Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Tiny Treasures

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

With every day that passes, my boys are getting bigger and bigger. I threaten to put books on their heads in hopes that it will prevent the inevitable, but I know the truth - they're growing up and I can't make it stop! I take pictures to capture the memories. I keep records of special milestones in baby books. I write a family blog. And, I store artwork in boxes. I do all of this in hopes of forgetting nothing and sharing it all with them when they are all grown up. But here's the thing about the books, boxes, etc. - they're tucked away in closets or drawers just collecting dust! That's why I am so in love with Martha Stewart Weddings' editorial director, Darcy Miller's, "scrap boxes."

Have you ever seen anything so lovely and charming? Mrs. Miller is brilliant! She has turned the toys we toss or giveaway, along with the tiny treasures we adore and store, into amazing works of art that tell the story of her family's life! The minute I saw this in Martha Stewart's February issue of Living, I knew I had to make some of these for my home. I can think of no better way to record our memories while displaying beloved toys, birthday goodies and all the other tiny toys that float to the bottom of our toy bin.

To create my first "scrap box" I purchased a shadow box from Ikea, gathered stickers, tape, toys, t-shirts, photos and an empty diaper box. Since my oldest has a love of super heroes, I thought that would be a great place to start.
Ikea shadow box and stickers

collection of broken and discarded toys

Tip: To secure items to the "storyboard" Mrs. Miller uses double-sided tape on the lighter pieces and foam-core with pins or wire. I chose to recycle a diaper box and use a needle and thread.

recycled diaper box cut to fit frame

Spidey tee cut, wrapped and secured with masking tape

final product with photo, sticker and broken action figure

Other than the horrible flash photography used on the final piece (sorry, it was late when I finished), I'm pretty happy with my first "scrap box." And, because I live for this kind of stuff, I'm super excited to make more. (I think these would make great gifts!) Look around your house; I bet you have treasures lying around that you could use to make a "scrap box" of your own! Heck, if you have kids, chances are you just stepped on one of those treasures while walking to your computer! xo


  1. Hi, I just found your blog via Bloesem Kids and loved your mum story! Nice to find a crafty mum who is also a christian! Your boys are very cute, we have a Jude too:)
    Thanks for sharing this great idea, I will have to give it a go!

  2. Great idea yours. I am going to do it quicly w/ my boys´s batman tee that he loves so much. Thanks for sharing and congratulations for your blog. I am a mommy from Brazil and I loved your blog. If you want to check my Flick r ( I collect a lot of stuff and also I ´ve done some scrap boxes or framed scraps )here it goes
    Thanks a lot. Ciao.

  3. Hi Brooke- we have a mutual friend, Stephanie McNaughton, who recommeded your blog to me and I subscribed. So glad to have found you.
    This post blew my mind- I totally adored this Martha article and have plans of my own to make a few scrap boxes that are travel related as a future anniversary gift. :) Love, love, love them.
    Anyways, nice to "meet" you! I'm over at


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