My dad recently turned the big 8-0. To commemorate his life and to preserve notes and cards, my youngest daughter and I made him a Memory Box. This was a fun project to work on together…and Dad loves seeing it sitting on a shelf in his TV room, reminding him of how many people helped to celebrate his special day.
We bought a large cardboard box with lift-off lid from the craft store. Daughter had fun adding bright colors to each side of the box and shades of blue to the lid. (The red/orange band at the top of each side are actually the painted side of the box lid.) This was an excellent project for her to practice blending the specific colors she wanted using just primary colors plus white and black. Didn’t she do a nice job of adding texture and variation in the colors?!
After letting the box dry overnight, daughter and I added stickers and words to the sides of the box. Each side represents a different interest for my dad.
Dad grew up as a farm-boy outside of a tiny town in Minnesota. He spent his career as a mechanical engineer working with technology. He went from using a slide rule and a manual typewriter to keying punch-cards to control a room-sized computer to using a desktop computer, to a laptop, to a tablet, to an i-pod. It is phenomenal how much change he has seen in one lifetime/career! My kids and I like to joke that my dad is the original “Bob the Builder!” I think he can do anything as a handyman (although there are occasionally “oopsies” which require innovation to figure out alternate solutions.) Dad has done many home and car repairs. But he also built a garage, converted a garage to a family room, finished a basement, and roofed a house. In addition, he spent hundreds of hours as a volunteer helping to build churches in the Midwest. He even took a trip to Ethiopia to help provide sanitation and clean water in a remote village!Finally, once all of his kids were grown, Dad bought a motorcycle. He has taken many epic trips, criss-crossing the country this way and that. Probably the biggest adventure was riding his motorcycle to Alaska and back.Finally, we added the lyrics to his favorite hymn to the lid of the box. His faith is a significant part of his life.(You can hear the hymn, “It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)” HERE.) I printed the words onto vellum that has a subtle swirl pattern on it. Eventually, we will add a photo to the box of Dad in his 80th year.