One of my favorite ways to document a special event is to make a scrapbox—it turns a memory into a keepsake that’s also a piece of art. A holiday scrapbox souvenir is a great gift for grandparents, family members, or close friends, too! My daughters have loved ballet since they were tiny, so in our family, the holiday season always brought a trip to see the Nutcracker. I commemorated my daughter’s first visit to the Nutcracker in a holiday scrapbox that’s a 3-D photo keepsake, but you can use the same technique for any special event, like a concert, a pageant, wedding, graduation, or a summer vacation. There are so many possibilities! In fact, I have an entire wall full of scrapbooks!

For this Nutcracker scrapbox, I used a copy of a photo of my daughter posing with a ballerina in front of a backdrop at the theater. I glued it to the back of the scrapbox, then adhered pieces of confetti to the outside of the glass with glue. You could also dot the glass with a silver paint pen to look like snowflakes. Then I adhered the ticket stub to the photo using foam dots so it’s raised a bit for a 3-D effect. Next, I set the photo-covered back aside and placed the scrapbox face down on a table, then filled the bottom edge of the frame with paper confetti. Finally, I placed the back inside the frame, and secured it with the metal tabs. Now my scrapbox was ready to hang!

You can switch up what’s at the bottom of the scrapbox—this one uses confetti but curled ribbon works, too! And you can also get creative with what you’re putting inside a scrapbox memento—shells for a beach vacation, a program for a wedding, even a candle for a birdthay party. Or, save placecards and make a scrapbox for everyone at your Christmas dinner or Hanukkah celebration! But scrapboxes don’t just make great mementos and thoughtful, unique gifts! They’re also a fun way to frame kids’ art.

Whatever you fill your scrapbox with, it’s bound to become a keepsake you’ll look at and love for years to come!

What You’ll Need

  • “Scrapbox” Shadowbox Frame
  • A memorable photo
  • A memento—ticket, playbill, candle, shells placecard, whatever!
  • Ribbons or confetti
  • Glue, glue dots or other adhesive—I like moldable glue or foam dots, which give a 3-D effect to whatever you’re sticking on top of the photo, like the ticket in the Nutcracker box


Step One: Open your frame and glue the photo to the back.
Step Two: Add the souvenir on top with a foam dot. (Put all the elements in place before gluing to make sure they’re where you want them to be before it becomes permanent).
Step Three: Set the back of the box aside and lay the front (the frame and glass part) face down on the table. Fill the bottom with a layer of confetti or ribbon.
Step Four: Replace the scrapbox frame following 3-D frame directions, secure in place, and hang on the wall or give as a thoughtful and personal DIY gift.