Oct 2009 Article
Making Memory Boxes on a Budget
Money is tight, but your heart tells you that continuing to make memory boxes for hurting families is important and something you feel led to do. Below is a list of ideas which may help you continue to make memory boxes even when cash is short. Many of these ideas may be used for HAIN’s knitters, crocheters, and seamstresses as well!
1. Let your friends and family know about HAIN, and tell them that you make memory boxes. Tell them that you’d really appreciate it if they would alert you to really good sales of items that could be used for memory box making, things like lace, trim, acrylic paint, paper mache boxes, appliqués, etc. Who knows? If your mom or best friend sees a REALLY good deal, they might even pick up an item for you themselves and present it to you as a crafting gift! Also, if others know you make memory boxes for HAIN, you might come to mind when they are clearing out some of their craft stash. Many people would feel really good about thinning out their supplies if they know they are going toward such a worthy cause.
2. If you are asked what you would like for Christmas, birthday, etc., consider asking for a craft store gift card. You can spend some of it on memory box supplies. This is a great gift for those who love to make and give memory boxes, but just don’t have a lot of spare cash.
3. Always check the craft store clearance aisles for memory box supplies. I was thrilled to find some animal appliqués in the clearance aisle at JoAnn’s a while back. I had admired them when they were full price, thinking they would make cute memory box decorations, but I hadn’t bought any because of the price. When I saw they were on for 50 cents each, well, let’s just say I stocked up!
4. Shop end-of-holiday sales. Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas are especially good times to find items that might be just what you need for a memory box. Many memory box makers put stuffed animals in their boxes, and these holidays are good time to find marked-down stuffed animals. Obviously, I don’t choose animals that have “Happy Valentine’s Day” or “Merry Christmas” embroidered across their chests, but there are many choices that do not bear evidence of a specific holiday. After Valentine’s Day this year I found some cute Teddy bears that were a perfect size for placing in memory boxes. They were 75% off! The fact that they were attached to a small box of chocolates was just a little added bonus for my nibbling pleasure!
5. If you have a large craft stash (Hmmmm, that would be me!), refresh your memory as to what you already have by looking through your supplies periodically. You may find something that seems just perfect for decorating a memory box, something you didn’t even remember you had! Yes, the curse of the craft supply hoarder is that you forget what you have!
6. Sign up for craft store email and regular mail lists. I signed up to get Joann’s sale ads and coupons through the mail. Michael’s sale ads come through the mail automatically where I live, and I didn’t even have to sign up to receive them. I have, however, signed up to be on their email list. Sometimes they email me extra coupons! I have also signed up to receive Hobby Lobby’s email ads and coupons.
I hope some of these suggestions will help someone. It is such a privilege to provide families with a lovingly decorated box for holding some of their baby’s special memorial items. If one of these suggestions helps someone to be able to make more boxes, then my mission has been accomplished.