how to make a nature box




This is that gift I told you I was making.  Look, I'm no good at crafts but this was easy.  You could use an old cigar box if you had to but I wanted it to be a little fancier.  I got the idea when I saw my grandaughter picking up little rocks and a chicken feather when we were at Farm Sanctuary. That reminded me of what my boys used to do and to be honest I still do it.  So I thought I'll make her a pretty little place to keep her collection.





I found this box at an estate sale for $3.





The top was a little marred so I bought a sheet of bird paper from a local gift shop.






This would be perfect and was only $4.







I used the lid as a template to cut the paper to size and then tore around the edges because I read that the glue would adhere better.  Then I diluted some regular white glue with a little water and brushed it on.






I placed the paper on top and smoothed out any bumps.  When it was dry I put a couple of coats of paste wax on it.  I'm sure you could varnish it too. I put a small magnifying glass, a little notebook and a sea shell that her dad picked up and saved when he was around her age to help get her collection going. She's a very contemplative little girl so I'm thinking she is going to like this.  :)

 

49 comments

  1. Hi Janet, like? she is going to love it! I would. That is a very thoughtful gift and its so cute too!

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  2. What a sweet gift! And one she can treasure long after the plastic junk breaks. Might even become and heirloom passed on one day to her children : )

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  3. How adorable! She will love it. I love that you collect little things you find. Like royal acorns! And how special that she'll have something her grandma made for her. She'll have it forever.

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  4. It's just lovely, Janet. She'll love having a special box for her special things, all her own. I think you're darn crafty.

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  5. So sweet. Make sure you sign the back and don't forget to date it!

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    1. i hadn't even thought of that! thanks for the idea! x

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  6. Oh my goodness. I couldn't agree with Anonymous more...sign and date it! It's lovely. I would be tempted to write a note from her Grandma too so she'd have something in your handwriting.

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  7. That's so pretty Janet, I made little boxes like that for my wedding packed with confetti to hand out to guests, it was the only time I've ever been crafty!

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  8. I love this and I'm sure she will too. Probably more each year. In fact, I would love to have this for my keepsakes. You have such a good eye for finding just the right pieces that, together, make something special. And I have never seen such gorgeous wrapping paper! Frame worthy.

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  9. I love this! Perfect gift. She will treasure it x

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  10. Very nice... I think she will like it. Not sure if it is the real deal, as I really can not see the 'nails' too well. but it is at least a very nice Shaker "inspired" box. I would have been screaming inside if I found that for $3

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    1. yes, it is a knockoff of a shaker box so that's kinda cool. x

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  11. That's a beautiful gift, made with thoughtfulness and love, what could possibly be nicer? x

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  12. Perfect present for your granddaughter.
    I was out with mine (age 3) the other day. I pointed out the distinctive fallen oak leaves and as "squirrel" in German is called an "oak creature" she immediately asked if squirrels eat those leaves. We searched for a lost acorn to show her what they eat and I showed her the cones they like, too, and she avidly collected as many as she could find so that she and her mom could "feed the squirrels". Too cute - but also beautiful bonding. She didn't have a lovely box like this, though ;)

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  13. Love this! I am a great collector of feathers and rocks! I may make one for me!

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  14. This is exactly the kind of gift I would have wanted as a little girl---as a big girl too. Love it Janet!

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  16. What a lovely, thoughtful gift. I still have small items that I love and have kept all these years. To receive a special box in which to keep them would be lovely, especially if received from a grandma.

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  17. What a perfect idea! My 4-year-old son is the same way. He just loves nature, and always has some sort of collection going. Lovely.

    Raquel

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    1. i think it would be good for a boy or a girl raquel. x

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  18. I'm totally going to do this for Carolina! She loves collecting acorns and leaves and rocks! i didn't know you had a granddaughter-what a lucky little girl! :)

    Jennifer

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  19. That's a beautiful present, the sort of thing that I'd have loved as a child and would have treasured forever. In fact, it makes me think I ought to gift myself with something similar even now. I still collect such treasures; they're just scattered here and there throughout the house.

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  20. I love this gift idea...I want to do thoughtful things like this for my grandchildren one day. : ) This encourages the real in life, not the plastic and artificial. I really, really love this. My dad used to make lovely wooden boxes for our girls and they are still treasured even now more then ever. I will keep this idea on file, have a sweet Christmas and thank you for sharing!

