DIY Memory Box

Being a working mom of 5 means that my free time is very limited. And thatĀ also means that I don’t always have time to “keep up” with my scrapbooking and memory keeping. (Really, is anyone completely “caught up” anyway?) Sometimes it takes me a while to get photos and memories onto a scrapbook page, so in order to keep those photos and memories fresh and organized I decided to try a new system this year–a memory box!

memory box by aly dosdall 1

I’ve seen this idea in various forms floating around Pinterest and the blogosphere lately and I really love it. So, after looking at several different systems and types of memory boxes I came up with one that I think will work for me. The idea is that I record memories from each month of the year on Grid Journaling Cards, and then print my 4×6 photos (or photo collages) each month and store them with the journaling cards until I have time to create a page using the printed photos and hand written stories.

memory box by aly dosdall 2

All of the memory boxes I’ve seen have been store-bought, but I tend to be a DIY kind of gal so I decided to use some We R tools to help me create my own little 4×6 filing box. I wanted my memory box to be acid free and archival safe so I used some flexible 12×12 chipboard leftover from some patterned paper packaging. I trimmed two 10″ x 5 3/8″ pieces of chipboard and scored them with my Trim and Score Board at 1″ and 7″.

box 1

Then I pulled out my Gift Bag Punch Board to help create the bottom flaps of the box. I slid the scored chipboard pieces into the board, lining up each of the score lines with the “start line” on the board, and then punching and scoring only the “horizontal line”. I trimmed off the smallest flap from each piece of chipboard, and this created two parts to the box that were ready to assemble.

box 2

box 3

I adhered the two pieces together using power craft tape (you could also use a hot glue gun) and then trimmed a piece to place in the bottom of the box to fill in the gap between the bottom flaps. The piece was just 1/8″ smaller than 3″ x 6″ to allow for the thickness of the chipboard when placed inside the bottom of the box.

box 5

box 6

Next I covered the box with some patterned from the Notable collection and added some Enamel Shapes and die cut numbers for the year. Then I made some dividers to keep my photos and memories for this year organized by month. I trimmed some coordinating cardstock to 4 1/2″ x 6″ and then added some file tabs that I made with my computer and File Tab Punch. To create file tabs that fold over the dividers I folded my paper in half and placed it in the punch so that the fold was just below the top edge of the punch. You can see where the paper is in relation to the punch shape when you turn the punch upside down.

folded file tabs 1

folded file tabs 2

box dividers

I adhered the folded file tabs to the dividers and added a few 4×6 Grid Journaling Cards to each month so I can record stories as they happen. Then I printed my 4×6 photos and Instagram photo collages and placed them in the proper month. I’ll leave this sitting on a visible and accessible surface in my craft room so that I can easily record memories and add photos as the month progresses.

box contents

memory box by aly dosdall_january contents

memory box by aly dosdall_journaling cards

I’m really excited about this new system. It’s totally easy and low-stress, but will still allow me to keep my photos and memories organized until I can get them into my scrapbook!


Trim and Score Board
File Tab Punch
Notable Paper Pack
4×6 Grid Journaling Cards
Enamel Shapes–Cool
Evolution Advanced
Lollipop Alphabet Die

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