With three of her four kids in college, Connie has had to tighten her belt last holiday season. Instead of purchasing new gifts for her children, she found what money can't buy—years and years of childhood keepsakes. Connie saved everything from a scrap of carpet from her daughter's first bedroom to the letters she wrote home from summer camp. "I just kept throwing it in boxes and filing cabinets," she says. "It was all over the house."

To turn her scattered collection into beautiful mementos for her children, Connie purchased treasure boxes to hold each child's memories. "I wanted it to be a piece of furniture that they'll put on a shelf and keep forever," she says. It took months to put together, but Connie's children were touched when they received their mother's gift. "I'll always remember where I came from and what I am and who I am because of you," her son Jay says.

To make your own treasure box, start by searching for all your children's keepsakes. Be creative—from baby's first footprints to your little Picasso's artwork; science fair ribbons to grade school report cards, your children will love to relive it all.

Once you have your keepsakes, Connie suggests organizing everything by year using folders and plastic sleeves from an office supply store. Put it all together in a beautiful box—and if you look for coupons in the newspaper or online, you may be able to find boxes on sale at a craft store like Connie did!


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