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    1. exactly amelia. she has more than enough plastic toys but i know she loves the outdoors and i think this will be perfect for her. your dad's boxes sound wonderful. x

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  21. I like the paper that you found to top the box with...she will treasure it knowing that you chose it specifically for her.
    It looks like a classic Audubon antique.

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  22. Great idea, Janet! What a lovely present. The magnifying glass is a great addition. My kids love playing with those.

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    1. thanks mo-reen. she has always been fascinated with my magnifying glass since she was a baby so now she'll have her own. x

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  23. Cute box Janet: Your box is called a Shaker box.

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  24. How cute Janet! I'm sure she will love it.

    When I was 4 I had a cigar box that I kept some things in, don't remember what they were. I wouldn't let anyone look inside it...must have been some top secret stuff!

    Linda
    xo

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    1. That is so funny! My relatives even teased me about it years later.

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  25. Very pretty Janet! How old is your granddaughter? My daughter had a cigar box type treasure box when she was much younger to put her collections in. It is still here at my house and I will have to pass it on to her daughter. We started her a nature garden in our woody section of the yard with a fallen log to sit on and a bird feeder. I will have to do the same for my granddaughter. Nature is meant to be enjoyed! She even has a pair of "yard shoes" here for when we go outside to play and get dirty. Your granddaughter will love her new gift!
    Lynne in Georgia

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    1. she just turned 8. she loves exploring the garden here. there are so many nooks and crannies for her to get lost in. that's a good idea to keep special boots or shoes for her here. and you've just given me the idea to make her a little table and chairs from fallen logs. that would be so easy to do or i should say so easy for larry to do! lol thanks!

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  26. I, too, love this idea. And, agree that you should write a sentiment somewhere and date it. I like what you put in it. My youngest son was particularly fond of saving little found things. It was so sweet to come across one of his stashes.

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  27. Awesome gift! She will treasure this, as it came from you with love. I agree with the others, sign and date.

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  28. Your eye is unerring and always within the GSL short rations budget!

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  29. So cute and thoughtful. I'm pretty sure my two girls ages, 5 & 7 would love having something like this for their collections as well!

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  30. So pretty and thoughtful! Our daughter is 8 and would love this as well.

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  31. Hi Janet,
    Long time reader, first time commenter. Just want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and thank you for writing your wonderful blog! I love the thoughtful gift you are making for your granddaughter, I loved seeing the beautiful photos of your son's wedding, I loved your grocery saving tips - I visit the 99cent store regularly because of you, I loved reading about the parties you given, the remodeling and decorating stories and photos you have shared about your lovely home, the ups and downs of being a parent, your camping trips and pretty much everything you have shared on your blog.
    I read with interest because you take the time to share your life in this blog.
    I hope you continue to write so I can continue to enjoy reading. I was moved to write because I've been reading "Have Some Decorum" and it occurred to me that I need to be more thankful! I hope that other readers feel that too. When I read in your blog comments that some people were put off by the donation box on her blog I thought to myself, why comment about it, why not just find something else to read and leave the reading to those of us who focus on and admire her courage in the face of such tragedy, I felt that way reading your blog too when people were so negative towards Vicki and thought you handled that with such kindness. I think we need to remember what your motto seems to be which is "kindness is never out of style", so again, thank you for taking the time to write your blog. Have a wonderful Holiday!

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    1. dear anon, thank you so much for such a beautiful comment. i'm overwhelmed by your kind words. i wish i was as good as you make me sound! it inspires me to be a better person. i'm so glad you are liking ellie's blog. she is truly inspiring and yes, she makes me want to be a better person too. thank you so much for commenting. xo

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  32. This is lovely, Janet. My 6 yo son loves to explore nature, and he collects treasures he finds in the woods behind our home. I should make one for him this Christmas, with a little field guide or something in it. Thank you for sharing this! xx

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  33. Love this gift and so would my nephews. It's too late for this Christmas, but I can keep my eyes open for boxes and paper for next Christmas.

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  34. Love the birds you put on there!!! Super fun! & we all need a secret spot to stash goodies :)

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  35. This is just the sweetest Janet! She'll love it!

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  36. Janet, This is so lovely. I'm sure your granddaughter will treasure it. I've still got a few things that my grandparents made (or gave me) when I was very young (50+ years ago!). Some are a wee bit tattered but they all have a prominent place in both my heart and my home.

    Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and all good things in 2015.

    Barb

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kindness is never out of style.

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