DIY: Treasured memories

Looking for a stylish way to store photos, cards or other big day keepsakes? These too-sweet-for-words boxes are just the thing you need.

  • Story by Photography Jane Ussher & Words Rebekah White

Looking for a stylish way to store photos, cards or other big day keepsakes? These too-sweet-for-words boxes are just the things you need.


Shoe box with lid

Heavy card stock

Double-sided tape


Satin ribbon

Hot glue gun

Box body, outside sides: Measure the height from the box base to where the lid rests when it's on, and add 10mm to the bottom edge. Measure the length around the four sides of the box and add a 10mm overlap at the end. Cut a piece of fabric to these dimensions. Attach this piece of fabric to the box with double-sided tape. Run a line of double-sided tape around the box at the height where the lid sits when it's on, one line at the base of the box and one around the edge underneath the box. Start in the middle of the longest side, where the lid meets the box, and press the fabric on. Smooth the fabric around the box and down to the base, tucking the extra 10mm underneath, and attach by pressing to the double-sided tape. Underneath, trim off extra fabric. Where the two pieces meet, fold over raw edge and secure with a hot glue gun.

Box body, outside base: Trace around the base of your box, then add 5mm at each edge and cut a piece of fabric to these dimensions. Fold the 5mm seam allowance under on each side, make corners neat by trimming off extra fabric and iron. Attach the fabric piece to the base of the box with double-sided tape and hot glue if required. Ensure it overlaps the extra fabric from the side piece.

Box body, inside sides: Cover the inside sides of the box by repeating step 1, but run the fabric up to where your ribbon folds over. 

Box body, inside bottom base: Cut out a piece of heavy card that is a couple of millimeters smaller than the base. Cover the card with fabric by cutting to size and adding a 10mm allowance all around. Cover base with fabric and fold over the edges, securing with double-sided tape on the back side. Push this down into the box so it fits snugly. This fake bottom will cover all the raw edges.

Box body, top edge: Wrap double-sided tape around outside of box where fabric sits just below box edge, and inside box edge. Attach wide ribbon to tape on outside of box: ensure the ribbon covers the raw edge of fabric lining the outside of the box, and the ribbon join is positioned on one of the corners. Smooth the ribbon up and over to give a neat edge. Hide the ribbon join by positioning it on one of the corners; fold raw edges of ribbon under and secure. On the inside corners, press ribbon into each corner to make a clean V shape and secure with hot glue gun.

Box lid: Measure the lid, including the inside edges. Cut a piece of fabric to fit. Run double-sided tape across the top of the lid, around the rim and the outside and inside edges. Working from the middle, position fabric on the lid and smooth the fabric down over the sides. At each corner, pull the fabric firmly and fold it neatly to a point. Turn lid over and work fabric smoothly into corners: trim and cut any excess fabric if necessary. (Your aim is to remove as much fabric bulk as possible in the corners, so the lid closes.)

Embellishments: Embellish the top of the box with a rosette and ribbon of your own design.

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