Vacation Memento Boxes


Last year I had a once in a lifetime chance to take  7 weeks off of work and backpack through Europe. It was my first real chance to get out and see the world and it was beyond amazing. Ever since the mementos I collected have been bound in a rubber band and thrown into a box with other random things. I thought about scrapbooking the papers, tickets, maps and postcard but really who has the time to actually sit down and get it all done. Then came the day I found this site on Pinterest (darn you Martha!). I was hooked on the idea! It was genius.

I headed to the craft store and found the boxes they had used.  At my local Joann’s store they were 15.99 a piece. Yeah I wasn’t going to spend that much per box! Even with a coupon. I found these boxes for 4.99 instead, and since I had a 20% off all coupon I was all set and headed to the check out line.

Cigar Boxes

First thing is first, removing the metal clasps to make it easier to paint. I am fairly certain that I wasn’t going to put them back on, but just in case I set them aside. (I know I know you are totally jealous of my screwdriver, just ignore my chipped fingernails, ekk.) If the holes from the screws bother you, just fill them in with a little wood filler before you paint.

photo 2

Then time to paint. I just used craft paint that I already had and mixed it up to make the colors I wanted. I stuck with brighter colors because the bookcase where they will be needs to brighten up. Making sure to keep special care and not paint the hinges. And again on the inside. I wanted to keep the wood grain on the inside so I just painted on the edge.


Next was to letter the boxes. I have a steady hand so I decided to outline the letters with a stencil and then paint each letter in black.


Here is where I varied off of the post that inspired this. Our decor is a bit more on the rustic side so I needed to tone these boxes down a bit. In order to do this I used Tim Holtz Distressed Ink in the walnut stain to create a more rustic look to the boxes. All I did was scraped the pad itself right on the edges. That wasn’t quite enough so I streaked the ink pad down the sides and the top of the box to create the look of wood… which I realize as I type this sounds weird because these are wooden!

And here is the final product.

photo (1)

Here they all are in action:

dvd organized bookcase

Find out how I organized 400 DVDs into the binders you see above! Click Here.

Assuming you don’t have anything needed for this project you will need:

cigar boxes

paint brush

craft paint in various colors

ink pads



What do you think? Is this a good way to keep track of vacation mementos?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s