorite running routes, and my favorite beach with the kind-of-secret parking lot. In a city that big, I had found my place. Though we were moving closer to my family and to a great job opportunity for my husband, it was hard to say goodbye. (And don’t even get me started on all the great friends and family we were leaving behind!)
Enter Stephanie. I’ve mentioned her before on my blog since she is a gift-giver extraordinaire, but in this case, she completely outdid herself. As I pulled out this tiny box to photograph and talk about on the blog, I was flooded with memories and completely teared up. Goodness. This is a good gift.
In the spirit of creativity and simple DIY projects that I like to talk about here, this box of memories wins the prize. It is personal, enormously creative, simple, and will not break the bank. The biggest investment will be the time you give to this project. And judging from Stephanie’s creation, she put in a lot of time. She is an incredible friend.
How to make your own box of memories
One 8 1/2 x 11 piece of white illustration board or very thick card stock paper
Pens, pencils, and watercolors if you want to paint them
A small box or tin (These would be perfect!)
First, on a separate piece of paper, write down your ideas for memories you could illustrate. Looking through my box made me laugh because there were so many sketches of cookies, scones, and other treats. Listing out those ideas will give you an idea of where to start.
You can lightly draw your illustrations with pencil onto the card stock first or if you’re brave, you can just go ahead and draw them with ink and color them. I like to draw with pencil, draw over that with ink, and after the ink is dry, erase the pencil marks. This part is really up to your own personal preferences. Color in the illustrations as needed.
Now, cut out the illustrations, leaving a little room around them. You can also print out photos and mount them with adhesive to the illustration board before cutting out if you’re extra industrious.
You will end up with a pile of tiny memories. Place these in a tiny box—Stephanie used a darling tin—and tuck a note inside. Wrap up the box, and you’re done!
With this little box of memories, your friend will have a treasure of all of your fun times together in one place. I loved this present when I received it and all those images still remind me of all of those good times in L.A. This gift would be perfect for someone who is moving, graduating, getting married, you name it.
For another great gift idea, read my post about Write Me Back cards—yet another Stephanie gift, and one of the most popular posts on this blog.
P.S. If you look up illustration or mat board on Amazon, you can get an idea of what to look for. You can also go to an art store and finding the heaviest card stock or mat boards you can find. Note that the heavier the board, the more likely you will need to use a razor blade to cut it rather than scissors.