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Picture of A Memory Box - Super easy and cost efficient

Want a fun, creative, and cost efficient way to show someone you care this holiday season? This easy-to-make Memory Box is filled with tons of memories written by yourself, friends or family, that will put a smile on even a Grinch's face. Using only scissors, paper, and a box, you can make your very own gift that keeps on giving.

I originally created this idea for my grandfather who lost his wife of 73 years this past January. I know the first holiday without her is going to be extremely different, so I wanted to create something that would make him feel loved and plaster a smile on his face every day of the year. The one extremely important restriction I had was money. As a college student, I just don't have much of it! So, I needed to turn my creativity skills on high in order to make the gift special while still on a budget.
 
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Step 1: Gather your materials

Picture of Gather your materials
The first step is to gather your materials. You will need:

1. A box or some type of object that will hold all the 'memories'.
2. Paper for the memories to be written on.
3. Scissors to cut the strips of paper.

You can change the paper and box to suit different occasions or holidays. For Christmas you could use a holiday box, and red and green paper, or if your Memory Box will be utilized all year long, you may want to stick with more versatile colors. I chose colorful paper to make the project more festive, and a clear cyllinder instead of a box so I would be able to show off the nice colors of the slips of paper.

Step 2: Cut your strips of paper

Picture of Cut your strips of paper
The second step is to cut your strips of paper. They can be any size you'd like, but keep in mind that they will need to be big enough to write on. Try to plan ahead and figure out how many slips of paper you will need.

I chose to make mine into squares, and use colorful paper to make them more fun. For my specific project I cut around 400 slips of paper (yeah, your hand may get a bit cramped!) which includes 365 memories, plus some extra slips in case people need new ones, lose them, etc.

Step 3: Create basic guidelines for the memory writers and mail necessary items

Picture of Create basic guidelines for the memory writers and mail necessary items

The slips of paper can all be filled out by you, or you can divide up the memories between multiple people. If you choose to divvy up the work, the best thing to do is create some basic guidelines for the writers of the memory slips to follow, that can be easily inserted into an envelope with the slips of paper. For example, I included the following in my guidelines:

1. How the memory box works.
2. It is their job to make the memories that will fill the box.
3. They need to fill out the slips of paper with memories (or jokes, photos, drawings, etc) that will make the receiver smile.
4. How they can get the memory slips back to me.

You may want to remember the following:
-Should the memory writer include their name on their slips of paper?
-How should they return the slips to you?
-Do they need to fill out a certain number of slips?
-Is anything off limits?
-Is there a deadline for the slips?

Once your done with the guidelines, either mail or hand deliver these slips and guidelines to each of the memory writers.

Step 4: Receive your memories and begin to create the Memory Box

Picture of Receive your memories and begin to create the Memory Box
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Once you start receiving memories, you will be get able to get started with setting up the box.

1. Group together all the memories you received and create a general plan of how the memories will be grouped or how they will fit into the box.
2. Fold up the memory slips if you chose to.
3. Begin adding them to your box.

For my specific Memory Box, I asked all of my family  members (all 33 of them!) to write 11 memories each to put into the box (I made 12), which came to a total of 365 memories. This allows my grandfather to open one memory slip every day for the next year. Some family members submitted photos, which I aligned the outside of the box with.

Step 5: Finish your Memory Box and give it to your loved one

Picture of Finish your Memory Box and give it to your loved one

Now that your box is filled with fun memories, it is ready to be given to the recipient!  They will definitely be thankful for all the work you put into making their gift perfect, not to mention the gift is extremely easy to make and cost efficient!
Puzzledd4 years ago
What a wonderful, thoughtful idea! This present was worth so much more than a bought one - thanks for sharing :)
LMMontalbano (author)  Puzzledd4 years ago
Aww thank you very much! :) No problem.
mikevuono4 years ago
Cool! I like it
LMMontalbano (author)  mikevuono4 years ago
Thank you sir.