Memory Box

I’m big on preserving memories. A memory can easily be forgotten, but a handwritten note, an old photo, or a journal live on and all tell a story. Dan will tell you, I attach a memory to almost everything, which is quite possibly why I have such a problem throwing anything out.

I even have an old box of birthdays cards given to me over the years from family members and friends. I do go through them periodically, and try to get rid of some of them that have the least amount of sentimental value, but even that is difficult for me.

As Dan has realized, I am a preserver of all our memories. I see a photo and I can instantly tell you when it was taken and what we were doing then. At the beginning, Dan and I took tons and tons of photos together – I wanted to capture every moment.

Now, I’m slower to reach for the camera, and it shows. The photos of us together the last couple years have significantly decreased. Sometimes, I forget the camera. Sometimes, it’s inconvenient to have a camera around (like our recent kayaking trip). Sometimes, I have the camera, but get too wrapped up in what we’re doing to think about it.

As a fun way to keep the memories, but not have photos, I decided to make a memory box.


I’ve seen a few different kinds of ideas on memory boxes.

This memory jar seemed fun. You add in little notes throughout the year of fun things you did. You can make a jar each year, or read all your notes at the end of a year and start fresh for a new year.


I wanted something that would span over a period of years, and I didn’t want to start having memory jars around, since I already am on the vacation memory jar kick.

I settled on a simple set up: index cards stamped with the date, like January 1, with no year attached to it. This memory box that used an old berry container was my inspiration.


Making it is super easy. You just need index cards, a date stamp, an ink pad, and a container to hold all the note cards. For my container, I used the $1 vintage mini loaf pan I found at the antique store on our Saugatuck trip. I told you I had a fun idea for it.


I stamped 366 index cards, one with each day of the year (don’t forget leap year!). I placed them in order in the pan. I’m thinking that maybe one day I can separate the cards by month or something, but for now, I think this set up works just fine.

I’m using it as a calendar, keeping today’s date in the front.

I’m writing the year on the left, and the memory right besides it. These cards should last quite a while, and by the time they’re full, we’ll be able to see all the wonderful things we’ve done on that date.


Originally, I intended to use these cards only for special dates, like what we’ve done on our birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. But then I thought, why not capture the fun little things that happen us on a day to day basis?

The other night, I made pad thai from a box, and served it on our wedding china. A few weeks ago, while watching TV in bed, a line from King of the Hill had me laughing hysterically over the whole commercial break. I’ll be sure to include memories like that too.

Some cards will stay blank, meaning nothing super memorable happened that day. Maybe that will become a motivator for us to try new things, go on spontaneous dates, or even just go on a long pleasant walk with Phoebe on those days that nothing special has happened in the past.

Here’s to hoping this project is a success!


2 thoughts on “Memory Box

  1. I love this idea! It is perfect for me. So many times one of triplets will say or do something that makes us laugh, smile, even cry. I have no place to put these small daily moments. Ben and I often wonder years from now will we remember these things. Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Thanks for reading, Betsy! I agree, it’s perfect to record those funny kid memories. My goal was to capture the small, everyday things we would forget, like a funny joke. It’s so easy to remember the big stuff, like birthdays and holidays, and this little memory box is perfect for those other moments we don’t want to forget.Glad I could help you start one up for your family!

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