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Easy DIY Memory Boxes To Organize Keepsakes

Is your home overflowing with all the precious artworks, school pictures and everyday items that come along with having kids? If so, then you are not alone. These DIY memory box tips are great ways to start cherishing those memories!

rainbow file folders in a memory box with kid projects.

I know how overwhelming it can be to keep everything organized and neat. As I talk about organizing these keepsake boxes, the rest of my house is becoming completely unorganized.

Now that we have a few children, it is more important than ever to start creating these DIY memory boxes for each child.

Preschool artwork and projects in teal desk drawer.

This is totally the drawer in my awesome DIY teal desk, that I have been throwing all of my son’s art projects, report cards, T-ball pictures (you get the unorganized idea) into.

Since it was the start of the new year and organizing was on everyone’s mind, I decided to finally start a DIY memory keepsake box that I knew would help me stay organized for the next 18 or so years!

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Finding The Right File Cabinet Container

My husband originally just wanted me to use an old, refurbished file cabinet we have in the basement. However, I wanted something that I could physically give my kids when they were older.

Setting these memory boxes up the right way now, will only make it easy to add important keepsakes as things come home.

Shop Plastic File Container Boxes

If you are like me, you will price shop around to find the best value for a plastic file container that works for you. Here are several that I would have considered buying.

Before placing things in these bins, you may be interested to find other ways and tips to display artworks before they permanently find their home in the keepsake box.

black file cabinet bankers box sitting on chair.

I am always a DIY girl, but in order for these to be stored nicely, I could not just repurpose cardboard boxes. I found these plastic filing bins that I knew would be perfect for our keepsake boxes!

Looking for more DIY Art Displays before you store them?

Read: 13 Creative Ways to Display Artworks In Your Home

Easy DIY Memory Boxes to store children's keepsakes

Recommended Supplies

How To Decorate

I wanted to keep the outside of my keepsake boxes pretty neat. The memory box design may change over time. For now, simply adding my child’s name was all that this needed.

How To Hand Draw Name Easily

You can use my easy letter transfer technique to place each of my kids’ names on their keepsake boxes. If you are a Circuit user then that would also be a great way to make a name decal.

Below you can see how great the letters transferred to the black plastic of this file container.

Step 1: Print out their name in a font and size you like.

Step 2: Scribble with a pencil on the back of the printout where the words are.

scribble graphite on the back of paper.

Step 3: Neatly tape the printout on the box and use a pencil or pen to trace the design.

hand holding pen tracing letters to make name.

Step 4: Take the tape off to see the graphite you transferred.

graphite letters on black box with print out flipped over.

Step 5: Use a paint marker to fill in the lettering.

Create File Folders By Age

On the outside of each age file, I plan on putting a small school picture. I can’t wait to see how those pictures change over the years and I always have a few of those wallet-sized pictures left.

Create Labels

Write out labels and with labeling each folder by the grade/school year. When attaching the plastic label holders, I also found that attaching the next label two slots over creates a nice look in the box. This allowed us to see each age when the hanging folders were in the keepsake boxes.

labels with grades written on in green file folder.

I also may put a few notes about my child’s interests at the time. As my children get older, I may change these questions, but right now I think the questions might be:

Questions For The Outside Of Each Folder

  • Teachers:
  • Favorite Food:
  • Favorite Thing To Do:
  • Best Memory From This Year:
  • Favorite TV Show:
questions on orange folder with answer from 5 year old boy.

On the front of each folder, you can add their school picture or your favorite picture at that age. We also added a baby photo book in the beginning since we started our memory box at age 3.

Will I ever get tired of looking at my children as babies?? You will need to make sure to purchase enough hanging folders for each grade or age you want.

What do you add to a child’s keepsake box?

There are so many different things to add to a memory box. Involve your child to help you pick which items they want to save.

