A Wooden Keepsake Box Made of Mahagony, With a Walnut and Curly Maple Lid

Wooden Keepsake Boxes – Just a Glorified Keeper Box

 Wooden Keepsake Boxes are also Known as Wood Memory Boxes

Wooden keepsake boxes are not a type of box with a certain style.  They are simply wooden boxes that you keep “special” and sentimental memories in.  Because these boxes “keep” items that are dear to you, keepsake boxes are usually made of higher quality woods, special designs, have decorative trims or are ornately carved or engraved.  They are for retaining your precious, sentimental memories thus keepsake boxes are also called memory boxes.

I’ve always been attracted to wooden keepsake boxes.  When you first gaze upon them, they seem to stand out and let you know there is something dear to you inside them.  Something held in them as a sentimental heirloom to bring back the memory of some special moment in your life.  Most of us find ourselves in the habit of keeping our memories. They might come as a collection of family photos, special letters from a loved one we’ve received or souvenirs and mementos of far off places we’ve visited.  These are the things keepsake boxes were made for.  And I should add, keepsake boxes are usually made of wood as wooden boxes convey love and warmth.

A keepsake box may represent the birth of a child and that child growing up.  A change into adulthood, graduation and one’s move into the world.  It could represent a wedding and all the love that moment contains.  And, of course, those anniversaries and milestones along the highway of life.  Keeping memories are the function of keepsake or memory boxes.

A wooden keepsake box may represent the memories of your baby or child growing up to become an adult.  Thus, these
boxes are called baby keepsakes (though not necessarily smaller).  They may contain all the precious moments and your baby’s memories.   Locks of hair at birth, the first rattle, or any memory you have of your child growing up.  And, these wood baby keepsake boxes are usually given to the child when grown and leaving the family so those precious memories are passed on and become memories of the next generation.  In that respect, they become heirloom boxes also.

Walnut and Hickory Keepsake Box

Walnut and Hickory Keepsake Box handcrafted by Rist Wood Works

A Wooden Keepsake Box Made With Exotic Hardwoods

A Wooden Keepsake Box Made With Exotic Hardwoods

A keepsake box made of wood is not considered an organizer like jewelry boxes.  Often, they only have one large chamber and act like a glorified shoe box for putting your memorabilia in. Yet, they can have dividers too, especially in larger boxes. Each compartment a place for similar memories.  They can be lined with felt or satin as you find in fancy wood jewelry boxes or just be plain-Jane’s and raw wood on the inside.  After all, they are keeper boxes that function as storage boxes for those special moments and treasures in your life.

What Makes a Wooden Box a Keepsake Box?

It’s what you put in a box that makes it a keepsake box.  Simple as that.  As they hold sentimental, personal and special items, wooden keepsake boxes are usually more ornate and stand out from all the others.  They may be made of exotic woods that come from remote areas of the world.  They may be made of more highly figured woods that draw one’s eye. They may also be of a special design such as having special feet, handles or many are locked boxes.

Wood keepsake boxes are unique in the eyes of the beholder. They contain memories and have a great sentimental value to their owner.  These boxes have to display the emotions of those memories contained within as special with their unique look.  Often, this is done with an engraved lid or sides.  This can be done with simple initials of the person whose memories are contained within.  Or that special date that conveys the box’s meaning.

Engravings can be ornate scenes that evoke the person or a happening in the person’s life.  Most engravings today are done with specialized routing machines or laser engravers.  In the past, these were hand carved by the woodworker or burned in as pyrographic art.

A Wooden Keepsake Box With Engraved Lid

A Wooden Keepsake Box With Engraved Lid

A Wooden Keepsake Box With Lid Decorated by Pyrographics

A Wooden Keepsake Box With Lid Decorated by Pyrographics


People have in their minds the type of box they desire for their precious keepsakes. It’s that one wood box that is personal to them.  This is why many wooden keepsake boxes are custom made.  The buyer takes control of the box making and gets exactly (within woodworking parameters), what they want.  They influence the basic design, the woods used, the box hardware and emotions the box will evoke.  I find that the majority of custom wood boxes I make are intended as heirloom keepsake boxes.

And while wooden keepsake boxes make wonderful gifts, I’ve found over the years of selling them that most are purchased for personal use.  After all, we have our own personal treasures to take care of.  They do make good gifts, though, and we all can think of occasions to give wooden keepsake boxes to a loved one or close friend.  Special occasions that they will want to save memories of.

So, a keepsake box is just a wood box. It’s what it holds so dearly to us inside that make it a memory box.  A wooden keepsake box is meant to keep those memories for a lifetime.

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