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Jessica Ackerman : Creating a Keepsake Box for Your Valentine

Creating a Keepsake Box for Your Valentine

By Jessica Ackerman

Keepsake Box CreativityA homemade Valentine's Day gift that is both useful and sentimental, a keepsake box is ideal for practically anyone. Make one for your mom to store her earrings, or for your husband as a desk organizer. A keepsake box can hold mementos from your dates with your girlfriend or store little trinkets that your children accumulate.

Used small cardboard boxes can be recycled to make a keepsake box. If you have a sturdier box like a used wooden cigar box or wine box, all the better. Your local thrift store may be the perfect place to find an old box that could use some creative refurbishing to give it new life. You can also find unfinished plywood boxes in different shapes and sizes at a craft store. Before working on your box, wipe it down with a damp rag to get rid of all dust and dirt.

Here are some ideas for decorating your keepsake box gift:

Cover in a Collage

Decorate the box with an interesting and personal collage to create a meaningful Valentine's Day gift. Use photocopies of photos of shared moments, movie stubs from your dates over the past year, or any other paper collection that has sentimental value for both you and your Valentine. You will need a bottle of Mod Podge and a paintbrush for this project. Simply apply the Mod Podge to the surface of your box, paste the pictures on, and coat the collage with more Mod Podge. Let your craft dry and you have a wonderful personalized gift.

Trim with beads, tile, mosaic

For some sparkle and color, use colorful beads, glass tile, or broken ceramic pieces to trim the outside of the box. Paint the entire surface of the box first to cover up any markings and ensure a uniform surface. If creating a mosaic picture or pattern, draw the design on the box first, then arrange your tile or beads to fill in the pattern. Working in small sections at a time, use a glue like Weldbond to attach the tile or beads onto the box. Fit the pieces close together to make a lovely work of art.

Use paper, fabric, and ribbon

Expensive-looking boxes can be created with the use of luxurious fabrics and ribbon, like silk, satin, and velvet. You can also use specialty paper that has the look of leather, wood, or other fancy material. Use fabric glue or paste glue to attach your material to the box. Line the inside and outside edges with the ribbon and use the fabric for the inside lid and base.

To create a clean look for the inside base where your Valentine's treasures will rest, take a stiff cardboard and cut it to the size of the base of the box, such that it will fit snugly inside. Wrap the cardboard cutout with your chosen material, gluing them together, and place it inside the box. You can even add batting in between the material and cardboard to make a cushiony base. •

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Jessica Ackerman has extensive knowledge in interior design and decorating. More »

2/11/10