Instructions on How to Make a Memory Box

wooden box image by Sergey Shlyaev from

Things You'll Need

  • Store bought wooden box or chest
  • Craft glue
  • Various decorative papers
  • Memorabilia
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Protected surface
  • Spray clear sealer
  • Black ink pen

A memory box is a wonderful way to store precious objects from a special event, season, or vacation. You can make a memory box to memorialize just about anything. All you need is a little time, effort and creativity to craft the perfect custom and personalized box . You can give these treasure troves as gifts or keep them for yourself to reflect on a certain time in your life.

Begin by choosing various decorative papers that suit the style or theme of your memory. Rip or tear papers into small pieces. Depending on the size of your wooden box, pieces should be roughly 2" square. The pieces do not have to be perfect. Ripped or frayed edges only add to the charm.

On a protected work surface, use a paint brush to smooth a thin layer of craft glue in a small area on the store-bought wooden box. Place a piece of the ripped paper onto the layer of glue. Using your paint brush, smooth a thin layer of the glue onto the paper, covering completely. Place another piece of ripped paper onto the area overlapping the previously glued piece. Continue spreading glue and adding paper pieces until the entire surface of the box is covered. Allow adequate time to dry.

Paint the inside of the box and lid with a coordinating color of craft paint. Several coats may be needed to ensure proper coverage. Make sure to allow adequate drying time between coats of the craft paint.

Using your best handwriting and a black ink pen, journal about the event that you are memorializing onto a large piece of the decorative paper. Rip the edges as the smaller paper pieces were ripped. Spread a layer of glue onto the box and place the paper as preferred. Follow with yet another layer of glue and allow to dry.

Spray the inside as well as the outside of the box with a high gloss spray sealer. This will keep the glue from yellowing over time and protect your box from scratches and surface damage. Allow to dry. Place objects and trinkets that reflect your event inside the box. Pictures and letters may also be kept safely inside your newly crafted memory box.


  • Glue pictures or newspaper clippings onto the box along with the decorative papers or glue gems and small accessories to the lid.


  • Always paint outdoors or in a well ventilated area. Protect the surface on which you are working from paints and glue.