11 Things To Add To Your Memory Box

1. Drawings and special school projects by Age and Grade

2. Report Cards

3. Sports Folder

4. School pictures and certificates

5. First locks of hair or first tooth

6. Baby books (I make one of these books for each of my kids to keep all of the precious pictures from the first years!)

7. Extra photographs

8. Old Birthday Invitations

9. Notes from teachers and other adults in their lives

10. Hospital Bracelets

11. School Year Books

It is fun to see your child’s memories organized!

I was able to fill my son’s 3-year-old with everything that I had saved from the previous year in my teal desk drawer. It really was fun and heartwarming to look at the school projects, report cards, and drawings. It truly did bring back so many memories.

I can only imagine how I will feel looking back on this priceless memory box in future years.

file folders with labels for each grade in a child's memory box.

Finally, I now know that I did the hard work in getting organized now. I just plan on filling my drawer and periodically through the year filing keepsakes in my children’s memory boxes for years to come!

What is your favorite way to store your children’s keepsakes? I would love to hear any tips and organizational ideas that could go along with making these DIY memory boxes!

If you love this idea and are looking for a more professional way to display photos or memories, check out our DIY gallery wall. I love being able to see our memories every day.

I love my DIY memory boxes and hopefully, we inspired you to organize your precious keepsakes forever!

rainbow file folders in a memory box with kid projects.

Easy Memory Keepsake Box For Children

Create an easy memory keepsake box for your children.
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Keyword: DIY memory box, keepsake box
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Author: Erin
Cost: $25


Recommended Supplies


  • Find a file cabinet box that works for you.
    black file cabinet bankers box sitting on chair.
  • Decorate box. Consider using a simple drawing transfer technique to apply child's name to the box.
    graphite letters on black box with print out flipped over.
  • Place rainbow file folders in box.
  • Use tabs to label each folder by grade or age.
    labels with grades written on in green file folder.
  • Add extra questions and answers to the outside folder.
    questions on orange folder with answer from 5 year old boy.
  • Place keepsakes in proper folder.


Consider adding a photo to the front of each folder. 

Other Keepsake Items To Consider

  • Drawings and Special School Projects by Age and Grade
  • Report Cards
  • Sports Pictures, Rosters, Certificates
  • School Pictures and Certificates
  • First Locks of Hair
  • First Tooth
  • Baby Books (I make one of these books for each of my kids to keep all of the precious pictures from the first years!)
  • Extra Photographs
  • Old Birthday Invitations
  • Notes from teachers and other adults in their lives
  • Hospital Bracelets
  • School Year Books
Don’t Forget this Tutorial? Pin This Today!Visit @thediynuts for more great DIYs!
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Kam K

Monday 13th of January 2020

What a lovely idea. I put my son's school work in plastic containers for every grade, but adding the categories and fun questions will make storing them even more fun. Fun memories for years to come. Thanks for sharing.


Wednesday 15th of January 2020

Thanks, Kam! I am glad you like the extra ideas that I have added to my children's memory boxes. I think it will be fun to look back on.


Monday 13th of January 2020

This is such a cute idea! Totally saving for when my kiddos are bigger and start bringing home endless art projects!


Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi Sarah! I am so happy that I finally made these DIY memory boxes to help me stayed organized. Hopefully it will be easy now!

Audrey @ Two Pink Peonies

Monday 13th of January 2020

I need to make this! I’ve been wondering what to do with all the little things my kids have made. Such a good idea!


Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi Audrey! This was a simple and easy DIY project to save all those memories. Good luck!


Monday 13th of January 2020

GREAT idea!!!! I wish I had started something like this when my son started school. He's in third grade now and everything is all jumbled.


Monday 13th of January 2020

Thanks, Desiree. I’m hoping that because I have somewhere to put things then I will be able to keep all the art projects, school papers and pictures organized.


Sunday 12th of January 2020

Omg I have done this first years with my kids’ stuff and I use those EXACT same file boxes!!! They are so perfect! I obviously love this post ?


Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi Megan! Yes these file boxes seem to be perfect. I even love that they have a lid on top to be able to store some keepsakes as well.

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