Memory Boxes

Sometimes I get a little OCD about things.   There were recipe contests.   There is blogging.  There is all things New Mexico.  There is Sex and the City and Breaking Bad.  (Quite the contrast, huh?)

If someone tells me they love something, I generally beat it into the ground for gift giving.   For instance, the Goddaughter’s mother told me she loves her French class and her goal is to go to Paris one day (hopefully with her Mums and Godmother).  So, what does she get for every birthday and Christmas? Yep, something Paris or French related.    For my sister, it is usually something related to Bruce (or music in general).

My mom is the same way.   I had a Poppin’ Fresh doll when I was growing up and loved him.  (Allegedly he and I were “born” on the same year.)   Mom has gone a bit overboard and I have Poppin’ Fresh cookie jars, spoon rests, salt and pepper shakers, utensil holders, etc.   These all share one shelf in my kitchen.  (She has calmed down a bit and I haven’t received anything related to General Mills in a number of years.)


Who knew there was a whole family? At least I don’t have this collection….yet…


I also like to put my own spin on things.  That way I am not truly copying.  (All of you recipe developers know what I mean, right?)

Where is this all going, you are asking?   I have been obsessed with cigar boxes since The Hubs made CBGs (cigar box cigars) with the nephews during Thanksgiving 2013.    I couldn’t believe that they were only a couple of bucks a piece and that they came in so many shapes, woods, and designs.   (If you follow all my Pinterest boards you may have seen that I have a huge assortment of ideas collected as to what to do with them.)   And, in the area of copying, I had been wanting to follow Veronica’s lead with her memory jars for quite some time.

Cigar Boxes (Eliot's Eats)

Some of our collection.


I found a unique cigar box and told The Hubs about our new project—a MCB (memory cigar box).

Cigar Boxes from Eliot's Eats

Some memory boxes in an array of completion stages.


What are the rules he asked?

  1. Whenever we had ticket stubs, restaurant receipts, museum brochures, fortune cookie slips,  wine corks, post cards, etc., we would place them in the box.
  2. We would secretly slip in a few things on our own as well.  Things like notes or cards that we might give each other throughout the year or simple notes that recorded a special memory.
  3. We would put in whatever each of us thought was memorable about the year.
  4. We would not peek until New Year’s Day of the following year.

You can decorate your MCB however you want.  Paint it.  Decoupage it.  Adorn it.

Memory Box from Eliot's Eats

One of the finished products. I found a cool image, used carbon paper to copy it on the inside lid and painted away.


These are also great to give to kids for Christmas or for birthdays so they can remember their year.    Guess the Goddaughter will get a Paris-themed one for her birthday this year and my sister will get one with The Boss.


I hope that 2016 is full of very special memories for you and yours.

Happy New Year!

11 comments to Memory Boxes

  • mae

    When I was a small child I had a doll bed made from a cigar box. It had old turned-wood clothespins for the 4-poster look. Smoking cigars is no longer part of the life of anyone I know, so this type of creativity doesn’t apply any more. I like your ideas a lot, reminds me of things my mother used to do.

    best… mae from

    • We don’t partake of cigars either, Mae. I just covet the boxes. Love that you can get most of them pretty cheap at the cigar store. Happy New Year!

  • I love this way better than using a jar! We have increased to a large jar but it gets pretty messy, with paper memories it’s actually ideal to have a box that they can all lay flat in!! You go girl!

    • Well, Veronica, thank you for the inspiration! I have been wanting to make these for the longest time. I only got one completed but that is all I need for now. I am going to make one for the eldest nephew’s birthday which is at the end of the month. He kept eyeing the boxes when he was here and I know he wanted to make something out of one. 🙂 Happy New Year to you!

  • Growing up I loved cigar boxes, oh the treasures they could hold! Yours looks beautiful and I think that you had a great idea about saving memories and slipping in special notes. Next New year’s you can revisit the previous year! Happy New Years!

  • What a great idea and this is the perfect time to start one! I have about 5 cigar boxes that I’ve picked up over the years and I can’t wait to do this!!

  • mjskit

    What a fabulous tradition!!!! Wish I had know this idea years ago when we had a ton of cigar boxes. Bobby’s dad was a BIG cigar smoker. But those boxes became part of the 2010 garage sale. I know you are screaming right now. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this! I’m passing the idea on.