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Making A DIY Memory Box

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A picture may say a thousand words, but a frame full of meaningful objects can speak volumes to your sense of nostalgia. Instead of letting those precious items sit in the attic collecting dust, why not put them on display in a beautiful hanging memory box?

A memory box, sometimes called a shadow box, is an easy project to complete on your own or with a family member. All it requires is a few supplies, your treasured items and a little imagination.

A great memory box centers on a theme. If you have several objects that you have compiled for your project, try to separate them into groups where they would most belong. For example, shells from your summer beach trip would not fit in with your daughter’s first ballet shoes. This project is so simple, you can make several boxes at the same time, just by picking different themes for each one.

Start with a beautiful frame. Like any piece of art, you want the presentation to be flawless. Picking a gorgeous antique frame or something more modern like a gold or silver frame will set the tone for your piece. Once you’ve picked your frame, the next step is to back it.

Get creative with your backing, but make it study. Selections of wallpaper, a landscape photograph or even a painting make excellent backgrounds. Simply remove the glass from the middle of your frame, and glue the backing directly behind it. Choosing a thicker frame will make larger objects appear to have clean lines within the profile of your box.

Clean and repair any objects that need it. If those old ballet flats are looking rough and dirty, try a good cleaning and repair any broken pieces before adding them to your memory box. Unfurl old photographs, and shine up old jewelry. Unless you want it to stay in used looking condition, a good polish on the objects will add shine to your box.

Add your items with glue in an interesting position. Using a hot glue gun or fabric glue, place your objects on the backing of your memory box. You can add other elements too, like a little sand for the shells, or a photo from the recital next to the pointe shoes. Place them in any position and order you would like, and use your imagination!

Add hooks for hanging. After everything has dried, turn your memory box over to add screw hooks for hanging in your desired room. When you are finished, you can hang the box directly on the wall, or use a bit of twine to make it hang from one hook. If you prefer, you can add a stand to the back, or just use the thickness of the frame to stand it upright on a dresser or nightstand. Just be careful- an unsupported frame may tip over from the weight of your objects.